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Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite
What’s it like to grow up the daughter of a rich politician with his eye on the White House? Ari Worthington invites us into that world, her world, in a non-apologetic, emotion-filled narrative. Despite the wealth, it’s not a pretty picture. She’s more comfortable away from her father’s universe when she resides at a prestigious boarding school. When her pregnant room-mate has to leave the school, Jess takes her spot. Often outrageous in both words and actions, Jess is everything Ari isn’t. Inwardly Ari admires Jess for it, even ready to emulate her new bestie. But Jess is also secretive, and what Ari doesn’t know about Jess will hurt her in more ways than one.
PMS Girls by Lisa Alfano took me by surprise…and it was a welcome one. Though it was about high school teens, it wasn’t about young adolescents coping with menstruation. The story concept was unlike any I’ve encountered; the characters were realistically different, the plot twists were totally unexpected and I am still asking myself how Lisa Alfano kept me in questioning suspenseful anticipation till nearly the last page! A thriller indeed. It’s well-known that the best way for readers to get to know a story’s characters is through their own dialogue and actions. There’s not a lot of dialogue in PMS Girls, yet, incredibly, Alfano has pulled off a rarity i.e. Ari’s emotionally charged, descriptive narrative gives a surprisingly clear picture of all the players, especially Ari, Jess, Ari’s teachers, parents, and the domestic help.
The novel is more than just a teen thriller: it’s a psychological thriller. That automatically calls for evil-doers whose motivations and actions are prompted by past perceived wrongs. Lisa Alfano has done a splendid job of portraying that human frailty through Jess…a beautiful, rich boarding school girl whom you wouldn’t want as a room-mate! Read PMS Girls…a shockingly possible and frightening story.