Entertaining and Best Read While Listening to Taylor Swift | Review: Reputation by Sara Shepard

11:25 PM

I love a good Sara Shepard book! I've been feeling quite nostalgic for Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game and The Perfectionists the last few months so this book came at just the right time! While Reputation wasn't my personal favourite of her published works, it was a wildly entertaining ride.


In this fast-paced new novel from Sara Shepard, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Pretty Little Liars, a tight-knit college town scrambles for answers when an e-mail hack reveals life-changing secrets and scandals.

Aldrich University is rocked to its core when a hacker dumps 40,000 people's e-mails—the entire faculty, staff, students, alums—onto an easily searchable database. Rumors and affairs immediately leak, but things turn explosive when Kit Manning's handsome husband, Dr. Greg Strasser, is found murdered. Kit's sister, Willa, returns for the funeral, setting foot in a hometown she fled fifteen years ago, after a night she wishes she could forget. As an investigative reporter, Willa knows something isn't right about the night Greg was killed, and she's determined to find the truth. What she doesn't expect is that everyone has something to hide. And with a killer on the loose, Willa and Kit must figure out who killed Greg before someone else is murdered.

Told from multiple points of view, Reputation is full of twists, turns, and shocking reveals. It's a story of intrigue, sabotage, and the secrets we keep—and how far we go to keep them hidden. Number one bestseller Sara Shepard is at the top of her game in this brand-new adult novel.


Reputation by Sara Shepard 
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5) 

As always, a copy of this book was provided by the publisher or author in exchange for my honest review. This does not effect my opinion in any way.

Can we get one thing out of the way? I'm a Sara Shepard STAN. There is no escaping that. Her work has been a part of me since high school. If I had a single ounce of shame, I'd refer to my love affair with her books as a guilty pleasure. Alas, I lack the shame appropriate for this and am not remotely guilty for continuously devouring what she serves us. And with Reputation, she gave us a lot to eat.

One of the things that always strikes me about the work Shepard puts out there for us, is the sheer entertainment value. She's beauty, she's grace, she's queen of emotionally punching me in the face and twining me up with the thorns of her characters. Whether we're visiting our beloved Liars in Rosewood, our Perfectionists, or watching as one twin is forced to take the place of her long lost dead twin sister, you can ALWAYS expect to be in for a treat.

Shepard's writing is pure escapism, dipped in thrills and chills. Like so many of the stories in her backlist, Reputation is light and fast but still packs an emotional charge. Once you pick it up, you're likely to lose yourself for hours and maybe even finish it in one read. (Which is what I did because I have no self control.) Including in the perfection that is Shepard's writing one can expect snarky prose that bites and causes you to snicker into your hands, intriguing mysteries, forbidden affairs and general soap opera antics.

Along for the bumpy ride, I settled in with this book and before I knew it hours had passed and I'd completed it. If you love twisty turns and curiosities and stylish dramatics, you'll adore this one. I found it to be highly enjoyable, despite the general unlikable qualities some of the characters were possessing. There were times I wanted to put down the book, down my wine glass and shout at the characters in Reputation which is half the fun of a good Shepard novel. You get this inkling of knowledge of what to expect, but somehow she always surprises or toys with us.

As for the characters of Reputation: they aren't nearly as endearing as those we might find in Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game and The Perfectionists, but they still offer a delicious and messy nature. (I won't give too much away, but I will say that there is one woman in Reputation that was intensely calculating and manipulative and I was LIVING for it.)

Despite following a fairly typical formula for all of her novels, each one feels like a new adventure and mystery and continues to dangle itself above my head in a way that I cannot resist. They are a mixed bag of tropes, archetypes, mystery and scandal--everything one might desire from Shepard. THIS is exactly the type of quickie read I needed on such a chilly day.

All that is exposed in this novel, all the mysteries that are unraveled, make up for an otherwise lackluster cast of characters. While Reputation is not quite my favourite novel of hers, it was highly engaging and full of that Sara Shepard spark that makes her books so fully indulgent and delicious. I ate this book up in little to no time and will likely only grow to enjoy it more in the future. 

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