I received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
It took me three weeks to finish Perfect Betrayal. To some, this may seem like a little or short amount of time (just chock it up to life getting in the way). To others, it may seem like a long time (like what was I doing this whole time). For me, three weeks raises the question: why did I keep trying? This means that I’ve had time to read other books, live life, and binge watch movies on Netflix and yet I still couldn’t finish this book. This book should have been a DNF, but I didn’t want to DNF it. I don’t want to become a serial DNF’er. The problem is Perfect Betrayal didn’t give me a reason to want to pick it up and read it. It practically encouraged me to do other things.
Anyway, let me stop making excuses for why it took me so long to finish reading Perfect Betrayal and review it.
What I Liked About Perfect Betrayal
Character development (sort of): Throughout most of the story, Taylor is simply a rich girl with absentee parents who complains about how fake her life is and how shallow her friends are, but does nothing to rectify it. Most of the story is Taylor hanging out with her fake, shallow friends and trying to seduce Levi. However, towards the end, Taylor shows some improvement when she helps a girl increase her reading level. Or maybe that’s not Taylor showing development; maybe I’m biased. I’ve done a few programs similar to the one Taylor does in the book so I commend anyone who takes the time to help someone whether it’s reading or something else. So maybe Taylor improved as a person or maybe I’m just trying to find a redeeming quality in the book.
What I Didn’t Like About Perfect Betrayal
Romance: No, I’m not going to rant about a love triangle/V. And I’m not going to complain about insta-love. I’m going to talk about the next worst best thing: lust that’s labeled as love/ lust that “turns into” love. Part of what made this story so hard to read was that there was no real connection between Levi and Taylor. In the beginning, Levi was just a conquest to Taylor and Taylor was just an obstacle to Levi. They had no similarities and never talked to each other about something meaningful to establish a connection. However, they did share mutual attraction. So eventually they stopped resisting each other and had sex (though the first time Levi and Taylor had sex was the strangest sex scene I’ve ever read), which turned into having more sex and in the midst of all that screwing Levi and Taylor “fall in love” with each other. At that point, I really wanted to go into the book and ask them what they “loved” about the person because I knew I wasn’t going to get a decent answer. Any answer would have been so generic that I could have found a replacement partner for them. Anyway before I go on an unnecessary rant-y tangent, I’ll just say this: I don’t see how Levi and Taylor came to love each other when they only acknowledged shallow parts of the other person. Levi loved Taylor’s blonde hair and blue eyes (Really? What a cliche.) and Taylor loved Levi’s sleeve of tattoos and ability to recite poetry (If you’re thinking bad boy stereotype, then you’re right). The pair didn’t have any connection solidifying their love for one another.
Poetry: Levi is the stereotypical bad boy with a sensitive side and he conveys his sensitivity with poetry so I expected some poetry in the book. However, there were times when it seemed like Vining was using poetry as a crutch to express emotions she wasn’t sure how to describe. I get that Levi recites poetry, but is that the only thing he thinks about all the time? Sometimes I would have preferred Levi just thinking “Oh, I’d love to tap that” (in other words of course) instead of reading lines of poetry about jiggling stuff and touching each other. Let’s not make this story longer than it needs to be.
All in all, Perfect Betrayal isn’t terrible- I’ve definitely read worse- but I didn’t like it either. There just wasn’t any substantial chemistry between Levi and Taylor to justify their love and there weren’t any redeeming qualities in the characters either. Definitely a lot of sex though if you like reading books like that.
Author’s Note: I’m thinking about incorporating this meter I made into my new adult reviews. It’s a way for me to visually show how steamy I think a book is, which in turn can help you decide if you want to read it and if you do, whether you may end up blushing in public. Let me know in the comments if this is something I should incorporate or if the concept is good, but the execution is bad.