My Flawless Life

HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen. Feb. 2023. 352p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9780063008694.
Gr 7 Up–Hana Yang Lerner is the go-to fixer at her prestigious Washington, DC, private school, where her wealthy classmates routinely hire her to dispatch their problems. Hana was once a member of the in-crowd, but two years ago her senator father was involved in a car accident that left a woman severely injured, and now Hana is an outsider looking in on their wealthy and powerful world. When an anonymous client asks Hana to follow her ex-best friend Luce Herrera, Hana seizes on the opportunity to engage with her old life. Reluctantly partnering with her childhood friend James Li, now editor of the school newspaper, Hana finds deep corruption at the heart of her former friend group and comes face to face with her own past. Hana is a compelling narrator, but the novel’s pacing feels uneven, with a slow start that may deter reluctant readers. Still, those who push past the opening will be rewarded with a climactic twist. Woon creates a diverse cast of characters—Hana is biracial (her mom is Chinese American and her dad is cued white), Luce is Cuban American, and James is Chinese American—and the characters’ discussions often dig into weighty ethics questions about privilege and responsibility.
VERDICT A fresh thriller that will appeal to fans of E. Lockhart’s We Were Liars, Dana Mele’s People Like Us, and Alexa Donne’s The Ivies.

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