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GOOD GIRL COMPLEX by Elle Kennedy

She does everything right. So what could go wrong?

Mackenzie “Mac” Cabot is a people pleaser. Her demanding parents. Her prep school friends. Her long-time boyfriend. It’s exhausting, really, always following the rules. Unlike most twenty-year-olds, all she really wants to do is focus on growing her internet business, but first she must get a college degree at her parents’ insistence. That means moving to the beachside town of Avalon Bay, a community made up of locals and the wealthy students of Garnet College.

Mac’s had plenty of practice suppressing her wilder impulses, but when she meets local bad boy Cooper Hartley, that ability is suddenly tested. Cooper is rough around the edges. Raw. Candid. A threat to her ordered existence. Their friendship soon becomes the realest thing in her life.

Despite his disdain for the trust-fund kids he sees coming and going from his town, Cooper soon realizes Mac isn’t just another rich clone and falls for her. Hard. But as Mac finally starts feeling accepted by Cooper and his friends, the secret he’s been keeping from her threatens the only place she’s ever felt at home. 


Title : Good Girl Complex
Author : Elle Kennedy
Format : eARC
Page Count : 336
Genre : NA contemporary romance
Publisher : St. Martin’s Griffin
Release Date : February 1, 2022

Reviewer : Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ 


Hollis’ 2 star review

I’ll admit, I grabbed this because of the author and the fact that this wasn’t related to the Off-Campus books. Because while I loved that series — though admittedly lost some love with the spin-off — I wanted to see what Kennedy could do in a new space, with new concepts, and different characters.

The answer, however, is.. there wasn’t much new-ness to this.

This is a fairly typical rich girl/good girl/highsociety girl meets poor boy/bad boy/local boy set-up and it does all the things you would expect it to do. There’s nothing groundbreaking or fresh about how this all played out. There doesn’t necessarily have to be — because tropes we all love exist because we like to return to them — but I wanted something new, something different, to make this stand out. Because as is there’s nothing memorable about this and I will likely forget most of it by the time it’s released (reading and reviewing this in September 2021).

At the very least, some exciting chemistry or sizzle could’ve taken the edge off but honestly.. there wasn’t much of that, either. Another thing that did not standout.

If the aforementioned tropes, along with the secret mentioned in the summary (which, though is very early on addressed, I won’t mention due to spoilers), do it for you, I think you’ll enjoy. But I think this is the last Kennedy I’ll request to review; I might still pick up the author if something appeals but I have a feeling I may have outgrown her.

** I received an ARC from NetGalley and the publisher (thank you!) in exchange for an honest review. **

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