Sharon’s review ~ Good Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy

Posted February 1, 2022 by Sharon in Mainstream, New Adult, Reviews, Sharon/Slick / 0 Comments

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Sharon’s review ~ Good Girl Complex by Elle KennedyGood Girl Complex by Elle Kennedy
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on February 1, 2022
Genres: Fiction / Romance / Contemporary, Fiction / Romance / New Adult
Pages: 368
Format: ARC, eBook, Paperback
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3 Stars

Full of romance, hijinks, and longing, Good Girl Complex is Elle Kennedy at her very best.

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. All she 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.

Twenty-year-old Mac has 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.

I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either and despite my feelings on how this story played out, it was well written. ~ Sharon – Simply Love Books


I don’t read a lot of new adult books but I was excited to read Good Girl Complex, the first book in Elle Kennedy’s Avalon Bay series. The first thing I did before reading this book was remind myself that this was new adult and to reset my brain that these were young people still learning about life and love and I had to manage my expectations of how they should act and react. I say this because I’ve learned when I do decide to read a new adult book that these are not fully formed adults with years of experience navigating the world. I felt like this book did a good job of showing the differences between people born in wealth and those that were not, but I also felt like at times the characters were written a bit too stereotypically. The two main characters were developed well, but I wasn’t thrilled that cheating both physical and emotional were a part of this book, I didn’t care for the reason the two main characters got together, but I appreciated that so much that went on is pretty typical of how messy relationships and life can be at the age of these characters. I didn’t love this book, but I didn’t hate it either and despite my feelings on how this story played out, it was well written.

Townie bad boy Cooper and MacKenzie (Mac) meet at a local bar one night but it isn’t by accident. Cooper and his friends hatched a plan to get back at Mac’s boyfriend and she was to be collateral damage, but instead Cooper found that he liked Mac. She challenged him; she argued with him, she made him feel alive. And Cooper, well he made Mac realize just how stifling her life was by following her parent’s expectations as well as those of her boyfriend. I found Mac to be extremely naïve especially given that she owned her own business at 20, haven taken a gap year and just starting her freshman year and a small, exclusive (expensive) college in this coastal town. Cooper had to grow up at a very young age and he and his twin were hell raisers from early on, but it’s evident that Cooper plans to make something of himself and he’s working toward achieving that goal. Both had less than stellar role models in their parents and are honestly just trying to figure their place in the world.

I found Cooper’s friends to almost have a mob mentality when it came to Mac even after they got to know her they still seemed  to want her cast aside and hurt for the sake of some misguided bootleg justice because of that I didn’t find any of them very likeable. Considering Mac went out of her way to help them when she could they still didn’t seem to give a  f*ck about her which IMHO is just plain sad and mean.

Both characters grew throughout this story, navigating life, a new relationship, parental issues for both, and dealing with the differences in their bank accounts. I felt they did a pretty good job of communicating, until they didn’t which led to the inevitable breakup.

While not my favorite in Elle Kennedy’s body of work, I’m not sorry I read Good Girl Complex. The book actually had good bones, but for me there were too many red flags to completely enjoy it.

3 Stars

About Elle Kennedy

A New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle currently writes for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Posted February 1, 2022 by Sharon in Mainstream, New Adult, Reviews, Sharon/Slick / 0 Comments