Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan – Book Review

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan – Book Review

Perfectly Preventable Deaths by Deirdre Sullivan

Perfectly Preventable Deaths

Author – Deirdre Sullivan
Publisher – Hot Key Books
Pages – 368
Released – 30th May 2019
ISBN-13 – 978-1471408236
Format – ebook, paperback, audio
Reviewer – Stacey
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
This post contains affiliate links.


Sixteen-year-old twins Madeline and Catlin move to a new life in Ballyfrann, a strange isolated Irish town, a place where the earth is littered with small corpses and unspoken truths.

A place where, for generations, teenage girls have gone missing in the surrounding mountains. As distance grows between the twins – as Catlin falls in love, and Madeline begins to understand her own nascent witchcraft – Madeline discovers that Ballyfrann is a place full of predators. And when Catlin falls into the gravest danger of all, Madeline must ask herself who she really is, and who she wants to be – or rather, who she might have to become to save her sister.

Review 2017

Madeline and Catlin are teenage twins and have just moved across the country to a place called Ballyfrann, Ireland, to live with their mum and her new husband Brian who just happens to live in a castle. His ‘aunt’, Mamo, also lives in the castle in her own section. She is a strange lady who has visitors coming and going all day long and is at one with nature and uses herbs for ailments. You are never quite sure if she is just eccentric of there is something more sinister about her.

Ballyfrann is a town surrounded by mountains where over the last sixty years teenage girls have gone missing. There is something in the air in this mysterious little village where everyone knows everyone and everyone seems to be keeping secrets.

Told from Madeline’s POV we witness this young girl trying to come to terms with who she really is. Not only as she seems to possess some kind of inner magic which she feels like an itch inside of her, but also sexually as she is trying to understand her attraction to females.

Catlin was a very self-centred young girl. She definitely had a ‘me, me, me’ attitude, even her own mother says she behaves like a princess – a needy one at that! She is determined to find herself a boy in Ballyfrann and it’s not long before older Lon takes a fancy to her and the two have this lust for one another.

Whilst I expected the book to have a more supernatural element to it, I did enjoy the plot and how it mainly revolved around these two girls. It felt a little like a book about teenage self-discovery with some raw earthly magic thrown in. Don’t get me wrong, the book does get darker and more sinister the further you read but I still wanted a little more.

Overall it really is a spellbinding book. You’re never quite sure what is going to happen next. Ballyfrann comes across as a town with a hidden identity, one that Madeline is trying to solve. The pace is quite slow, but it works for this book. On a side note, I also want to add that I love the chapter titles too, they fit the story perfectly.

Book Reviewer – Stacey

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About the Author

Deirdre Sullivan

Deirdre Sullivan is a writer from Galway. Her books include Prim Improper, Improper Order and Primperfect, which was the first YA novel ever to be shortlisted for the European Prize for Literature.

Her 2016 novel Needlework was awarded a White Raven and the CBI Honour Award for fiction. Deirdre’s book, Tangleweed and Brine, a collection of dark fairy-tale retellings, won an Irish Book Award for Best Young Adult Book of the Year 2017. Deirdre loves reading, knitting, bodily autonomy and guinea-pigs.

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18 Responses

  1. Emma Mane says:

    I love the cover. I’m adding this one to my reading collection. Nice review.

  2. Finitha Jose says:

    You had me at the cover

  3. DJ Sakata says:

    I am loving the sound of this one

  4. Lixq says:

    ??I’m loving the sound of this.

  5. Nadene @totallyaddictedtoreading says:

    Nice cover and the story sounds good.

  6. Ashleigh says:

    Great review sounds interesting

  7. Oohhh my gosh, that cover is lovely.

  8. Ooo this sound like such a me book and I’m digging that cover so much!!!

  9. Allie Bock says:

    I love the cover too. This sounds like a great read!