Kendall used to be a good girl.
That was before the entire senior class discovered her hooking up with her best friend’s ex. And before became an instant pariah, and vowed to keep her head down until she escaped her small Brooklyn private school for good.
But no such luck: She discovers her online identity has been hacked and she’s being framed for stealing a drug dealer’s stash. If she wants to repair her tattered reputation and save her neck, she’ll have to pretend to a be the bad girl everyone thinks she is. And the longer she plays the role of bad girl, the more it seems to fit.
Friends and enemies, detectives and drug dealers—no one is who they appear to be. Least of all Kendall.
On sale from Abrams / Amulet May 15, 2018
“After getting caught with her best friend’s ex-boyfriend, Grant Powers, 17-year-old Kendall Evans starts her senior year at Brooklyn’s private Howell Preparatory School branded as a “slut.” Her best friend, Audrey Khalil, won’t speak to her, while Grant is unscathed by the scandal. Kendall plans to keep her head down until she can escape to Rice University’s accelerated astrophysics senior semester program, but she’s wrongly accused of stealing “doses” from drug dealer Mason Frye. With help from fellow outcast Simone Moody and theater geek Michael “Gilly” Gilbert, Kendall sets out to clear her name and discovers that her inner “bad girl” may not be so bad after all. Kaplan’s sharply written, twisty thriller, narrated by the savvy Kendall, deftly explores the shades of gray between “good” and “bad” and the freedom of self-acceptance and shines a light on issues such as rape culture, bullying, and enduring sexual double standards. This love letter to any girl who’s ever been labeled “bad” will enthrall readers.” - Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly
"Kaplan cleverly addresses sexuality, gender bias, identity, and rape culture in this page turner that is classic YA mystery with an undercurrent of sex-positive feminism." - School Library Journal
"Genuine high school drama, painfully inspiring for the #MeToo age." - Kirkus Reviews
"An intriguing look at feminism in American culture and the price we pay for our reputations." - Booklist
"An exploration of double standards, rape, petty revenge, and even lax parenting as Kendall faces danger to bring down the despicable dealer who tries to convince her that she is just as amoral as he, simply because she doesn’t behave as girls are supposed to." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
“Maxine Kaplan is smashing the patriarchy in her badass new novel, The Accidental Bad Girl....In form, The Accidental Bad Girl is your typical female-first-person contemporary. It’s fast-paced, fun, and has all the tenants of a good contemporary: a little bit of swoon, the formation of an awesome new friendship, familial ups and downs. But what makes this book surprising is its darkness and heavy subject matter. Maxine Kaplan is a private investigator (how cool is that?!), so the unexpected noir aspects of this book have a serious authenticity. This is a book that manages to give you both the things you love about contemporaries but also turns tropes on their heads, for a refreshing spin that will keep surprising you until the final pages.” - Forever Young Adult
“THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL has a tone and mood unlike any YA book I have ever read. The plot felt almost eerie with such suspense and darkness. Kendall’s involvement with criminals only further enhanced the feeling of dread that this novel always left me with before I picked it up again. It may not be a book that I read in one sitting, but it is one where you feel you need to theorize who betrayed who and what is coming next. I truly enjoyed the unpredictability and unique overall feeling that it offers. Kaplan wrote characters who are unexpected, stubborn and incredibly flawed. Kendall’s journey is full of not just intrigue but self-discovery and life lessons. A variety of plot elements are woven together to make readers think about the story long after finishing it. I would recommend THE ACCIDENTAL BAD GIRL to readers who love mystery and suspense, as well as those who enjoy complexity and incredible character development. This novel is bound to make readers curious while taking something away at the end. Overall, Kaplan’s debut is perfect for readers who love a blend of contemporary genres and seek a riveting plot and setting.” - TeenReads.com