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Publisher's Summary

A whip-smart psychological thriller from the author of Good as Gone (a New York Times Notable Book), in which a grad student becomes embroiled in a deadly rivalry that changes her into someone unrecognizable to her struggling family, her ambitious academic friends, and even herself.

Claire "Mac" Woods - a professor enjoying her newfound hotshot status at an academic conference - finally has the acceptance and admiration she has long craved. But at the conference's hotel bar, Mac is surprised to run into a face from a past she'd rather forget: the moneyed, effortlessly perfect Gwendolyn Whitney, Mac's foil, rival, and former best friend.

When Gwen moved to town in high school, Claire - then known as Mac, a poor kid from a troubled family who had too much on her plate - saw what it meant to have. Money, sophistication, culture, the very blueprints to success. Mac had almost nothing, except the will to change. Change she did, habitually grinding herself to work as hard as straight-A Gwen, even eventually getting admitted into the same elite graduate program as Gwen. But then Mac and Gwen become entangled with the department’s power-couple professors and compete head-to-head for a life-changing fellowship. The more twisted the track toward success becomes, the more Mac has to contort herself to stay one step ahead - which deception signals the point of no return?

Jack-knifing between Mac's world-expanding graduate days and the crucible of the hotel and its unexpected guests, Bad Habits follows Mac's reckoning between her hardscrabble past and tenuous present. What, exactly, did Mac do to get what she has today? And what will she do to keep it? With taut, powerful prose, Amy Gentry asks how far we'll go to get what we want - and whether we can ever truly leave the past behind.

©2021 Amy Gentry (P)2021 Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company

What listeners say about Bad Habits

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Outstanding!

A fiendishly clever plot that never disappoints. Could not put it down. The well developed characters and excellent story make it a very well written book that is also a ton of fun.

6 people found this helpful

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Smart, Sexy, and Surprising - BAD HABITS

BAD HABITS was such sexy, sinful, smart, and surprising fun. I looked forward to every listen and all 10 hours of the audiobook were highly enjoyable. I even listened to the final chapter twice. Highly recommended!!

I've read Amy's other novels of suspense and enjoyed them a lot, but this one is my favorite so far. She has such talent in her depictions of every person, place, and object. It's easy to not only see the world she paints but to feel it as well. It was such a trip, living in Mac's head and I related to so much of what she went through but also felt like I was spying on someone's intimate and fascinating life. Honestly, the novel could have been longer for me - I would have loved to live in Mac's shoes at DHU (her intense grad school program) for even longer.

I've seen some reviews saying "grad school is not like this" - and I think that's what makes this book so especially delicious is that what happens in BAD HABITS is just a slightly heightened version of real-life - and sometimes not even that heightened. It's gratifying to read something that points out just how messed up institutions and "power couples" can be - to draw us into that world and make us feel just as powerless/powerful and confused/hungry as Mac. And then the thriller/suspense ending is so much fun...

Surely there's going to be a sequel - yes??

Also - Rebecca Lowman is a REALLY GOOD reader. She helped to humanize everything while adding an air of mystery and desire with her voice - especially for characters like Bethany.

4 people found this helpful

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Intersting?

First let me say R Lowman was wonderful. The book? Very different. Very juvenile in the fact these brilliant women are preyed on so easily. Still I’d rate it very highly and I’m very glad I read it, even at 1.5 speed. Different and likable. Kinda wishing someone had been pushed right off the roof...

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Weird

Yeah idk what I just listened to, but I’m confused! Love Rebecca Lowman, and that’s all I enjoyed of this story

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Uneventful Drama

NO SPOILERS! The book started off somewhat interesting although extremely slow. Unfortunately, there wasn’t enough going on for me. I like characters that evolve or do things that surprise me. This book had neither. Lots of pontificating and unrealistic situations. The last hour was very confusing. It was more like a drama and not a psychological thriller.

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Worst yet

The narration was excellent but the story was pathetic. Main character was unlikable and really who cares about some petty drama in grad school . This was an imitation of a psychological situation and with no suspense. I listened to the whole thing because the narrator was good and I didn't want to waste my credit. HORRIBLE I listen to at least three books a week and I'm running out of good ones.

1 person found this helpful