Book Hoot #28 Beautiful Malice

Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James was subject to a huge bidding war apparently. I can see why the editors were crazy for it: pacy narrative, likable characters, sad ending. All the elements for a successful YA book, except this one crosses that mythical genre line. It is perfect for an adult read, especially adults who like psychologial thrillers.

I was reading this while waiting for an operation, waiting most of the day as it happens, but the narrative kept me entertained and my mind off my knee. I got it pretty much done before the op, and finished it that night. Such is the captivating power of a good story.

Katherine is trying to escape her horrible past. She meets a charismatic and attractive girl who seems to have not a trouble in the world. Just what Katherine needs. Of course, as anyone who has read or watched one of these kinds of stories before knows, Alice has hidden troubles of her own, and secrets that aren't revealed until the last chapter.

This is a tightly written and interestingly structured story which flips from a more mature and reflective Katherine's point of view, back to chronological time during Katherine's HSC year, and also to the year before when something horrible happens that destroys her family. To say anything more would ruin the carefully built tension and probably the most interesting part of the book.

While I don't like to read stories that represent girls as victims, and yes it goes against my whole kick-ass theme here, along the way in this book are messages for teens about toxic friendships and irresponsible drinking. If some readers are scared out of their wits here, it wouldn't be such a bad thing!

3 and a half H00Ts /Five

Until next time,
Happy tales

Barking Owl

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