Monday, May 31, 2010

Book Review: Beautiful Malice

So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?

Following a terrible tragedy that leaves her once-perfect family shattered, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.

But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.

But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.

And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice - she doesn’t like being cast off.


Cover Inspection:
Isn't it mysterious and lovely? The lavender eye really drew me in.

First Thoughts:


My Review
I will honestly say that the premise of the story itself is fantastic. I was drawn in by the realism that was put forth in the first few pages of the book. Following Katherine through her grief after the death of her sister felt real enough. The unexpected twists and turns also do a great job of keeping the reader involved. The way that the timeline jumps back and forth from past to present was intriguing and kept me reading on. Unfortunately the plot was very slow in the beginning, and that kind of put me off.

The characters in this story just felt flat to me. One-dimensional. I never really felt invested in any of them, and I was sad that I didn't feel more emotional when bad things happened. Quite the contrary, I was happy when these things happened because it caused the story to speed ahead. Katherine (Katie) Patterson (Boydell) just never struck me as someone who I wanted to connect with. To be completely honest, I was frustrated by Katherine's inability to cope. Yes, I know she is young in this book. I understood that. However the initial sympathy I felt for her was soon replaced by annoyance. I loved Robbie, but I kept wishing he didn't act like such a door mat. In fact, the one character I felt the most for in this story was Alice. Despite her evil exterior, I think she was probably the most well-written character.

Final thoughts? I really wish I could have connected with this book more. There was so much potential for it to be a great story, and I was saddened that it fell a bit flat. I can say that it reminded me of another book I read not too long ago called God-Shaped Hole. If you've read Beautiful Malice and enjoyed it, try God-Shaped Hole as well! It's a bit more graphic at times, as it is an adult novel, but it's really well written and very touching.

Book Details
Title: Beautiful Malice
Author: Rebecca James
Publisher: Bantam Books
Pages: Hardcover; 272
Source: Traveling ARC Tours

Final Rating:3 Keys to My Heart
[+/-] Click to see rating.


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