I am totally reeling after reading Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James. This fast-paced psychological thriller is intense, but I loved every moment of it.
17-year old Katherine Patterson has suffered a terrible tragedy. (I won’t share it here because, although I had some idea of what happened prior to reading this novel and some reviews give it away, unraveling all the details of Katherine’s past is one of the most suspenseful aspects of this novel.) But, Katherine has moved to the city to start a new life. Her many attempts at remaining alone and aloof are easily squashed by the beautiful, exciting Alice, who wants to be her friend. Katherine, who has spent a long time being sad and avoiding any traces of her old party-girl lifestyle, is easily persuaded to take up Alice’s fun and relaxed ways. But is Alice really as carefree as she seems, or does her beautiful exterior only hide terrible secrets?
This book is so many things at once–thrilling, seductive, touching, intriguing, scary. Told in alternating settings of past present and future, readers of this novel won’t be able to help but wonder if Katherine will ever overcome the tragedies of her past or if she is destined to end up far worse off. This novel will hook you from the opening page and keep you guessing throughout. I couldn’t put it down.
This book was published for adults by Random House, under the Bantam imprint. When it was promoted at the Random House Fall Preview for adult titles, it was mentioned that it would also appeal to young adults. Upon reading it, I found that it would definitely be appropriate and appealing to the young adult reader. The underlying path of the story finds the 17-year old protagonist coming to terms with what it means to grow up. I would recommend this to a certain type of young adult reader. However, I will warn those of you reading this review that the novel is quite dark.
I was prepared to tell you to look for it on August 31st , as that’s what my advance copy claims it’s release date to be. However, upon doing a little further research, it turns out that this book was actually released last week. Lucky you! You should really go out and get yourself a copy.