Menacing, intense and thrilling… Beautiful Malice is the chilling book written by Rebecca James.
When Katherine’s sister is violently murdered, Katherine moves away from her grief-stricken family to start again. Katherine moves to a new town, enrols in a new school, and tries to have a new life. All Katherine wants is to move on from her past. What better than a new friend to help her regain her life?
Katherine’s new friend Alice is the most popular and magnetic girl in the school. She’s flirtatious, confident, unpredictable and always the centre of attention: Alice is everything Katherine is not and doesn’t want to be. But in spite of her hesitancy, Katherine finds herself drawn into Alice’s life.
But Alice has dark and sinister secrets. Her fun and outgoing personality is only a façade and beneath it, Alice keeps her dark secrets hidden. As Katherine and Alice spend more time together, Katherine begins to see who Alice really is… and there’s no escaping this time.
I had expected this book to be a lot different to what it actually was. I hadn’t heard much about this book before I read it, so I don’t know where my ideas that this book was going to be chilling and menacing came from. Perhaps it was the front cover. The thing that stood out to me from when I first saw this book was the shards of glass. Is it just me, or are shards of glass actually really scary? There’s a woman behind the glass and she’s wearing red lipstick and is almost touching a shard of glass. The red lipstick could echo how she feels about blood. Do I have to mention again that she’s almost touching a shard of glass? That’s creepy. I wouldn’t trust a person who willingly touches shards of glass. Okay, enough talk about shards of glass… it’s creeping me out. Then there’s the blurb. On the blurb, there is an excerpt of the book. In my opinion, this part of the book is one of the best parts of the entire novel.
I was expecting the whole book to be as menacing. For the most part, this book kept me glued to the pages because I wanted to know what was going to happen and what had happened in the past. I had to wait almost the entire book to find out what had happened to Katherine’s sister and how the chapters with Katherine and her child tied into the storyline. But when I found out all the information I had been begging to know, it sure was worth it. The last third of the book was definitely the best part. Everything came together nicely and all the questions I had were answered. At times in the beginning of the book, I didn’t feel as grabbed with the story line. That’s partially my fault, because I read into the front cover too much (which I shouldn’t do but always do anyway… Never judge a book by its cover!). However I did enjoy the first part of the book, even though it wasn’t as action-packed as I had expected, because I liked how I got to know each character really well and got a good sense of how their relationships were with one another.
A strong point of this book would definitely be the characters. I loved how each characters personality was so well thought-out and no character was just thrown into the storyline as a “filler” character. My favourite character would have to be Alice. I loved how much I despised her. She could be rude and awful one minute and bubbly and enthusiastic the next. Her quick changes in emotions made me notice that something was strange about her and that she wasn’t quite right in the head. At the start, Alice seemed like the perfect best friend. She seemed to make those around her feel special and needed and was outgoing and confident in every situation. As time progressed, we began to see the real Alice and what she was really like. It only took a split second for her temper to snap and I loved how she made me frightened of her and her mood swings through the pages. The main character, Katherine, was mostly likable. I really like how the story revolves around Katherine’s journey to overcome her past and move on so she can liver her life. I liked how Katherine didn’t just wallow in self-pity, but how she had tried to move on and continued to try. Katherine developed as a character throughout the book and I liked her much more in the end than I did in the beginning. Once I got to know her more and understand her story, I could feel connected in a way to her.
Overall, I quite enjoyed reading this book. I liked most of the book, but the ending was definitely worth the read. I loved how everything finally fit together and I found out everything I wanted to know. Another thing I loved about this book was the writing style. This book was really well written and literally sent shivers down my spine. It was both disturbing and intriguing and even though it was much different to what I had expected, the book was thrilling nonetheless. I really liked reading Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James and I’d give it a score of 8 out of 10. I will definitely be researching what other books Rebecca James has written and then I will hunt them down to read.
Thank you to Allen & Unwin Australia for providing me with this book in exchange for an honest review!