Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Review: Beautiful Malice

Synopsis: 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.

My Review:  I received this book from Traveling ARC Tours, and like the horrible procrastinator I am didn't really sit down and read it until last night because I have to mail it today.  :P  I know, I know. Shame on me.  Once I got into  it a bit, I could not put it down.

At first I had a bit of a difficulty getting into the book.  Alice comes into the story so fast and with so little explanation that it left me a bit confused.  It surprised me how outwardly friendly Alice was to Katherine, even though she didn't even know her.  If some girl I barely even knew came up to me and invited me to her party and wanted to hang out with me I don't really know what I would do, but I don't think I'd just go along with it so easily.   Alice flatters Katherine with attention so much that Katherine can't help but feel liked.  She is so lonely, and so determined to make sure that she never experiences happiness that Alice is like a second wind.  Though it may seem that Alice is full of life and happy to share it, she is the epitome of being egocentric. In truth Alice only cares about one thing, and one thing only.  Herself.

I can honestly say I have never been more disgusted by any character more so than I was with Alice.  I can't rage about the things she does because it would ruin the book, but just grr!!!  Psycho biotch is an apt description.  What she puts her friends through is vile, disgusting, and just plain cruel.

Katherine was a very complex character.  She feels responsible for her sister's death and feels that she cannot be happy because it would be an insult to the life her sister lost.  It was a struggle having to read through her grief.  And even more of a struggle not being able to shake some sense into her when she falls so easily for Alice's offers of friendship.  The novel goes back and forth from Katherine's past, present, and future.  At first it was a tad confusing because there are no indicators besides the names and events that change.  After I got used to it I realized how important it was to the novel.  The time skips truly show how much Katherine has changed, for the better and worse.  You are able to clearly see how far Katherine has really come in accepting her sister's death and being able to live her life without the constant weight of guilt.

I have to say that I really connected with Katherine's character.  Not because we are similar by any means, but emotionally.  I felt her grief, her disgust, her love and ultimately her joy.  I felt everything she felt and that is truly a rare occurrence for me.    Beautiful Malice was truly an emotional roller coaster.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone.  I laughed, cried, and raged throughout the course of the story and it is probably one of the most touching books I've read.  Truly beautiful.


Unknown said...

Sounds like an amazing read. I love books where you get so into it and when it comes down to it, only the truly great books make you want to strangle a fictional character. Can't wait to read this one now!