Miranda @ Bibliodaze

I'm an awesome 24 y/o reader and writer of YA fantasy/historical fantasy. I mainly write about awesome ladies and the people who love them. I work at a library and I'm a contributing reviewer to Bibliodaze.

Beautiful Malice

Beautiful Malice - Rebecca  James I’m not quite sure where to start off with this, though I suppose I should say I did like this book. It kept me entertained for a few hours and, while I guessed the main motivation behind Alice’s actions early on, it kept me interested in the characters and how things would turn out. The main thing that kept me from really loving the book, though, was how frankly stupid Katherine wound up being. While Alice does start off seemingly nice and friendly, things quickly take a nose dive and Katherine should have realized, hey, maybe I should get away from her. She’s clearly not safe to be around and she has no issue bringing up painful, traumatic memories to mock me with, so why stick around? I think the intention was to make Katherine seem like the kind of person always willing to forgive and try to move on, but it just came across as stupidity instead. There’s also the fact that, as I said earlier, I guessed the reason why Alice decided to suddenly befriend Katherine, and it’s made very obvious in the beginning that Alice knows more about Katherine then she’s letting on. But Katherine willingly pushes it away and ignores it because Alice brings some normality back into her life, for a little while. Katherine was honestly a frustrating protagonist--while I could sympathize with her, at times I just wanted to shake her and say, “HOW ARE YOU NOT SEEING THIS IT IS RIGHT IN FRONT OF YOU.” Katherine comes across as very one dimensional next to Alice, who is rather intriguing in a horrifying sort of way. For most of the book I was more interested in Alice than I was Katherine, which I don’t think was the intention of the book. The first few chapters were hard to get into, but in hindsight I think they work. Katherine is depressed and the writing reflects that; the first few chapters are choppy with the writing being a bit jumbled, but as Katherine moves on and gets better, the chapters become longer and better written. It’s a neat style, really, and it helps add believability to Katherine’s development. In the beginning it definitely felt very creepy, like there was a storm just waiting to happen, while Alice and Katherine became friends. The pacing isn’t particularly fast or slow, just sort of medium, and while it is annoying at times, it generally works in the book’s favor. There were parts of the book that annoyed me, however. Mostly Alice and Robbie’s relationship, where it’s written to be that Robbie keeps coming back to Alice because she’s like a drug, and that he can leave any time he wants but he just chooses not to. Alice was heavily abusive towards Robbie, emotionally, verbally and mentally, but that’s not ever brought up. Instead he’s just seen as weak because he can’t just walk out. He’s a victim, of course it’s not going to be easy for him to walk out. There’s also a scene where Alice meets up with an ex-boyfriend while he’s out on a date with another girl, and she begins to rub her hand on his crotch under the table in a restaurant. Katherine mentions Alice humiliating her, Robbie and Phillipa (the date), but not Ben, the one being molested in a crowded public place where he can’t easily stop her. In fact the text is actively hostile to Ben, with Phillipa saying he’s a creep and she could care less about him, and Katherine being neutral but not overly fond of him either. There were a lot of Unfortunate Implications in this book, really, which is probably a big reason as to why I didn’t outright love it. Overall I liked Beautiful Malice but it wasn’t the greatest novel I’ve ever read. It was good for a few hours of entertainment, and while I did like some of it, other things kept it from being a great novel for me.

Currently reading

A Feast for Crows
George R.R. Martin
Where the Girls Are: Growing Up Female with the Mass Media
Susan J. Douglas
The Winter Rose
Jennifer Donnelly
Progress: 259/720 pages