Review: Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

'Truth or dare?' She asks.
I hesitate. 'Truth,' I say finally. 'I can imagine one of your dares, and I don't fancy running down Oxford Street naked tonight.'
'Truth,' Alice says slowly, drawing out the vowel sound as if she's savouring the word. 'Are you sure? Are you sure you can be completely honest?'
'I think so. Try me.'
'Okay.' And then she looks at me curiously. '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?'

Katherine has moved away from her shattered family to start afresh in Sydney. There she keeps her head down until she is befriended by the charismatic, party-loving Alice, who brings her out of her shell. But there is a dark side to Alice, something seductive yet threatening. And as Katherine learns the truth about Alice, their tangled destinies spiral to an explosive and devastating finale. 


I have been wanting to read this novel for ages. I'd first heard about James on ACA when they interviewed her about her success. Lines like "the next JK Rowling" and "international sensation" were thrown out quite a bit. 

My friend read this a while ago and said it really was amazing. That the fuss around this book wasn't just to pump up releases. And then I found it at KMart and it was ten bucks and I thought, 'why the hell not?'

Which brings me to my review.

I honestly did love the writing (though I have to admit the cover is the best thing--the Aus version is gorgeous!). Though I wish that there had been some sort of indication between time changes (we have present, in the future and in the past story all--and they're all in present tense except for a few chapter which surprisingly had past tense. Very confusing.). 

I really did like Katherine. She was down to Earth and once you got passed her emotional wreckage, she was a great narrator. I sincerely loved Robbie and Mick. 

And then there's Alice.

To me, Alice was the leading character in the novel. She was developed and she was the bitch (excuse the language) that turned Katherine's life upside down. She was nasty, sometimes caring and just plain wicked. Everything is explained by the end of the novel and all you think at the end is, "what the Hell?"

While it wasn't the international bestseller I was expecting, Beautiful Malice was an incredible read and I'm sorry I hadn't read it sooner.

Rating: 4 stars
Date Read: June 2011
Date Published: May 1st 2010
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Format: paperback
Source: bought
Stand Alone


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