Book Review: Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James

Author: Rebecca Jamesbeautiful malice

Publisher: Bantam

Pages: 272

Beautiful Malice

Summary: Beautiful Malice unfolds a haunting story in which people, motives, and circumstances are never what they seem.

Who is Katherine Patterson? It is a question she hopes no one can answer. To erase her past, Katherine has moved to a new city, enrolled in a new school, and even changed her name. She’s done the next best thing to disappearing altogether. Now, wary and alone, she seeks nothing more than anonymity. What she finds instead is the last thing she expected: a friend.

Even more unlikely, Katherine’s new friend is the most popular and magnetic girl in school. Extroverted, gorgeous, flirtatious, and unpredictable, she is everything that Katherine is not and doesn’t want to be: the center of attention. Yet Alice’s enthusiasm is infectious, her candor sometimes unsettling, and Katherine, in spite of her guarded caution, finds herself drawn into Alice’s private circle.

But Alice has secrets, too—darker than anyone can begin to imagine. And when she lets her guard down at last, Katherine discovers the darkest of them all. For there will be no escaping the past for Katherine Patterson—only a descent into a trap far more sinister . . . and infinitely more seductive.


I didn’t recognize the book by its cover, but I had read Beautiful Malice before. I was about halfway through the book before I realized that the story was familiar. Even still, I had no idea what Katherine’s or Alice’s secret was. Rebecca James drops hints throughout the story, but they are given so slowly that I didn’t pick up on them.

The story is told in three tenses; what happened in the past interrupts what is happening in the present. There are flashbacks and what seem like flash-forwards. In that way, the story is disjointed. Each time the story went back or forth, I had to reorient myself.

I thought Alice was crazy but I didn’t realize just how crazy until the end. The other characters weren’t fleshed out well. I can’t believe I  actually read this book twice.

My rating: 2 out of 5 stars.



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