Beautiful Malice

…by Rebecca James.

17 year old Katherine Patterson has moved to Sydney to get away from her life in Melbourne. While she lives with her aunt Vivien and attends Drummond High School with the aim of keeping to herself and getting through the HSC, she is befriended by Alice at school. Alice is infectious. An extroverted, bubbly girl living by herself in the inner city, breathtakingly beautiful and with no apparent regrets or anxieties. However, Alice avoids talking about anything emotional. But it doesn’t bother Katherine as she too has a secret she wants to keep hidden. It has to do with the death of her younger sister Rachel. The very reason Katherine left Melbourne and chose not to go to Newcastle with her parents.  However, all is not right with Alice. She can be vicious and mean. She treats her boyfriend Robbie like dirt. She doesn’t like it if things are not all about her.

Will Katherine put up with this or will she see through Alice? 

What is it about Katherine’s past that makes her still feel so guilty?

What happened to her sister Rachel? What is the deep dark family secret?

And what secrets does Alice have herself? 

To find out the secrets, read the book. All in all, it was a captivating thriller and I managed to read it in a day. The author has an engaging style and the plot is pretty interesting. The characters are average in that there isn’t too much depth to them. However, you have to remember it is a book aimed at young adults and possibly the plot is more important than characters. Some of the shit that Alice dishes out to her ‘friends’ makes it a bit hard to understand why they put up with it. Why they put up with her. The book goes from present to past with an adult Katherine narrating the story. The adult Katherine appears to have dealt with a lot of grief through her life and is now living for the sake of her 4 year old daughter. In short, it is a great debut novel.

I would give it a rating of 4.

Until next time,


Note: This has been cross-posted on my personal blog.


One comment on “Beautiful Malice

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