Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

The temperature outside is going down {bit by slowly, glacier-moving bit}, and I thought that it would be a good time to mention the book that kept me cold through those hot, hot {HOT} nights.

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Title: Her Pretty Face {352 pages}

Genre: Mystery

Publication Date: July 10, 2018

Summary:

Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.

A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunick. And she’s a murderer.

Review:

Man, poor Frances. Her son is her main job, and sometimes she just does not have the patience for her job anymore. Marcus is accepted into Forrester Academy, where he is bullied and promptly gets revenge on his bullies…except it leads to him being completely ostracized by the entire Forrester student – and parent – body. Frances feels the cold shoulders, too, until Kate Randolph walks into her life, taking Frances under her wing and shunning the cool mommies. Frances and Kate develop the kind of friendship that borders on dependency, But when new information  comes to light, both women know that their friendship will never be the same.

This book is told through three different voices: Frances, Kate’s teenage daughter Daisy, and DJ, a boy from the past who lives through his sister’s torture and murder by an older man and his girlfriend, Amber Kunik. In the flashback scenes, DJ weaves the story of his family: how they must sit through the trial and listen to Amber play the jury; how DJ wants to believe Amber, but knows that he can’t; how his family falls apart as Amber goes to jail and then gets out, only to marry her lawyer and continue to play America’s Sweetheart. When we jump into the future, we see Frances’s fragile life, and we learn about Daisy’s resentment for a mother who does not seem to love her. It’s the kind of resentment that drives Daisy to try dangerous stunts: drinking, drugs, going to a strange older man’s apartment by herself.

Yeah, I may have yelled at Daisy one or two or a million times.

Family drama, in the hands of Robyn Harding, is truly something to behold. She takes the mundane – like a party, like a friendship – and turns it completely on its head. Those little secrets and lies that have been stored up through the years? Yeah, none of those are safe. The look that your friend gave you when she was angry, that look that sparked her entire face? Yeah, that wasn’t just because she was angry; she’s probably a sociopath, too. Even though I had an inkling of who Amber Kunik was, I still had to learn the secret about the other woman and why she was so terrified to reveal all to her friends and her family.

And you thought you had problems with your life.

I think the only thing that bothered me about Her Pretty Face was David. He was…kind of random. Maybe I’m just angry at myself for thinking that David was someone else the entire novel, and then when it turned out he wasn’t who I thought…Well, I felt tricked. But isn’t that the sign of a good mystery? People aren’t always who they seem to be? Sure, but I’m allowed to be angry because David wasn’t who I wanted him to be. It didn’t make the book any less great and it didn’t make me want to throw the book {in this case, Kindle} against the wall {thank goodness}. But I am going to plan a reread soon to see if it makes more sense to me.

Lucky everyone, because this book is out today and now you can go read it and get the same chills that I did . And if you don’t get those chills, well, maybe you share some traits with Amber Kunik.

Just saying.

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