Monday, September 13, 2021

Book Review | The Last Beautiful Girl by Nina Laurin

The Last Beautiful Girl is a young adult horror novel by Nina Laurin.

The Last Beautiful Girl by Nina Laurin

BLACK MIRROR meets Darcy Coates in this exploration of the dangerous, dark side of beauty in the digital age, with a gothic, haunted-house setting.

When Izzy is dragged from Brooklyn to a tiny town for her parents' new job, she's not thrilled. The silver lining is the gorgeous old mansion she's moved into: the former home of an artist's muse who died tragically in a fire. But the house has its quirks: whole floors are closed off, paintings are covered up, and cell reception is nonexistent.

Izzy throws herself into starting an Instagram fashion account using the gowns and jewelry she finds hidden away in the house. She looks perfect in the photos--almost unnaturally perfect--and they quickly go viral. Soon she's got a new best friend, a potential boyfriend, and is surrounded by a group of girls who want the photoshoots and fame for themselves. But there's a darkness in the house, and a darkness growing in Izzy, too. When girls start dying, it's clear that something--or someone--in the house is growing in power, with deadly intentions.

The beginning of The Last Beautiful Girl reminded me so much of Horrid by Katrina Leno. They had a very similar setup of a girl moving to a new school, everyone knowing the history of her house but not telling her what it is, and the weird dynamic with the mom. Unfortunately, I think the similarities pulled me out of The Last Beautiful Girl. I couldn't help but compare.

The Last Beautiful Girl did eventually stand on it's own, and I loved all of the references to The Picture of Dorian Gray.

I feel like this is one of those books that might work for other people where it didn't quite come together for me. There's supposed to be a change in the main character, but I had a hard time rooting for her because I wasn't really a fan of the character to begin with. This is actually true of all of the characters now that I think about it.

The cover of The Last Beautiful Girl is one of my favorites for the year, but the story sadly didn't make it on to my list.

2/5 stars

Review copy provided by publisher


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