6.7.18

review and cover mani: her pretty face

HER PRETTY FACE was bananas with a capital B. I had to stop at one point and hop onto Insta stories to freak out a bit because W-O-W, Robyn Harding did not come to play. Or, actually she did…with reader’s pre-conceived notions about women who commit violent acts. *spindles fingers while cackling*




The back jacket, from Goodreads:

The author of the bestselling novel The Party—lauded as “tense and riveting” by New York Times bestselling author Megan Mirandareturns with a chilling new domestic drama about two women whose deep friendship is threatened by dark, long-buried secrets.

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.

In her masterful follow-up to The Party, Robyn Harding spins a web of lies, deceit, and betrayal, asking the question: Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past? 

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I need to be careful with this review, which is kind of frustrating because I want to SCREAM ABOUT THE AWESOMENESS, but can’t really do that without revealing spoilers. Ugh. Isn’t that the best/worst? I’ve recommended HER PRETTY FACE to several people but nobody’s read it yet and I’m all: I told you about this amazing book last week why the heck haven’t you started already?! Because yes, I am a demanding bookish friend…who has good taste so actually, you’re welcome for the peer pressure. Haha!

 
Cover design by Kelly Vlagh/Faceout Studios

Okay, back to the review that I cannot seem to write without spiraling into a spoiler black hole. 😫🤐 The fundamentals were in full attendance: strong voices, up-market prose with a literary bend, and escalating tension. It was also feminist in the best way because despite popular opinion, women are just as capable of violence as men. So while HER PRETTY FACE had a foot firmly planted in domestic suspense, the last two questions in the back jacket description, “Can people ever change? And even if they can, is it possible to forgive the past?” created the sweet nougat center of this deliciously provocative novel. As a Canadian, I felt a healthy dose of oh no she didn't when I began to suspect one of the sources of Harding’s inspiration, but she did, and it was glorious. 




I honestly can't get over how smart, sharp, bold this book was, friends. SO SMART AND SHARP AND BOLD. That said, I think it’s important to note that I almost stopped reading, early on. One of the narrators didn’t seem authentic and I struggled to connect. I’m extremely happy I kept going, but wanted to include my hesitancy in case others have the same reaction. Trust me. Keep reading. Things settle in. So if you gravitate towards fiction about taboo topics, polarizing characters, and themes that will stay with you long after you’ve finished, HER PRETTY FACE is the book for you! On sale next Tuesday, July 10th, make sure you pick up a copy!


Big thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC!



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For this mani, I used:

OPI – It’s a Boy, Stay Off the Lawn, A Good Man-Darin is Hard to Find, Can't Find My Czechbook, and matte topcoat

China Glaze – UV Meant to Be

FingerPaints – Paper Mâché and Black Expressionism

Julep – Imogen and Kenna

NailsInc - Cornwall Gardens

Glisten and Glow – topcoat

So Nailicious – needle and warrior brushes

Dotting tool