So. Were you glad, deep down? Were you glad to be rid of her? Your perfect sister? Were you secretly glad when she was killed?
Following a horrific tragedy that leaves her once perfect family devastated, Katherine Patterson moves to a new city, starts at a new school, and looks forward to a new life of quiet anonymity.
But when Katherine meets the gregarious and beautiful Alice Parrie her resolution to live a solitary life becomes difficult. Katherine is unable resist the flattering attention that Alice pays her and is so charmed by Alice’s contagious enthusiasm that the two girls soon become firm friends. Alice’s joie de vivre is transformative; it helps Katherine forget her painful past and slowly, tentatively, Katherine allows herself to start enjoying life again.
But being friends with Alice is complicated – and as Katherine gets to know her better she discovers that although Alice can be charming and generous she can also be selfish and egocentric. Sometimes, even, Alice is cruel.
And when Katherine starts to wonder if Alice is really the kind of person she wants as a friend, she discovers something else about Alice – she doesn’t like being cast off.
Shocking and utterly absorbing, Rebecca James’s strong narrative will grip readers from the very first page. BEAUTIFUL MALICE has become a publishing phenomenon, sparking numerous auctions worldwide, selling to 27 countries, and launching a previously unknown writer into the centre of the international book market.
Review From Booklist (Beautiful Malice Ebook)
Australian author James’ U.S. debut speaks directly to older teens and twenty somethings. Katherine, a self-imposed outsider who narrates her own story, may be wrapped in guilt following the tragic death of her sister, but she is still recognizably 17—longing for friendship and fun, searching for love, committment, and sex. When charismatic classmate Alice befriends her, emotional baggage and all, she is surprised and enormously grateful. But as her self-confidence returns and she finds other friends and a sweet, gentle boyfriend, she begins to see her best friend in fresh light—and starts wondering if Alice is really a friend at all. A nail-biting thriller this isn’t, and wouldn’t be if the title wasn’t an unfortunate giveaway. But the novel will be an easy sell as a beach book, and it’s not hard to picture readers sympathizing with Katherine’s deep-rooted need to make sense of the past and find satisfaction in the person she has become. — Stephanie Zvirin