Beautiful Bad

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Beautiful Bad goes for the shock value mimicking the twists other books have done better.

Maddie needs a therapist. She is having issues with anxiety as well as the fallout after a major physical trauma. She relates to her therapist about losing her best friend years ago and the issues with her husband and her profound fear for her son. It’s time to do something, but what?

Beautiful Bad focuses on three perspectives: a cop the day of a murder, Maddie as she gets therapy and Maddie telling her past. The first two perspectives are intriguing pushing me to want to know more. The past though is uninspired and takes me out of the pacing of the first two perspectives. These chapters are painfully boring; we get it, Ian is crazy, Maddie is a bad friend and lets Ian run her life. Too much time is spent in the past than what is actually going on in the plot.

By the time we get to the present and the twist, I am uninterested in the characters other than Jo.  I didn’t predict the twist but I wasn’t surprised at all; I’ve seen similar plots written better.

The book tries to play with the idea of head trauma and how it changes personalities, but the novel spends so little time on it, that it’s really just an excuse instead of thoughtful insight.

Here’s what I liked about the book: I loved the therapist sections. I love the writing therapy; Annie Ward put a lot of effort into that making both scenarios that are playing out fit in the story. These sections were beautifully done and this is what kept me compelled to know what would happen. Ward has a lot of potentials and looks forward to seeing how her work grows.

Sometimes riveting, sometimes boring Beautiful Bad is an uneven novel of suspense.

 

Publication Date: March 5

I received an ARC from the publisher; all opinions are my own.