Review: She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

51591602

Goodreads | Waterstones

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

It’s been almost a week since I read this book and I still don’t quite know what to make of it. It terrified me to my very core. But I also kind of loved it.

This is one of those books that I would never go into lightly and I would struggle to recommend to others because of the amount of graphic content. But on the other hand, I loved a lot about it and I do really want to recommend. Although this book starts off quite innocent and has a very contemporary romance feel, it gets very dark as the book goes on. I also listened to the audiobook for most of my reading experience, and I felt so immersed in the experience it spooked me even more. There is a certain narrator that appeared very close to the end, and hearing their voice for the first time honestly shocked me to my core. The fact that the audiobook has a whole cast also made it feel very well done.

Why are you apologizing when you didn’t do anything wrong? 

This is completely and utterly a psychological thriller and there is a real mixture of art, danger, power and a twisted kind of romance. I did struggle to like the main characters at some points, but their actions definitely play into the whole idea and plot of the story and what happens to them throughout. It also lives up to it’s ‘sexy, psychological thriller’ tagline in the beautiful writing and provocative and sometimes hypnotic plot. I felt so glued to this book towards the end that I just had to finish it. It is one of those books you have to shake yourself back into the real world after putting it down because it just sucks you in completely.

I really loved the characters and relationships in this book. They all felt like real, troubled and flawed characters who learn slowly to rely on and support one another. Although their relationships were far from perfect, I softened for them over and over again. I particularly loved Veronica and her darkroom obsession, and it made me miss my darkroom! I completely understood her fascination with photography and I feel like this is a story art students will relate to.

That’s something we teach girls to do—always apologize, never be a burden. You have a right to take up space.

Overall, this was an emotional rollercoaster and a terrifying ride, but there is a lot to love about it. I felt utterly entranced by this story, but it’s not something I would recommend to everyone. Tread carefully if you’re considering picking it up, but if you do you won’t want to put it down!

Content warnings: animal death, car accident, child death, death, emotional abuse, kidnapping, panic attacks/disorders, murder, and violence, implied sexual assault, drowning

★★★★
4 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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One thought on “Review: She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

  1. Pingback: September Wrap-Up – The Books are Everywhere

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