Title: She’s Too Pretty to Burn
Author: Wendy Heard
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
Publication date: March 30th, 2021
An electric romance set against a rebel art scene sparks lethal danger for two girls in this expertly plotted YA thriller. For fans of E. Lockhart, Lauren Oliver and Kara Thomas.
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.
Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.
Veronica and Nico are artists and best friends. Veronica aspires to be a famous photographer, Nico creates sculptures and political art a la Banksy to stand up for injustices. Enter Mick, a lonely, neglected young woman who wants nothing more than to belong and to hide in the background. Veronica falls for Mick, and Mick gets sucked into Nico’s art web. Soon enough, bodies are turning up around Nico’s art installation and Veronica and Mick must figure out what is happening before they are found next.
She’s Too Pretty to Burn started off slow for me, but got very thrilling by the end. I wasn’t in love with any of the characters, but they all served an important purpose and had strengths and weaknesses – no perfect characters in this book. The psychological aspect of this book was well hidden for a large portion before springing to live and sucking you in.
I haven’t read The Picture of Dorian Gray, which this book is inspired by, so I can’t speak to how closely or not it resembles Dorian Gray – but even not knowing the original work, I feel She’s Too Pretty to Burn stands on it’s own. I would have liked more background into Mick’s family life, I feel like it’s a thread that isn’t really pursued especially towards the end. But other than that, I don’t have critiques for this book.
If you find yourself in the mood for a YA thriller with art, stalking, and unreliable characters – sign up for this one quickly!
Thank you to Netgalley and Henry Holt and Co (BYR) for an early copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Happy reading, folks!