“She was made to be photographed by me. I was made to photograph her.”
One Sentence Summary: Mick has deep-seated anxiety around being photographed, and when she falls for a photographer with a Banksy-like artist friend, her whole world falls apart.
POV & Tense: Multi-POV, present & past tense
Mood: Summery, dangerous
Themes: Photography, fame, art, power, the environment, drowning/water
Romance: Strangers to lovers
Rep: Sapphic main character, Latinx sapphic main character
Content Warnings: Arson, murder, toxic relationships
This book is for you if: you like fast-paced thrillers and art.
I’m not usually a big reader of thrillers, so She’s Too Pretty to Burn was a w i l d e ride. Pitched as a contemporary work inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray that “explores intersections of love, art, power, and violence,” I promise you won’t be bored throughout this whirlwind of a novel. Instead of trying to summarize the plot, I’ll leave you with the Goodreads summary:
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 the summer they won't survive.
Between Heard’s immersive writing style, the vivid atmosphere, and the shocking events that happen one after the other, I was immediately drawn into this world and desperate to see what would end up of the main characters. Southern California vibes radiate off the pages while maintaining a dark and dangerous air. I was completely shocked by the last half of the book, and honestly, I still find myself thinking about this book weeks after reading the last page. She’s Too Pretty to Burn was made for the screen with all of the intensity and descriptions of art installations, photos, and dark rooms.
Thank you to NetGalley and Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group for providing a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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