YA Review: Gorgeous Gruesome Faces

Title: Gorgeous Gruesome Faces
Author: Linda Cheng

YA Review: Gorgeous Gruesome Faces

Confession time: I love ‘behind the scenes in the music business’ stories. Think Daisy Jones and the Six, Coyote Ugly, Espedair Street or Almost Famous. I even loved Julie and the Phantoms. I don’t know what it is about catching a glimpse behind the curtain at the off-stage antics and work ethic of band members, but I’m hooked.

So how could I resist Gorgeous Gruesome Faces, which promised dark secrets, female rivalries, personality clashes, and the gruelling selection process for a K-Pop band? Sign me up!

And the book delivered. From the flashbacks to narrator Sunny’s former band, a disastrous love triangle and the death of a band-mate, to the competition to become part of a new K-Pop sensation, everything I was looking for was there, and I couldn’t stop turning the pages.

What I wasn’t expecting was the dark twist, and the genuinely unsettling psychological horror of the present-day storyline. This element of the story builds slowly, with flashbacks introducing the theme, and gradually creeps into the narrator’s experiences as she works to win her place in the band. I’m not usually a horror fan, but this had me gasping, turning pages late into the night, and desperately trying to work out what was going on.

The high-stakes, life-changing competition and the clever psychological storyline work so well together, and I couldn’t put the book down. Interesting characters, burning rivalries, and deadly mistakes come together to produce an un-put-downable novel. The end was not the resolution I had been expecting when I opened the book, but it is definitely a satisfying ending for the narrator. Recommended if you’re looking for a dark twist on the K-Pop celebrity dream.

Have you read Gorgeous Gruesome Faces? What did you think of Sunny’s story? Did you guess what was happening? Click through to the full blog to access the comments section, and share your thoughts! No spoilers, though – you can post those on GoodReads!

YA review: Gorgeous Gruesome Faces cross-posted to GoodReads.

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