Cover Image: The Last Beautiful Girl

The Last Beautiful Girl

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Member Reviews

This book was a classic reason of why I should read the synopsis before picking something up. Because when I started this, I was expecting a contemporary romance. Not a thriller with paranormal elements. I really enjoyed it, it was just super far from what I was expecting.

My favorite thing about this one was definitely how atmospheric it was. It sucked you right into its world, and wouldn't let you leave. Every single picture Alexa and Isa took was so vibrant in my mind, the descriptions were so bewitching.

Other than that, it's hard to explain why I like this one. Because quite frankly, I disliked the characters. That was obviously intentional, it just makes it hard to talk about. Instead of raving about how much I loved them, or how relatable they were, I'm ranting about how unlikable they were. About how toxic these friendships were. About how delusional these characters were. It was hard to read, but part of why I enjoyed this.

My one complaint might have to be the pacing. The first 250 pages built such a beautiful story, and then the ending almost felt like a let down. It was all so rushed. I wanted to be caught up in it, and instead, it all came together way too quickly. Not a big deal, but just something that kept the book from being a 5 star read

Although this one couldn't have been farther from what I was expected, I really enjoyed it. The beautiful cover caught my eye, but the plot kept me reading.

Thanks to Netgalley for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review!
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Decadent and eerie. Perfect spooky season read! I can understand completely why some people didn't like it, and I do think there were some things that weren't explained too well, some characters that knew more than they maybe should, or appeared out of nowhere. I don't think this book is perfect by any means, but I still really adored itt!!  The MC is relatively unlikeable throughout the whole book, but her development with the stuff that happens to her was perfect to me.  What kept me into the story was the spookiness level, it kept increasing until the end, which was super fast paced and creepy. I definitely recommend it, I hope more people will love it too!!
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As soon as I saw the blurb for this book it went straight on my to-read list. Historical atmospheric setting? Check. A lingering mystery? Check. Something slightly other worldly? Check. Beautiful writing? Check. The ability to suck me in and consume me entirely? Sigh. No. This book has so many elements of what I would consider to make up my most favourite books. Yet this is another book that left me struggling to form a connection with the characters.   And the thing is, I really think it was entirely one of those subjective things. I found it was a book I had to force myself to finish, as opposed to force myself to put down to exist. I suppose in continuing to read it, when I would have other wise put it down, I found myself growing more and more disenchanted with the overall reveal.
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What happens when a Brooklyn teen with big dreams moves to an almost abandoned house in the middle of nowhere upstate? A haunting, perhaps. Izzy is destined to be on Broadway, she knows it, but a job opportunity too good to pass up prompts her parents to move her to the New York countryside, and Izzy's future falls into precarious freefall. The house she moves into is creepy in a Gothic sort of way, and comes with a whole lot of history – and rooms full of gorgeous clothing from its previous inhabitant.

A muse for an artist, Isabella is closer to Izzy than anyone realizes; they share a name, a thirst for attention and approval, and now a home. And maybe something else. . . Izzy starts using Isabella’s possessions as the basis for an Instagram account that quickly goes viral, and Izzy’s thirst for acknowledgement grows exponentially – as something darker grows ever present. The lines between Izzy and Isabella start to blur, until not even her family and closest friends can recognize who is who anymore – but Isabella’s been dead for forever. Right?

A stark examination of fame and what it can do to us, this is a ghost story first and foremost. And a non-subtle one at that. Though clear from the synopsis that something supernatural is at play, Izzy’s narration makes it clearer than ever that this house is haunted, that Isabella is here to stay, and that someone is interfering in her thoughts, actions, and life.

That lack of subtlety is probably this story’s biggest downfall. On more than one occasion, Izzy mentions that it feels like someone is in her head, that she feels as if her emotions belong to someone else. It’s almost as if the author is blaring red lights and screaming “SOMETHING’S NOT RIGHT HERE, DO YOU GET IT?” We do. We very much do.

Even if not for Isabella’s influence, Izzy herself is not a likable character. She’s vain and elitist and wholly overconfident in her own skills – perhaps founded but the conceit is entirely unnecessary. It makes a lot of sense why Isabella is drawn to someone who is so much like her, just under the lens of the 21st century.

I will say I found this one hard to put down, because when the tale unfolds, it does so so quickly that you can’t help but keep turning pages. There are some very smart narration choices that I would be praising if not for the choices that kept me from being fully immersed into the haunting as it happens. But the book never really ends, and the ending it does have moves so fast and furious that you almost wonder if there was enough lead up to support it. Overall, promising and engaging to a point, but not as satisfying as I would have hoped.
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Interesting premise. I thought it would be more of a creepy home type of haunting but honestly after everything started happening I couldn't stand Isa's attitude! I understand where it came from but it really dragged the book down. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for an advanced digital copy in exchange for an honest review.
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I absolutely adored THE LAST BEAUTIFUL GIRL! It was decadent and eerie and I loved the Edwardian house setting! Definitely shouting about this from the rooftops this Spooky Season!
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Izzy is less than thrilled to be moving from New York, where she is the star of the school play and surrounded by friends, to the middle of nowhere.  Where there is barely cell reception, the house is quirky, and the school drama department is lacking finesse.  

When Izzy stumbles upon some old gowns and jewelry she is drawn in to what the house may have to offer and starts an Instagram account featuring the fashion and the mysterious home.  As she gets sucked further and further in, Izzy gains popularity and friends and can't get enough of either.  What started out as fun begins to grow dark and dangerous. 

I actually really enjoyed this book even though I am giving it only 3 stars.  I liked the writing overall and think young adult readers will be engaged in the mystery.  I was left a little wanting at the end.
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This book was muddled and underwhelming. The writing was choppy and the message about social media was confused—like the book wanted to be about the dangers of social media, but its plot had way more to do with theater, so it was hard to see why social media was really relevant. I will say that the last 20% was fast-paced and flew by, but overall it was just lackluster. The writing style had no ominous twist to make any of its horror elements really land, the plot is vague, the ending goes out of its way to be gorey yet somehow still feels too easy. I need Atmosphere and Aesthetic to make a touch of horror work. For example, Sarah Porter's urban fantasy with a touch of creepy is fantastic, because it's unapologetically weird and dreamy. In this book there may be a haunted house, but the tone of the narration ranges from matter of fact to peppy so it just doesn't feel haunted. Also, the main character lacks any chemistry with the love interest; she claims to like him but talks as if she hates him the entire time.

It's not a horrible book, I just don't care for it.
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Nina Laurin's nouveau gothic novel takes on social media, art & beauty, and the quest for perfection in this modern haunted house story that's distinctly (and deliberately) reminiscent of The Picture of Dorian Gray. 

The message and themes of the book could be more subtly delivered, but all the ingredients for a solid, if not groundbreaking, eerie light-horror novel are present in The Last Beautiful Girl. The ending is somewhat abrupt, and Isa's descent a touch rocky, but neither of those things really substantially took away from my enjoyment of what is, ultimately, a fast, enjoyable read perfect for a digital age spooky season. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for the advance review copy!
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This was such a great scary read!! I wasn’t a huge fan of the MC Izzy, I found her slightly irritating. With that being said I still loved how fast paced and creepy this book was, I can’t wait to buy a physical copy of the book when it comes out.
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I enjoyed this somewhat-retelling of The Picture of Dorian Grey with a twist. It was suspenseful throughout the book and once the action started, it was hard to put the book down as the creep factor built up. I do wish that there was more background information on Isabella Granger though as I felt like that was lacking within the story.
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I felt like this book was just a little too over my head. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought and that is a really big bummer for me.
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Thank you to Netgalley, Nina Laurin, and Sourcebooks Fire
for this arc in exchange for my honest review.
I requested the Last Beautiful Girl because that cover!  It’s absolutely gorgeous.  I don’t consider myself a horror, thriller reader, but maybe I am?  In 2021 I have now read 4 – with two more in my TBR.  I’ll be an expert in no time! 
Isa gets pulled from her life in NYC to a small town with her parents to be the caretakers of an old historical mansion that is in the process of being restored and preserved.  She discovers in the house beautiful art, dresses and jewelry once belonging to the owner of the original house, a self-absorbed artists muse also named Isabella, 
Isa becomes angrier and more egotistical, taking her seemingly unjustified feelings out on those around her, her old best friend from New York and her mother.  
She becomes less and less like the Isa everyone knows and loved and more like the original Isabella, jealous and vain.  
I’m reading lots that this is a loose retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray – and unfortunately, I am not familiar with that story, which may be why some pieces are missing for me.  
I wanted more from this story, more suspense, more thrill, more everything.  It wasn’t terrible and will hold itself as a solid 3star YA Novel.  It just left something to be desired.
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This was the perfect book to kick off Spooky Season! I loved the creepy vibes and the main character's descent into madness. The book was paced well and the writing was smooth. I loved Isa both as a character and a narrator! Her arc was entertaining to read and very well executed. The addition of various characters getting POV's sporadically throughout the book was a great creative choice, especially as Isa's thoughts became more one-sided. The creepy old manor filled with portraits of one woman was the perfect setting. The house felt like it had its own personality and it was incorporated into the plot perfectly. 
I see where people did not like this book, but I thought it was fun and creative, and it had just the vibes I was looking for!
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This was a crazy experience. Firstly, as soon as this novel started mentioning the idea of beauty and society's expectations of youth, I knew I was getting some Picture of Dorian Gray shit and I was instantly hooked on this book. Isabella's portraits scattered around the house and changing in a ghostly way - here for it (if you did not know, The Picture of Dorian Gray is my favourite classic of all time)! Much like the source material, I think the examination of the relevant themes were actually extremely well done and worked fantastically as a haunted house/ghost possession story. The beats of the classic were hit in this modern take, and even though I had a slight idea of how this story would go, I was completely engaged the entire way through. And also incredibly spooked out. Like, I couldn't look at the mirror in my bathroom from my bed because I was scared I would see Isabella Granger staring back at me. To be honest, the books ending was definitely the weakest point for me. There were characters who had disappeared or had no actual role in the novel (Nick & Eve) suddenly there to help save the day. It felt really rushed and did not have a satisfying and complete ending in my opinion. So while the ending disappointed me, I think the way this book scared me and its similarities to the og text were enough to make me really enjoy this read!

And! This author is from Montreal (like me)! And graduated from Concordia University (like me)! So I couldn't help but not want to like this and support her.
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3 for neutral.  I was really excited for this book. As i love many of the authors work, but I unfortunately this one just didn’t work for me.  I tried a few times, but admit I am a moody reader,  will update if able to finish later.
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I was so intrigued by the premise, especially since I teach teenagers who are obsessed with their phones and social media. Unfortunately, Izzy isn't as likeable or interesting as my students, and the author does nothing to make you care about her. It was difficult to get into a story where the plot keeps getting interrupted right at the most interesting part of every scene. I'd rather see what happens for myself rather than It's like the author got tired of writing each scene halfway through and decided to have Izzy Nancy-Drew her way through the unfortunately obvious "mystery." I would rather be shown, not told.
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Rating: 4.5/5

I honestly don't remember what made me request this book besides the fact that I love the cover, but this was a surprisingly great read!

I would say that The Last Beautiful Girl is a retelling of The Picture of Dorian Gray and a really good one at that! I was hooked from the very beginning and as unlikable as the main character was, I still found her to be a relatable character that I was rooting for!

I do love the ending, but some plot holes weren't resolved, which is why I couldn't give this the full 5 stars.

I read this book in one sitting in the middle of the night, and oh boy was I getting the creeps! It was exactly the book I was in the mood to read!

This book deals with social media and digital beauty, and it's all set in a haunted house, and wow was the atmosphere just amazing! I don't even know what else to say about this besides that it was exactly the kind of book that I was in the mood to read and it was wonderful!
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Izzy is a Brooklyn girl through and through.  So, of course she is not happy when her parents pack up their lives and move her to a small University town for their new jobs.  Part of the deal is that they get to live in an old mansion owned by the University and supervise its renovation.

The history of this run-down mansion is mysterious and tragic. It was the home to Isabella Granger, an artist's muse who died tragically in a house fire. But there are still paintings of Isabella all over the house, the floor-plan makes no sense, and worst of all - there is no phone reception.  

Izzy, with her pink hair and Brookly fahsion, just does not fit in here. Until she makes a friend Alexa, who can't wait to see inside the mansion and meet Izzy's famous photogropher mother.  

Alexa and Izzy start a fasion Instagram account where Izzy dresses up as Isabella Granger, wearing her clothes and jewellery that are still in the house and copying the poses of the paintings of Isabella that are everywhere.

From here, things start to get creepy... and complicated. 

The parallels with 'The Picture of Dorian Gray' are evident, but brought into the digital age with an exploration of the popularity of influencers on Instagram. As Izzy's popularity on Instagram grows, so does the darkness within her and her transformation from Izzy to Isabella.

If gothic thrillers are your thing, then I think you will love this book.

Thanks to NetGalley and SourceFire Books for the advance copy of this book to review.
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I wanted to love this one so badly, as it’s loosely based off the portrait of Dorian grey, but unfortunately it just felt meh to me. There are some nice spooky aspects but I didn’t connect with the main character and the supposed mystery was very super obvious.
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