Cover Image: The Last Beautiful Girl

The Last Beautiful Girl

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Member Reviews

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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I loved The Starter Wife so assumed I would like this one as well! Isa's family moves and drags her from Brooklyn to an historic house that has plenty of history and artifacts. As Isa is totally into Instagram (and considers herself an influencer), she is delighted that all of a sudden she is thrown into this world that has incredible costumes (she's also a theater nut) and beautiful jewelry. But what the family doesn't know is that the fate of the late Isabella is controversial and many theories abound about her demise. As Isa is drawn further and further into her life, many gothic elements emerge and a creepy vibe emerges even as Isa tries to continue her "normal" life at high school, trying to secure the lead in the play, "The Picture of Dorian Gray." Laurin combines so many incredible elements to make this a can't-stop-reading book!
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I have to admit – I would have passed up this book if it hadn’t mentioned Black Mirror, Darcy Coates, and a gothic, haunted-house setting. The cover didn’t scream horror to me.

The descriptions of the old mansion Izzy and her family relocate to paint a picture of a beautiful home that’s falling into ruin. I could easily imagine the architectural details and understand Izzy’s unexpected delight when seeing it for the first time. This haunted house had the potential to offer those delicious spine-tingling chills horror fans chase after, and I was excited to delve into its darkness. Maybe I’ve read so many books in this genre that I’ve become immune, but I never felt the chills. There are some eerie moments, but when the situation really starts to become intense, the scene never plays out. Something would interrupt it, leaving the Izzy to rationalize what happened. Without giving away spoilers, the reader isn’t given much time to get to know Izzy before she moves into the house, and it was difficult for me to emphathize with her – she’s a difficult person to like. The final scene builds up to a tension-filled, creepy climax, but then ends abruptly and leaves several questions unanswered.

Kudos to the author for an admirable job of calling attention to the dark sides of vanity and obsession with social media and the effects both can have on a person. While this is an enjoyable read, I’d recommend it for the younger YA crowd.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I was really excited to read "The Last Beautiful Girl" by Nina Laurin . You can swipe to see the gorgeous cover of it! Unfortunately, I have mixed feelings about the book..

It's a book about Isa who moves to an old house that offers her the opportunity to grow an Instagram fashion account using the gowns and jewelry she finds in the house. Soon enough though, it becomes clear that there's something wrong with the house.. and it could be deadly..

I do believe this is an enjoyable read, it's easy to understand and for a quick read, it definitely was okay, but in the end, some of the negative aspects overshadowed the positive ones.

It's supposed to be horror I think, but I didn't really get any scary vibes while reading. Instead, personally, it focused too much on Western beauty standards for me.

It also played into harmful stereoypes like every girl wanting to become Instagram famous. It was just too cringey for me. I get wanting to include social media because that is relatable to most teens out there but this obsession with making all characters equally obsessed with becoming famous - that's not realistic to me.

There were also sudden POV changes randomly throughout the novel and the story didn't benefit from that. The ending felt quite short as well.

I wish I had more positive feelings about this one because I was so excited to read it. But please don't shy away from it if you're still intrigued by the description - maybe you'll like it more than I did!


content warnings: harry potter reference, murder, being possessed

I received an arc from Netgalley in exchange for an honest opinion.
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*Thank you to NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!*

I really wanted to like this book more than I did, unfortunately. The setting was appropriately creepy, and all of the characters started off interesting. My interest waned pretty quickly once the book got into the meat of the plot. I don't know if it is my fundamental dislike for influencer-type things, but everyone became annoying and unlikable quite quickly.

I definitely got the Dorian Gray vibes, but it wasn't quite as captivating as a book based on the Wilde novel should be. The pacing was a bit off, and the ending seemed to happen in a rush.

With that said, I think this book has an audience who will enjoy it a lot. While it didn't work for me, I do think it had good bones. I would definitely try another book by this author.
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I really wanted to like this book but I just wasn’t wowed. It didn’t seem like anything really happened until the last little bit of the book. I was hoping for something really creepy and it just didn’t happen. The ending seemed a bit rushed and didn’t make a lot of sense. The main character Isa was just really annoying and I only kept reading to find out more about the house. It just all felt a bit lacking in my opinion. Thanks to Netgalley and the Publisher for a copy of the arc in return for an honest review.
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4.5/5 stars. To be released September 2021.

The Last Beautiful Girl had some major creep factor.  Isa's family moves into an old mansion that once belonged to a socialite, also named Isabella, but has been abandoned and fallen into decay.  Isa's family moves in to restore it while they work at the local university.  Portraits of the socialite fill the home and Isa and her new friend, Alexa, start a viral Instagram account where they recreate the paintings.  But the more popular the photos become, the more Isa becomes attached to the house and to Isabella.

There were so many moments in this book that raised the hair on the back of my neck.  The author does a great job and writing some chilling scenes as well as the change in Isa's behavior as she becomes more attached and defensive of the house.  There were a few scenes, the creepiest ones, that I wish has been more explored or explained later on.  It was still an enjoyable creepy, haunted house book that will be perfect for fall/Halloween reads.
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Just like a Goosebumps, Are You Afraid of the Dark, Tales From the Crypt, Twilight Zone, etc. ending... rushed and no real resolution. And here I am gobbling them up like Halloween candy anyway. I have slowly gotten into YA horror this year. I haven't read much horror since I was a teenager. I'm enjoying the Gothic Historical Mystery vibes we're getting in a lot of current books. As with every 'genre' some are hit and some are miss. The Last Beautiful Girl is somewhere in the middle. I didn't like the main character, Isabella (or Isa). She's too cool to go by Izzy. I truly tried. But she is/was so incredibly selfish. She's rude to everyone including her so-called bestie. She thinks she deserves to be a star or the 'chosen one'. She doesn't want to have to work for anything. She thinks she's cool because she calls her mom by her name instead of mom. I was irritated with her the entire book. Which I guess is why the villain 'chose' her. They're just alike. Idk.

Isa and her family move to a small town to live in this beautiful old Edwardian mansion filled with portraits of it's original owner who is also named Isabella. The move is because her parents are finally getting their dream job. Isa acts like nothing but a spoiled brat about it. All she cares about is being 'internet' famous and not getting to be a star of a highschool play. Weird things keep happening in the house. Secret rooms keep appearing. People start dying. Isa starts acting like a completely different person who is even worse than she was before. She never grows as a character. The side characters all somehow know how to contact each other even though they've never meet or talked or even live near each other to *eye-rolling spoiler alert* talk about Isa. I kept turning paging because the story had to go somewhere, right? *looks into the camera like I'm on The Office* I would have liked to learn more about Eva. And I wish Nick and Eva would have somehow ended up together and gotten their own story.

I mean, I finished the book so I guess that's something. I may not look into a mirror for awhile. The cover is pretty. And remember, kids, what you put on the internet lasts forever.


***Thank you to Netgalley and Sourcebooks Fire for providing me with a review copy.***
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Thank you so much to Netgalley and Sourcebooks for the opportunity to read this title in exchange for an honest review.
This was a fun one, I really liked the concept. A haunted house horror YA sounded like such a great time! While it wasn't perfect, I still had a great time from beginning to end. I found the switching of perspectives and narrators to be really well done. This books really dives into the toxicity of the internet and social media, which I think is an important lesson, even with the supernatural elements in this book.  As  the description of this book noted, it was indeed very Black Mirror-esque. That being said, there were a few plot holes, and certain characters I wish had a bit more depth. I enjoyed the ending of this one, and it made up for the times that it dragged on a bit in the middle of the novel. Overall, this was fun to read!
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I loved this book!!
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, but I still LOVED it!!
The MC is unlikeable throughout the whole book, but her development with the stuff that happens to her was perfect to me.
The spookiness level kept increasing until the end, which was super fast paced and creepy.
It had a lot of what I loved in Horrid (the spooky vibes, haunted house) and it didn't fall in the trap that some others fell for me, of becoming a fantasy book (obviously it has speculative elements, but it's a thriller/horror, not a fantasy).
I definitely recommend it, I hope more people will love it too!!
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this book was honestly kind of meh for me. nothing really happened, and the ‘scary’ aspect wasn’t really scary at all. i think this story had great potential but it just wasn’t reached in this book. it was a fun read, but still a let down.
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I love a good modern gothic horror story, so I had keenly high hopes for this. It didn't quite live up to them, mainly because I didn't quite gel with the writing style or the character development, unfortunately. I found MC Isabella fairly spoiled and irritating from the beginning (though I understood her fury at being relocated in the middle of her junior year--her parents seem pretty terrible, a not uncommon theme in YA horror or YA in general). This made for some tedious reading from time to time, between Isabella and the rest of her family. I did love her friend Alexa, though, and some of the horror stuff was quite fun.
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Isabella, better known as Isa is heartbroken when she has to start her junior year in a small town, leaving behind her childhood friends, and her starring role in the theater. She starts the year miserable with the vibes in the new school and lack of internet connection, but begins to explore the historic mansion that belonged to a socialite and photographer’s muse who is also named Isabella. 
When her newfound friend Alexa begins an Instagram account using lovely items from the socialite, Isa’s images go viral. Suddenly she is famous, and flawless- a living muse that everyone at school worships. 
This is a deliciously written thriller with bits of ghostly chill. Recommend on a rainy day with a cup of hot tea.
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This had a lot of promise, but the characters were just all too unlikable for the book to be enjoyable. There really wasn't anyone to root for, and there wasn't much of an emotional impact when bad things happened to any of them.
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Book Review for The Last Beautiful Girl

Full feature for this title will be posted at: @cattleboobooks on Instagram!
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The Last Beautiful Girl started strong. It was engrossing, spooky, highly readable, and a clever metaphor for the changes that girls go through not only in looks but in personality as an evolving teenager. The Last Beautiful Girl was atmospheric, had vivid imagery, and was absolutely unsettling and I wanted to give it all the stars and love, but for me the ending fell short of what the beginning and middle promised. It felt rushed and incomplete. All around I did enjoy The Last Beautiful Girl and would gladly read more from this author.
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