Cover Image: The Last Beautiful Girl

The Last Beautiful Girl

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Member Reviews

Okay, so I thought I could handle this book, but clearly I couldn't.
I liked the premise and I liked the author's writing a lot! I thought the story had a lot of potential and it was really incredible to see the author creating a possession and making the main-character, Isa, become vile and evil after having Isabella inside her.
I'm not a big fan of horror, so this book wasn't the best option for me, but I still enjoyed it! I enjoyed the thrillery bits and enjoyed the Edwardian era incorporated into the 21st century! I was really in between giving it 3 or 4 stars, but that ending and the thing with Alexa... Pff really did it for me!
Even so, if you're a fan of horror, you're going to enjoy this book so much more! I really recommend it, if not for the horror bit, for the amazing writing!
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I can honestly say I have never read a young adult gothic horror before, and after this experience, I'm not sure that it's something I see myself leaning towards again anytime soon. I didn't think this book was bad, per se, it just wasn't great. I'm a little disappointed because I think the cover was beautiful and I was really excited by the description, but it ended up just not hitting the spot for me. I think young adult horror can have a hard time being entirely as creepy as most horror fans need it to be, and that was the case for me here.
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I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. I really enjoyed this book, the characters were well written and easy to identify with. I enjoyed almost every part of the book. Parts of it lagged a little but that feeling didn't last long.
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I really liked the atmosphere and setting of this book. 16 year old Isa is forced by her parents to move from Brooklyn to the small town of Amory. They take up residence in an old Victorian mansion where Isa quickly learns about Isabelle, the artists muse that used to live in the house a long time ago. Slowly, Isa becomes possessed with the idea of Isabelle and her influence over the town grows.
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There's something odd about the "Granger House", but Isa can't quite put a finger on it. It might be that every room in the house is filled with paintings of her namesake, or that the fourth floor is supposedly off-limits. When a new classmate invites Isa to recreate the portraits being the new resident of the house, Isa finds it silly, but somehow finds power in the portraits.
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CW- death, gore, blood
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The Last Beautiful Girl is an eerie book that follows a girl who moves to an old house and becomes connected to the house and the artist’s muse that used to live there.
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This book was fine. I absolutely loved the last 10%, but the rest of it was questionable. It started strong and ended strong, but the middle was just very whiny and long.
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I did not like the main character, and I know she was meant to be an unlikeable character, but there was literally nothing redeemable about her. Alexia, the main character’s best friend, was honestly the best character in the entire book and she deserves the world. 
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While I did love the tension and atmosphere in the end, I also feel like it could have been wrapped up a little better. One star does come from the end though, with the other because of Alexia.
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The inclusion of theatre was really cool though, and it was unique. The descriptions of the paintings and old dresses were also nice.
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
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This book was everything I was hoping for, and then some! It was new towns and new friends, it was art and muses, it was mystery, it was spooky, it was absolutely wonderful. I will be for sure recommending this at work.
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I absolutely love this book.  The main character is someone I could really identify with and I couldn’t wait to find out the ending.  As soon as I finished it I proceeded to read it again.
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This book will be perfect for my students - they are all obsessed with thrillers/Black Mirror! A twisty thriller that will take your breath away.
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I received an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review

I requested this book because I love this author, but this one did not quite resonate with me so well.  The characters and plot development seemed rather simple and lacking in nuance, but that could be because it is aimed at a young adult audience. Maybe teens will vibe with it more than I did. I’ll give it a 3.5 instead of a three in recognition that I am not the target audience.
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Isa (Isabella) is living a great life in Brooklyn with her best friend Eve, and the lead in the school play coming up. When her parents get a new job at a college in a small town her life is uprooted, and she isn’t happy. The only perk is the mansion she gets to live in, which belonged to the artist muse that she was named after, Isabella Granger. The mansion is filled with old paintings of Isabella, locked off floors, and little cell or Wi-Fi service. When Isa and a new friend discover Isabella's old clothes they start taking photos inspired by the paintings, resulting in a viral Instagram account. As their little project continues, so do the dark things happening around them and to them. 
This book is an engaging thriller that takes that a look at the dark side of beauty and vanity. Filled with mysterious happenings, and a girl that is suddenly not acting like herself at all, the reader is kept on their feet. While it is a thriller, the books is a commentary on the real dangers of being obsessed with likes and followers on social media. What is the cost of such obsession? I wish there had been a little bit more of the real Isa earlier on so that the transformation into Isabella was a little less subtle, but I do believe the author did a good job of making it clear when it was Isabella coming out in Isa’s words and actions.  I enjoyed this book, and it feels like a very timely “ghost” story.
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Oh boy! Of course this breathtaking cover and blurb tells us this story is something between scary Darcy Coates stories and Black Mirror episodes sealed the deal! I was sold at first sight! 

  The opening was good: introducing sixteen year old, promising drama student Izzy who is not so pleased to leave big city life for moving to a small town. As a constellation price they start living in a big mansion where a muse of artist died tragically. 

The spooky vibes are already lurking around the place! Their not so dreamy house has no cell reception and needs a lot of restoration! But thankfully Izzy finds a better hobby: the jewelry and old gowns she finds in the house can be so resourceful to boost her fashion insta account. This virtual popularity also helps her to find new friends, even a hot boyfriend. But something in the house haunts her. A darkness uncontrollably starts growing inside of her. She starts changing, turning into someone dangerous as people start to die!

  Scary side effects of social media is realistically discussed in this book. That’s why we’re getting some Black Mirror vibes. But it’s not a mind blowing, shocking horror novel as it’s implied ( at least there is no resemblance of Darcy Coates stories which are fascinatingly scary) 

I think this book is much more retelling of Picture of Dorian Gray. The plot’s pacing and direction have so many similarities and the mysterious death of muse who has been portrayed on several canvases at the house gives you the impression you’re reading a haunted house and ghost story. Only the difference is the social media is also thrown into the equation.

  It was not spectacular but okay read for me. I was planning to give more stars but I found the ending a little abrupt with plot holes and so I stick with three solid stars. 

  It was still interesting, creative, modern approach to the classic story. I actually enjoyed some parts which made me want to read more works of the author. 

 Special thanks to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Fire for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.
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I love the premise of this book since I have always been fascinated by the women who inspired the artists of past centuries, many of whom led tragic lives.  This was a fast paced read that I finished in an evening after being hooked by the macabre prologue.  The story is well written and just scary enough for readers that don't want full on horror.  I did wish there was a bit more depth to the character of the muse and I think this would have been more interesting written as an adult book rather than YA.  All in all, I was highly entertained!

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Fire for access to this arc.
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The Last Beautiful Girl is a is a wonderful and incredibly rich fantasy/mystery novel, so well built and fast paced that I wasn't able to put it down till I reached the end. I was absolutely captivated by the atmosphere, and the characters. Plus, a haunted house with a dark history? SIGN ME UP!

This novel submerges the reader in a landscape so imaginative and detailed that the information of the world building/plot never feels forced, and is never difficult to understand or picture in one's mind. I had an enjoyable time reading this and it held my attention the entire way through that I finished it within the day! I enjoyed every page and thought that the plot/story was very unique. Would recommend to anyone!
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I was enticed by the cover and the blurb - the idea of a gothic novel for the digital age is really appealing. Sadly, for me, this wasn’t it. I found it rather shallow and obvious. I understand that it’s YA and I’m a long way from being a young adult, but still a lot of YA is subtle, smart and surprising  I had hoped this would be better.
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Thank you to Sourcebooks Fire and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

The Last Beautiful Girl by Nina Laurin is a spooky YA thriller set in a social media age.  When I saw that the description compares this book to a cross between Black Mirror and Darcy Coates, I knew that I had to add it to my TBR list right away.  Black Mirror is one of my favorite shows, and I also love thrillers about haunted locations.  The plot revolves around Izzy, who moves into a Gothic mansion and starts an Instagram account using the vintage clothes that she finds around the place.  She soon gains #influencer status and a ton of followers. But is all of this fame too good to be true? Is there something darker hiding in the mansion?

Here is a spine-tingling excerpt from the prologue:

"With a sigh of relief, Desiree turns back to her reflection.
Only it’s not there. Nothing’s there.
And then, just as quickly, there is something. It takes Desiree a beat to figure out what—or whom—she’s looking at. Auburn hair still snakes around a face in wild curls.
But the face is gone. In its place, a smeared wax mask with black holes where its nose should be. Exposed teeth jut out of grey gums. Only the eyes are alive. Locking onto her own.
Choking on a shriek, Desiree stumbles back, away and away until she trips over the hem of her pilfered velvet gown and topples to the floor. She doesn’t hear the house creak and groan like a waking beast. She can only look and look and look, her gaze forever fixated on the mirror.
...
Like the ones before her, and the ones after, Desiree never sees it coming."

Overall, The Last Beautiful Girl is a stunning YA thriller that will appeal to fans of social media thrillers like Influence by Sara Shepard or slightly fantastical contemporary YA books like the upcoming Mercury Boys. I loved the idea of starting a viral Instagram account, and I'm sure many readers will relate to that aspect as well.  What sets this book apart from other YA thrillers are the spooky sequences involving the old Gothic locale.  I'm sure I will have trouble sleeping tonight, because some parts seriously scared me.  I could not stop reading and ended up finishing this book in a day.  If you're intrigued by the excerpt above or if you're a fan of thrillers set in creepy locations (like me), then you won't regret checking out this book when it comes out in September!
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*this book was given to me through netgalley in exchange for an honest review*

I really liked the base plot, it was interesting and I couldn't wait to dive into the story. It was kind of special in the beginning, while we get to know the town of Amory, the history of the house and Isabella. Moving into a Victorian house that belonged to a Muse, and then it turns out that the house is haunted.

Unfortunately after around half of the book, I kind of started to get annoyed from our main character Isa. I understand that her life got turned out different and it is natural that she changes, but it was just so annoying for me. Unfortunately the twist was predictable, and it didn't bring that much of an excitement for me.

This book overall was a really interesting read, I felt like that the interesting plot somehow lacked a better or more interesting ending. I found it just so easily solved and I kind of disliked for this part.
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The last Beautiful Girl is Nina Lauren’s fifth novel and I believe her first aimed at a YA audience. The blurb sells the book as “Black Mirror meets Darcy Coates” which will do nothing to impress teens of 2021 as although many will be familiar with the TV show, Coates will be completely unknown to them. Although I enjoyed The Last Beautiful Girl, I found that not enough happened in to truly engage with the YA age group, especially those who might be expecting a full-blown horror novel, which this most certainly is not. In sticking with the Black Mirror vibe, the plot has the underlying message that social media is scary, dangerous, obsessive and can lead to death. Also, there were numerous references to Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray, which gave very blunt spoilers to where the one-paced plot was heading, which included zero in the way of twists or surprises. 

Much of the plot was a solid teen drama, with the supernatural element kept on the backfoot until well into the story. Sixteen-year-old Izzy, who is a promising drama student, family relocate from Brooklyn to a tiny town where her mother is going to be working. However, a major perk is the house they are given to live in, a stylish mansion which was once owned by a famous socialite, who was also the muse of an artist. She died mysteriously in a fire, but her image lives on in the many paintings of her scattered around the house. Izzy’s new friends know much more about the house than they are saying and soon she is involved in a very successful Instagram account, with any photo taken in the house coming out amazing. Technically it’s a ghost story, without too many ghosts, and if you’re familiar with Dorian Gray you have a good idea where the plot is heading, but with a lot of social media thrown in as an alternative to scares. It would probably appeal to teenage girls who are not traditional horror fans, but enjoy a darker read with a modern twist. AGE 14+
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I really liked this book. Once you start reading this you just can’t stop turning the pages. Can’t really talk about this book without giving too much away. 
The power of social media is scary and can lead to death.
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This book is amazing! So well done and such an adventure of a story. It hits all the right notes and keeps you reading all day long.
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