Review: Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

A psychological thriller about friendships and the secrets that can break them.

Disclaimer: I received an eARC copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This blog contains affiliate links. I make a small commission when you decide to buy books via the Amazon or Book Depository purchase links available in the book review's post.

Ever since the release of The Party, Robyn Harding has been a buzzing name in the thriller-writer world. So many people loved that book – but I was not one of them. Nevertheless, I wanted to give her another shot and see if maybe I would see the spark that everyone else was seeing. Here is my review:

Her Pretty Face book cover book cover

Her Pretty Face

by Robyn Harding

Published June 10, 2018 by
ISBN: 150117424X

Data from Goodreads

Summary (Goodreads): Frances Metcalfe is struggling to stay afloat.
A stay-at-home mom whose troubled son is her full-time job, she thought that the day he got accepted into the elite Forrester Academy would be the day she started living her life. Overweight, insecure, and lonely, she is desperate to fit into Forrester’s world. But after a disturbing incident at the school leads the other children and their families to ostracize the Metcalfes, she feels more alone than ever before.

Until she meets Kate Randolph.

Kate is everything Frances is not: beautiful, wealthy, powerful, and confident. And for some reason, she’s not interested in being friends with any of the other Forrester moms—only Frances. As the two bond over their disdain of the Forrester snobs and the fierce love they have for their sons, a startling secret threatens to tear them apart…because one of these women is not who she seems. Her real name is Amber Kunick. And she’s a murderer.

My Review

The Pros: What worked for me

  • In the beginning, the author was able to create a tension-filled atmosphere that drew the reader into the story and made the reader want more.
  • The writing style was good and made it easy for the reader to get through the book

The Cons: What I didn’t like

  • It was just so predictable. You’ve got these two women who both have “dark secrets” but it is quite obvious from the start who is the more “dangerous” one, just from the way the author relies on overused tropes. Now, I don’t necessarily have a problem with this. It’s a tried-and-tested trope that works so if it ain’t broke, why fix it? But there was nothing unique about the story.
  • There was lack of depth in plot and character interactions, and I didn’t even really like the main characters.
  • When I mean nothing happened, I literally mean that NOTHING HAPPENED IN THIS STORY. One character discovers the truth, and when the information gets out …. well, that’s pretty much how the story ends. It just felt like there was all this buildup and it led to pretty much a pointless story.
  • A character also had a “resolution” of her ghosts but it was quite disappointing; it basically happened in the last 15-20 pages of the book and there was no introspection or depth to it. And I know that the whole point of hyping this character’s past was to make readers suspect her intentions, but it was such a disappointing truth that I felt cheated out of an experience.

I know it seems like I hated this book. But my main problem was just with how things ended. I still think the idea behind the story is very interesting, and it reminded me a lot of (Click to reveal spoiler) the story of Karla Homolka. However, the ending left me unsatisfied and because the author had so hyped it up with all the tension, I just couldn’t get over the disappointment. For that reason, I’m giving this a 2/5 stars.

0 thoughts on “Review: Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding

  1. Great review, Vee. I have not read this book, but I agree everything you say on overused tropes – there are so many thrillers around of this type that it is becoming harder to find something more original. Perhaps this book reflects that, but even then it should not be so predictable 🙂

  2. Wow, didn’t realize nothing happened it this one! Kind of glad I passed on it. The cover is just so intriguing, shame the story fell flat.

    1. Yeah this novel was more about exploring the idea than actually having anything happen in the story. You definitely didn’t miss much!

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