Such a Pretty Smile by Kristi DeMeester is an enthusiastic middle finger to the patriarchy.
It opens with a grisly description of a young girl found mutilated and murdered days after her disappearance. As more girls turn up brutally murdered, it begins to look like the work of the Cur, a serial killer that slays girls who refuse to be tamed.
Told in dual timelines, the reader follows Lila, a thirteen-year-old girl, and her mother, Caroline, an artist known for crafting creepy statues.
Lila has been a good girl her whole life, until one day, she suddenly feels overcome with fever dreams, anger and a snarling voice in her head.
This is a story about a girl who refuses to be controlled and will, most definitely, not “calm down.”
Review of Such a Pretty Smile
This horror novel explores dark themes of sexism, feminism, and societal expectations on gender norms. It looks at the Chads and Brocks of the world and how they get away with so much because they are good boys who can’t afford to have their life derailed, no matter their offence and whose lives they have ruined.
Some parts of this book have a persistent sense of uneasiness that escalates as the book progresses, while others are explicitly nightmarish. I may or may not have read this with all the lights turned on in broad daylight.
I recommend this to those who love horror with a heavy dose of feminism and social commentary. I will definitely pick up future books by the author. This makes a great addition to the horror genre.
My review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Expected Publication: 18 January 2022
Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for inviting me to read this via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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