#allthebookreviews – Her Pretty Face by Robyn Harding – Reviews and Author Q&A

Happy book birthday!

Thanks to Gallery Books for the free advanced copies in exchange for our honest reviews.

HER PRETTY FACE – Robyn Harding

We are so excited that we were able to do a fun Q&A with Robyn 🙂 Make sure to check out Chandra’s blog for different questions and answers from the author! You can find her blog here!

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Here is the synposis:

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.

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Chandra’s Thoughts: 5/5 stars

I find myself rating books dependent on my mood right after I’m done.  I’ll admit this one didn’t WOW me in the sense that it throat punched me with a crazy twist, or went deeply dark and macabre like I tend to like my thrillers.  However, I will say that this was ABSOLUTELY ADDICTIVE.  I started this late last night and did NOT want to put it down.  But I had to because of an early work day (damn, you adulthood! *shakes fist*).. then I spent my morning commute trying not to get hit by a car, a pedestrian or a subway as I finished it on my way into the office.  That’s when I know a book has TRULY hooked me and I MUST FINISH! (a bookish Mortal Kombat if you will)

Harding introduces us to Frances, whose self esteem is nil, who has a secret from the past that not even her husband knows about, and who finds solace in Kate, the only woman who befriends her from the mean girl population of other mothers at the school their sons attend.  Kate and Frances – bound by their mutual dislike of these other women, bound by their sons friendship, bound by secrets they both carry – an underlying camaraderie.  But who is who? And whose secret is worse? She also takes us to the past where we learn of a past abduction and murder – where we only see through the eyes of the younger brother of the victim.  How do these all come together?

Seriously you guys, I was hooked from the very beginning. Absolutely enjoyed this domestic thriller that barely touches on nature versus nurture but definitely shows the dark side of the sociopath.

My Thoughts: 5/5 stars

Ok, so last year I read and really liked THE PARTY by Robyn Harding, and I’ve been anxious to see what else Harding had in store for us! HER PRETTY FACE will not disappoint. This is one you’ll want to clear your schedules for because once you start you’ll become addicted!

We jump between different perspectives and timelines throughout this domestic thriller. Frances is a woman with withering self-esteem and seems to have an uphill battle with the other moms at her son’s private school. She finds comfort in a new friend, Kate. Both women have a shared dislike for the other moms and form a close friendship. Another thing they have in common is that they are both hiding dark secrets, ones that are buried so deep that their husbands aren’t even aware of them.

We also get a glimpse into a terrible abduction/murder case from the past. These chapters were through the eyes of the younger brother of the victim. These chapters always had me sucked in – the way the case unfolded and the mental and emotional strain the trial put on the family. You become so absorbed.

I don’t want to give away much more detail, because this is one you need to just jump into! Harding did a fantastic job building the suspense, creating twisty and disturbing characters, and had me flying through the 300+ page book. If you want a great domestic thriller that pulls you into the mind of a sociopath, then this needs to be on your summer TBR!

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About the Author and Author Q&A:

Robyn Harding is the author of several novels, including the international bestseller, “The Party”, and “Her Pretty Face”. She has also written and executive produced an independent film. She lives in Vancouver, BC with her husband, two kids, and a sevenpound dog with no teeth.

Social Media Links: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorRobynHarding/

                                      https://www.instagram.com/rhardingwriter/

How many hours a day do you write?

When I have a deadline, I write for five to seven hours per day (with breaks to walk the dog, do a load of laundry, run to the grocery store, etc . . .). With no deadline, I still like to write for two or three hours each morning.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

In the morning, I get up early, grab a cup of coffee, and head to my office. I turn on a SAD lamp (I read that it’s supposed to help with sleep at night) and I start writing at my stand-up desk. I don’t shower or wash or brush my teeth until I’ve written for about three hours. Then I emerge, looking like a hideous monster, and get ready for the day. I don’t think this is all that strange though.

How many unpublished/half-finished books do you have?

Only two. But I have about 14,000,000 unproduced screenplays!

What are you working on now? What is your next project?

I’m writing a psychological thriller about a sugar daddy relationship gone horribly wrong. I did a lot of research for this one, setting up an account and interviewing real sugar babies. The “sugar bowl” as its called, is a really fascinating subject. I’m writing the last few chapters now.

If you could cast the characters of any of your books for a movie, who would play your characters?

The Party has been optioned by producers to become a TV show. They have just attached an INCREDIBLE academy award winning actress to star in it! I had not thought of her, but she is perfection! I’m not allowed to share who it is yet, but hopefully soon!

What authors have inspired you?

Kate Atkinson, Liane Moriarty, Lisa Genova (I had dinner with her and she is a force!)

What’s one piece of advice you have received that has always resonated with you?

Write what you want to read.

What’s the best money you ever spent as a writer?

My $25 cardboard stand-up desk has increased my productivity and lessened my pain (except for my aching forearms!).

Have you ever gotten reader’s block?  How did you get out of it? (and yes, we meant reader’s)

Yes! It’s totally a thing! I am lucky that I have SO many books on my TBR. If a book doesn’t grab me, I don’t force it. (This doesn’t mean the book isn’t great, it just means I’m not in the right mindset for it.) I’ll move onto another book, or just let my brain chill out with some TV for a couple of weeks. Then, I’m usually primed to dive into something!

 

Have you read THE PARTY? Is HER PRETTY FACE on your TBR? We hope you enjoyed this fun Q&A 🙂 Robyn is amazing is so much fun!

–Jess

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