Having read some of the less flattering reviews for ‘Beautiful Girl’ by Fleur Philips, I approached this book with great interest and a few pre-conceived ideas – and I actually enjoyed it very much.
Melanie’s life is controlled by her mother Joanne; she models, she acts, she auditions in the midst of celebrity central, Los Angeles in USA. Melanie’s life is insular, shallow and false – and she knows it and I as the reader, certainly felt it.
When a car accident causes long term scarring to her face, Melanie’s mother decides that they should both hideaway until plastic surgery can repair the damage and restore Melanie to her former beauty. Melanie however has other plans, and sees an opportunity for escape during her period of exile from a life she finds unfulfillling.
Desperate people do desperate things and when Sam comes on the scene and they ‘connect’, Melanie acts rashly and sets off a series of events that end in violence.
This isn’t a particularly long or complicated story, but I feel that Fleur Philips does succeed in showing how false and unsustainable Melanie’s previous life was.
Sam and Melanie’s romance does develop rapidly, but Melanie is looking for an escape – and Sam provides that. Her actions are rash, but then her mental state is unstable. And hasn’t anyone ever heard of love at first sight? Fortunately for Melanie, Sam is a decent upstanding young man rather than a psychopathic killer – but if that were the case then this would have been a different story anyway!
I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.