Pretty When She Cries by A. Zavarelli

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Original post from my IG @booksofthemuggleborn

•••

— BLURB —

Your first kiss is supposed to be sweet. Ours was baptized in fire.

I was the new girl trying to find her place.

Landon was the brooding neighbor I tutored over the summer.

I didn’t know he was a legend at Black Mountain Academy.

I didn’t know they worshipped him like a religion.

But I fell for him before I knew those things.

To me, he was just the tortured soul who drew me in like a magnet.

And then he did something so unspeakable, so unforgivable, it shattered me.

I ran away then because I was weak, but I’ve shed my tears.

He stole my heart and my dignity, and I’m here to take it back.

The only problem is… he’s not giving it up without a fight.

•••

— MY REVIEW —

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Okay. So… I may just be a little bit obsessed with this book 😅 I’ve been waiting for a new book from Zavarelli in what feels like years (even though it’s not), and Pretty When She Cries completely and utterly filled that craving! This is why I adore Zavarelli’s books, because they are totally intense, all out soul-consuming works of fiction that has you thinking about for days on end after having read them!

I honestly thought I outgrew high school romances in my reads, but it turns out they just have to be as dark and twisted as this one for me to enjoy them again! 😜 Lol. I don’t think I’ve read a deep, juicy, rub-your-hands-together-and-plot-revenge style romance in all the years I’ve read romance books.

It has become one of my favourite reads of 2020 and it’s going straight to my list of all time favourite books! It has all the elements I love in a story —

  • Gripping storyline from start to finish.
  • Complex characters who’ll have your mind reeling.
  • Unpredictability and suspense.
  • World-building that’s constantly expanding.
  • Evident character and relationship growth.
  • A mixture of genres that work well together. In this case, there’s romance, a little bit of mystery, a little bit of crime and thriller, and a smidge of action.

Zavarelli has a way of writing such vivid, detailed stories with unique plots and characters that are three-dimensional.

Landon, right off the bat had an air of mystery about him because he rarely shared feelings and thoughts with anyone. With Kail, although a little shy and less extroverted than some of her peers, had a confidence about her. She knew who she was.

So when all hell breaks loose, you can’t help but see how things will unravel from there and see the ramifications of that certain event. I was invested the minute they first met. Like our hero/ heroine, I was just as intrigued by them as they were with each other. There’s an instant chemistry that had me perking up with interest. They are from completely different backgrounds and upbringings, yet whenever they were around each other, they clicked!

Be warned though, have tissues nearby. I must’ve gotten teary-eyed countless times throughout reading this. The emotions this story evoked in me is why I would (and have) recommended this book to my friends already, and any reader who likes reading romance fiction.

My heart broke for them both for almost the entirety of the book. They go through a roller coaster of life events that is jaw-dropping and almost hard to wrap your head around. The drama is strong with this one!

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The unpredictability in this story is what’s really going to get you turning the pages. Just when you think you know what’s about to happen next or know a person’s motive — Baam! You don’t!

For a standalone romance, it packs a punch! Yes, there’s a lot of things happening but they were written out so well that everything included was for good reason. It’s an effortless read with constant buildup. P.S. I like that there was some diversity included. I’m not the type of reader who constantly needs or expects it but when it’s included and it’s done well, it’s definitely a plus.

Landon will have you wanting to just give him a big bear hug and never wanting to let go! And Kail will have you pounding your fist to your chest in solidarity, yelling “I got ya back, girl!”

And in the midst of all the chaos, banter, revenge, and what-the-fuck moments, you’ll still be rooting for things to work out between them. Their relationship may be a constant push and pull but I guarantee their one-on-one scenes are… phew… intensely hot! 🔥🔥🔥

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Pretty When She Cries kept me on the edge of my seat and reading until the sun rised. It touches base with relatable subjects (especially during your adolescence) such as diversity, social standing, body image, not to mention peer pressure and bullying. Whilst this is a work of fiction, it really delves into the harsh reality of the issues teenagers may go through during their years in school and the lasting effects and scarring it could leave on them.

Reading it, reminded me so much of what high school was like and just how much teens go through that parents may not even be aware of.

What I love about the characters in this book is that there was a great contrast of personalities. You have the obvious villainous, cruel characters that really rile you up, but then there’s also the characters that bring so much positivity and light. Kail has a great support system, and although she didn’t necessarily feel like they could help her in the way that she wants or needs, and didn’t want to burden them with her issues, they’re there and they’re constant, nevertheless.

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Although this is Landon and Kailani’s story overall, in my opinion the secondary characters made just as much of an impact and played vital roles. I adore the bonds and friendships, especially the unlikely ones.      

And can I just say, this entire story reads like it’s made for the screen! 😍    

A very well thought-out storyline with suspense and intrigue. Zavarelli has brilliantly created an atmosphere of curiosity around Landon the second Kailani talks about him. Their story is told from dual points of view and the fact that it’s in first person, us readers are really riding out their experiences and feelings right along with them — the good, the bad, and the oh-so ugly!

It’s an upcoming release that is well worth the wait. I highly recommend you add this one to your TBR asap because this one’s end game, people! 🏈

RATING: ♥♥♥♥♥/5

Thank you to A. Zavarelli and Candi Kane PR for the opportunity to read an advanced copy!

🔔 Interested in reading Pretty When She Cries? Grab your copy here: Amazon US  |  Amazon CA  |  Amazon UK  |  Amazon AU


•••

Hope you enjoyed my review! As always, catch you in my next one! Xo

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