Gorgeous Gruesome Faces

Roaring Brook. Nov. 2023. 320p. Tr $19.99. ISBN 9781250864994.
Gr 9 Up–Sunny used to be a member of Sweet Cadence, a hit musical show and K-pop group where she found friendship with her fellow stars, Candie and Mina. After a scandal hit the group and Mina died a horrible death, the group disbanded and Candie hasn’t spoken to Sunny in two years. Upon seeing that Candie is joining a local K-pop workshop to restart her career, Sunny decides to join in hopes of rekindling their friendship and her own career—that is, until several of the girls start falling prey to the same destructive and strange behavior that befell Mina the night she died. Sunny must figure out what is happening before she ends up another victim to the limelight. This book goes back and forth in time, starting with Sunny at the auditions for the hit show. Readers will be hooked by the shocking death at the very beginning and will want to continue with how fast-paced the dark reveals of Sunny’s K-pop stardom are intertwined with the current day paranormal thriller of the sinister workshop. The story wraps up in just over 300 pages, making it an excellent quick pick, and there is some sapphic romance as well.
VERDICT Cheng’s debut is an excellent purchase for secondary school library collections where a well-done, fast-paced K-pop horror will be welcomed by many teen readers.

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