we could be beautiful book coverReviewed by Bethany Kelly

When I read the synopsis for We Could Be Beautiful by Swan Huntley, I had high expectations. I was expecting an entrancing psychological thriller with intriguing characters and a lot of twists and turns. Unfortunately, this book did not deliver any of that.

Catherine West, a rich woman who has spent her life among all things beautiful, now lives in Manhattan and owns her own card store, Leaf. However, under her prim and proper exterior is a woman with two broken engagements, a mother with Alzheimer’s, a sister who she has nothing in common with, and the longing to be a mother.

When she meets William Stockton, a handsome man who once knew her parents, she thinks that her luck is about to change. She will get her happily ever after. However, when she mentions him to her mom, the water gets murky. Her mom seems only to have bad memories of William as a boy. As the two get closer and he moves in with her, she begins to wonder about his past and why he’s never open to talking about it.

Will Catherine have her happy ending? Or will she risk the ‘perfect’ life to find out what William is hiding?

Let me start off by saying that this book could have been a good one. What ruined it for me was a combination of awful characters and a contrived plot.

The main character, Catherine, is extremely shallow, spoiled, and two completely different people from the beginning of the novel to the end. She starts off as being independent (or as independent as a trust fund baby can be) and has an overwhelmingly selfish demeanor. However, it’s like she changes into a completely different person – one who allows someone to walk all over her – when she meets William.

William is creepy, demeaning, and a bully. I know he is meant to be strange and that’s where the mystery comes in, but his character just made the book even less enjoyable.

On top of characters that were not enjoyable to read about, the book’s plot was not at all intriguing. The book was unrealistic, and although I know that it’s a work of fiction, it was not even remotely believable. It didn’t feel like the story line flowed naturally; instead, it felt like it was all fabricated, and unfortunately, that is a huge issue for me.

Even though I didn’t care for this book, it may be one that others enjoy reading. If you are looking for a psychological thriller that is full of plot twists and with characters that are relatable and likable, do not read this book. However, if you are looking for a quick read with a surprise here and there, give it a try! Let me know what you think of it.

Bethany Kelly is currently getting her MFA at Goddard College and has a BA in English. She is a writer, editor, and stay-at-home mother and wife who spends her spare time (when she has some) reading and cooking.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Doubleday. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.