Review: She’s Too Pretty to Burn by Wendy Heard

This couldn’t be good. The layers of lies and secrets were piling up fast now, like dirt being shoveled into a grave.

She’s Too Pretty To Burn

Summary and Thoughts

The summer is winding down in San Diego. Veronica is bored, caustically charismatic, and uninspired in her photography. Nico is insatiable, subversive, and obsessed with chaotic performance art. They’re artists first, best friends second. But that was before Mick. Delicate, lonely, magnetic Mick: the perfect subject, and Veronica’s dream girl. The days are long and hot―full of adventure―and soon they are falling in love. Falling so hard, they never imagine what comes next. One fire. Two murders. Three drowning bodies. One suspect . . . one stalker. This is a summer they won’t survive.

Inspired by The Picture of Dorian Gray, this sexy psychological thriller explores the intersections of love, art, danger, and power.


I read The Picture of Dorian Gray specifically so I could read this book and I have to say . . . I’m not mad about it. She’s Too Pretty To Burn markets itself as a sexy YA psychological thriller, and I’d say that description is spot-on. With addicting writing, an intriguing mystery, and messy, messy, MESSY lovely characters, the story can easily be read in one sitting. I really enjoyed Heard’s inclusion and analysis of the art world, identity, and privacy and appreciated the way in which she took reference to Dorian Gray without directly retelling it. As much as I loved the way the novel concludes, I do think the “villain” of the tale gets off a bit easy and wish there were more consequences to the characters’ actions. Moreover, I wouldn’t have minded even more callbacks to Dorian Gray as well (which seems to be the common complaint of many reviewers). Still, I’d definitely recommend this book to those looking for an exciting YA novel with a unique perspective and flawed characters. I want more!

Photo Courtesy of Goodreads

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