Pretty/Ugly by Jennifer Anne Gordon Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two people struggling with loss and loneliness must face a dystopian nightmare in author Jennifer Anne Gordon’s “Pretty/Ugly”. 

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The Synopsis

Pretty/UglyInteritus: noun. ruin; violent/untimely death, extinction; destruction, dissolution.

Omelia fills the empty place in her heart with Instagram clicks, likes, and subscribes, hiding the scars of grief under a mask of makeup, cloaked in an online personality. She yearns to be someone new: a girl in a magazine, a character in a book, a beauty queen. Anything not to feel, to be numb, but the sharp pain accompanying the red spot on her face cannot be ignored. Nor can the black, spindly tarantula-like vines that creep up the side of her face and the fever she spikes, forcing her to confront the fact that the person she has become may not be who she is at all.

Dubbed ‘the New JFK,’ Sam is the heir apparent to a powerful but emotionally distant political family, living the life he neither dreamed nor wanted. He sleepwalks through his days filled with self-loathing, rage, boredom, and an ache under his heart that reminds him that he is not complete. He is roused from slumber when a political scandal erupts that coincides with the end of the world. Too many Adderall and Old-Fashioneds leave Sam wondering, is he crazy or haunted? When lives are emotionally ended in childhood, it takes an apocalypse to see the ephemeral beauty of living again.

The Review

Another fantastically haunting and memorable read from author Jennifer Anne Gordon. The story fits perfectly into the pandemic era we’ve all gone through this past year and a half. The chilling setting of a dystopian world that has ended after a pandemic really brought the horror aspect of this novel, gripping the reader in a story that captured the suddenness and quick pace that an illness can take the world. 

The characters really brought the heart to this narrative. The protagonists, in particular, two very broken and lonely people who find themselves living lives not their own, really speaks to the idea of isolation and public perception versus reality. The losses they share and the terrifying way they meet one another turns their tale of survival into one of personal connection and hope. 

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The Verdict

A gripping, engaging, and emotional tale of horror, survival, and rediscovering life again, author Jennifer Anne Gordon’s “Pretty/Ugly” is a must-read horror novel of 2021. It perfectly captured the raw emotions and fear that so many have felt over the course of this pandemic and the isolation and loss that can come from it. The stories haunting end and visceral writing does a great job of leaving glimmers of hope and life mixed into this terrifying world, leaving readers wanting more. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Jennifer Anne Gordon is a Gothic horror novelist. Her work includes Beautiful, Frightening and Silent (2020) which won the Kindle Award for Best Horror/Suspense for 2020, and From Daylight to Madness (The Hotel book 1), and When the Sleeping Dead Still Talk (The Hotel book 2).

She had a collection of her mixed media artwork published during spring of 2020, entitled Victoriana: mixed media art of Jennifer Gordon

Jennifer is one of the hosts as well as the creator of Vox Vomitus, a video podcast on the Global Authors on the Air Network, as well as the Co-Host of the You Tube Channel “Talk Horror to Me”. She had been a contributor to Ladies of Horror Fiction, as well as Horror Tree.

Jennifer is a pale curly haired ginger, obsessed with horror, ghosts, abandoned buildings, and her dog “Lord Tubby”.

She graduated from the New Hampshire Institute of Art, where she studied Acting. She also studied at the University of New Hampshire with a concentration in Art History and English.

She has made her living as an actress, a magician’s assistant, a “gallerina”, a comic book dealer, a painter, and burlesque performer and for the past 10 years as an award-winning professional ballroom dancer, performer, instructor, and choreographer.

When not scribbling away (ok, typing frantically) she enjoys traveling with her fiancé and dance partner, teaching her dog ridiculous tricks (like ‘give me a kiss’ and ‘what hand is the treat in?’ ok these are not great tricks.) as well as taking photos of abandoned buildings and haunted locations.

She is a Leo, so at the end of the day she just thinks about her hair.

https://www.jenniferannegordon.com/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/pretty-ugly-by-jennifer-anne-gordon

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