Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Review: Beautiful Bad by Annie Ward

Beautiful BadTitle: Beautiful BAd 
Author:  Annie Ward
Publisher: Park Row
Publishing Date:  March 5th, 2019
Pages: 400
Genre: Adult Psychological Thriller
Series:  Stand Alone
Source: Audio

Maddie and Ian's romance began with a chance encounter at a party overseas; he was serving in the British army and she was a travel writer visiting her best friend, Jo. Now almost two decades later, married with a beautiful son, Charlie, they are living the perfect suburban life in Middle America. But when a camping accident leaves Maddie badly scarred, she begins attending writing therapy, where she gradually reveals her fears about Ian's PTSD; her concerns for the safety of their young son, Charlie; and the couple's tangled and tumultuous past with Jo.

From the Balkans to England, Iraq to Manhattan, and finally to an ordinary family home in Kansas, sixteen years of love and fear, adventure and suspicion culminate in The Day of the Killing, when a frantic 911 call summons the police to the scene of a shocking crime.

I couldn't wait for the release of this book. I was so very excited. This book looked so good. Crazy and creepy and all the good stuff I love about psychological thrillers. I was not let down,t his book lived up to every expectation. The story was great, the creep factor was there, the mind screw was there. It was so amazing. 

Maddie has had an up and down relationship with Ian for a couple of decades. She met him overseas and their paths never really lined up. Something was always keeping them apart. At one time it was even Maddie's best friend, at another it was the military, oh and then there was the time Ian had a girlfriend. So things just didn't go smooth for them. Until one day it did. So they both thought. Unfortunately it was not smooth sailing, Ian had some major PTSD from being overseas in the military and this caused some stress on their marriage. It then went well for a while once they had a child. Now things seem to be going downhill again. Maddie is attempting to get help. But something goes bad real bad. 

This book was so good. I loved it all. The story is mainly told in alternate time lines from when Maddie and Ian first meet to the present day. There is the past where the story goes together. There is the past as in right before it all went wrong, and there is the present... which is the after. The story is told in pieces and in the process of getting the entire story, I was able to really get to know all the characters. The ones from way before and the ones from the current life that Maddie and Ian live. The story is told  from Maddie's perspective for most the book so it was easier to get to know her and her story... however there are a few chapters from Ian's point of view that I truly enjoyed. 

To say this story had some crazy moments, some shocking moments, some oh hell moments, that is an understatement. I was not at a lost for surprises and oh crap revelations in this book. Which I love. I love when I totally didn't see it coming. This book did it to me. It wasn't til the end when I was like oh snap that just happened. So it had me on my toes, in suspense. I love it when it's told in multiple time lines too... it gives my mind time to really think about what is going on and wonder where it is going. I wondered a lot in this read and I never saw it coming. 

The characters were well built. Like I mentioned before I didn't connect with Ian as much since I was really going off of Maddie's thoughts and feelings for most of the book. The thing about Maddie, I liked her even though she was broken and toxic for those around her... as well as letting those around her be toxic to her. She loved having those relationships that were just bad for her. Co-dependent but for different reasons for each person. She was pretty messed up but I still liked her. I rooted for her and wanted her to find her way. 

The read was paced really well, not rushed and never slacked. I was pretty content throughout the entire read. I didn't feel that I needed to know everything at once but I was still eager to find out what happened. I was happy with every little thing that was revealed. 

This story isn't a happy story, or a story that has rainbows and unicorns. It's dark and twisted and full of broken and crazy people. It was addicting. It had feeling. I loved every moment of it. I didn't need the sunshine. The dark was just fine with this book. 

The ending really blew me away. I think I saw a bit of it coming right before it all came together... but before that moment. but it was still mind blowing.

Loved it to peices. So grand so thrilling!

Annie  Ward

Annie’s sophomore novel and first psychological thriller BEAUTIFUL BAD will be published by Harper Collins/Park Row books in March, 2019.

Annie received a BA in English Lit with an emphasis in Creative Writing from UCLA and an MFA in Screenwriting from the American Film Institute. While studying at AFI, she sold her first short screenplay to MTV/ BFCS Productions. Starring Adam Scott, STRANGE HABIT became a Grand Jury Award Winner at the Aspen Film Festival and a Sundance Festival Official Selection.

After film school, Annie moved to Eastern Europe to work for Fodor Travel Guides, covering regions of Spain and Bulgaria. She remained in Bulgaria for five years spanning a civilian uprising and government overthrow. The novel THE MAKING OF JUNE, which Annie wrote with the Bulgarian revolution and Balkan crisis as its backdrop was sold to Penguin Putnam and published to critical acclaim in 2002.

During Annie’s five years in the Balkans she received a Fulbright Scholarship, taught at the University of Sofia, and script doctored eight screenplays for Nu-Image, an Israeli/American film company that produced a number of projects in Bulgaria for the SyFy Channel. She was later the recipient of an Escape to Create artist residency.

She lives in Kansas City, Kansas with her family.


  1. Great review! Glad you enjoyed it so much. This is one that I might enjoy - I love this kind of stuff. Will have to add it to my never-ending TBR lol


  2. Awesome review! this book has intrigued me so much since I found out about it. And now, I cannot wait to see what happened with Maddie -- and the ending of course!


Imagination Designs