The Last Beautiful Girl

Sourcebooks/Fire. Sept. 2021. 352p. pap. $10.99. ISBN 9781728229089.
Gr 7-10–Isabella “Isa” Brixton is horrified to learn she will be moving from Brooklyn to the tiny college town of Amory, Massachusetts. Her parents were offered jobs too good to pass up and despite Isa’s protests, the family relocates to a giant old home once owned by a wealthy socialite. Isabella Granger was widely known for her beauty. Testament to her popularity are the portraits of Granger covering many of the walls in the worn-down mansion. At first, Isa is too busy feeling sorry for herself to embrace her new community, especially when she realizes Eve, her best friend back in Brooklyn, has taken her coveted leading lady role. Thanks to the notoriety of the Granger mansion, Isa quickly attracts curious fans. When one of her new classmates, Alexa, suggests they take pictures at the famous mansion to post on Instagram, Isa reluctantly allows her to come over and post pictures of her. As Isa’s Instagram fame grows, so does her personality and appearance. She becomes so obsessed with greedily sucking in more followers that she can’t see she has become possessed by Granger. Only the main characters are fleshed out. Isa comes across as spoiled and entitled even before she is possessed. Suspense is consistent throughout, and readers will have a hard time putting the book down. The race of the characters is not clearly stated.
VERDICT Hand to fans of Mary Downing Hahn, Peg Kehret, and Dan Poblocki.

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