Title: She Ain’t Pretty
Author: Renee Miller
Release date: February 25, 2021
Source: Netgalley ARC
Have you read Renee Miller?
Miller has written survival/winter horror (Stranded), serial killer horror (Cats Like Cream), creature feature horror (Howl and Blood Lake Monster), cult horror (Church) and so many others. Over the last year I’ve read all of those and each time, I’m blown away seeing Miller tackle a subject and absolutely obliterate it. When it was revealed that she’d have another Unnerving ‘Rewind or Die’ release I was excited. When ‘She Ain’t Pretty’ was officially revealed and the synopsis indicated we’d get a cult/demon based story I was over the moon.
What I liked: Miller wastes no time getting dirty with ‘She Ain’t Pretty.’ Blake needs a job. A listing for a farm position comes up and he gets an interview. Within minutes of arriving he’s under the spell of Lily, the owner/head of the farm. Eva is an investigative journalist. When she finds out that Lily, cult leader, has a new commune, she decides to infiltrate and get details for a book.
Miller takes a really standard ‘cult’ idea and brings us a depraved story filled with tension and gut-churning moments. I loved how we get glimpses of Blake coming in and out of the fog when Lily is around and then leaves. His mind will clear just enough that he knows what’s happening there is horrible, but by the time he gets enough energy up to leave, Lily has returned and broken him down once again.
As more and more layers are revealed, Miller makes sure to keep the reader guessing as to what is really going on and the full understanding near the end was really well done.
What I didn’t like: I wasn’t too keen on the resolution. I want to stay spoiler free, but I felt things occurred far too quickly and with a suddenness that felt a bit light on oomph. The epilogue was a great touch, but it was still a bit reduced after how the final quarter played out.
Why you should buy this: If you love cult based horror, this should be high on your list to buy and read asap. Miller is a fantastic writer and her catalog continues to grow with each new, exciting release. With her and Unnerving frequently working together, I’m always happy to see when a new release is announced. Miller has easily cemented herself as a ‘must-read’ author for me and ‘She Ain’t Pretty’ is a perfect example as to why.