Title: So Pretty It Hurts
Author: Kate White
Release Date: March 20, 2012
Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Bailey Weggins is a true-crime journalist working at Buzz, a leading celebrity gossip magazine. When she is offered the opportunity to spend a weekend out of town at the home of a music producer, she jumps at the chance. Bailey spends the weekend rubbing shoulders with Devon Barr, a supermodel recording her first album, as well as Devon’s entourage. But when Devon is found dead, Bailey can’t help but think of how many people profited from her death, and sets out to discover if Devon was murdered.
So Pretty it Hurts is the sixth novel in the Bailey Weggins series, and though I haven’t read any of the previous books in the series, I’ve enjoyed Kate White’s standalone novels. As a result, I decided to give this book a chance and was pleasantly surprised by what I found. White does an excellent job introducing Bailey to new readers. She doesn’t have as much depth as a reader might hope, but presumably this is due to missing out on five previous novels’ worth of character development. Overall, it is very easy to treat this book as a standalone, and White doesn’t seem to spoil the endings of previous novels in this one, in case readers want to go back and read the series from the beginning.
Though the novel centers around a murder, the tone of the book is very light. Though Devon’s death is certainly sad, it’s clear that Bailey and the public are much more interested in it in terms of a scandalous, splashy mystery. This might be distasteful, except it quickly becomes clear that Devon wasn’t exactly a sweet, conscientious person. Her death is a puzzle, and Bailey must use all her resources to determine what happened, especially because she is personally involved in the case. It’s an interesting set of twists and turns, and the end result is pleasantly unpredictable.
Bailey herself seemed like a very capable professional in So Pretty It Hurts. Working at a gossip rag was a little surprising, considering she’s a true crime journalist, but White explains that away well. What I didn’t like about Bailey was the way she dealt with her personal life. She has a budding relationship in this book, and I was constantly frustrated with her because she seemed to be living out every cliché there is when it comes to women’s relationships. She seemed incredibly immature, which was at odds with how resourceful she was in her professional life.
Still, despite my issues with Bailey, I enjoyed So Pretty It Hurts. It was an easy, engaging mystery, and though novels about the rich and famous don’t usually entice me, I’m glad I picked this one up. While I’m not sure I’ll be going back to read previous installments in this series, I’ll definitely keep an eye out for what Kate White does next.
Other books by Kate White: