Thank you to the publisher for gifting me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
When Dylan and Ellis’ secret relationship is exposed on social media, Dylan is forced to come out. Much to Dylan’s surprise they are met with support and congratulations and an amazing reception at the high school dance. Perhaps people aren’t quite as narrow-minded as Dylan thought.
Sadly, Dylan’s happiness is short-lived. Ellis suddenly becomes angry, withdrawn and as they drive home from the dance, Ellis loses control of his car, sending it plunging into Hunter’s Lake. Barely conscious, Dylan is pulled free of the wreck, whilst Ellis is left to drown.
Floored by grief, Dylan vows to discover what happened to Ellis that night and piece together the last months of his boyfriend’s life and realise just how little he knew about the boy he loves.
Hideous Beauty is a dark young adult mystery that I throughly enjoyed and want to see so much more of in years to come. This book does come with trigger warnings and I know that the publishers are normally good when it comes to these but I do want to mention them in my review. This book has trigger warnings for loss, depiction of grief, drug use, cancer and physical and mental abuse.
This book has romantic and beautifully sweet sections and that is in contrast to the completely harrowing and tear-jerking moments. There were points in this book I was smiling from ear-to-ear and then points where I was in tears, it really knows how to play with your emotions.
I adored the characters in this book and the relationships shared between the characters. I feel as though William Hussey has put an awful lot of thought into this part of the book to ensure the characters stick with you. Dylan is a main character that you can love one minute and then hate the next because sometimes he makes some stupid decisions. In the end of it all you want Dylan to be the best he can be. Then there is Ellis who is sweet and charismatic and the most out and proud character I have read for a long time! There are so many little secondary characters that I throughly enjoyed too. My personal favourite being Mike, Dylan’s best friend. It made me feel so happy and cosy to see a close and comfortable friendship between a straight man and a gay man who both have each other’s back no matter what and it was wonderful!
The mystery aspects of the novel are also excellently written and certainly kept me on my toes. I did have a couple of thoughts about who might possibly be involved but even when the reveal happened I was shocked and had no idea what was coming. It was really lovely to see LGBTQ+ characters represented in a mystery/thriller genre and it to be as authentic and real as possible. I cannot wait to read more books like this!
Now, this book isn’t actually out until June but make sure you mark your calendars because you aren’t going to want to miss out on reading this one! It is a moving, heart-warming, heart-breaking and page-turner that I’ve thought about for days after finishing! Keep your eyes out for this amazing novel!