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Hideous Beauty

Hideous Beauty

William Hussey
Usborne Publishing Ltd
ISBN: 9781474966177

When Dylan met Ellis, so much about his own life started to make sense. He felt he was on course for true happiness and feeling comfortable being gay. All of this changed, however, when Ellis died in a tragic accident. Is Dylan suffering from survivor's guilt, or is his recollection of someone saving him the truth?

In Hideous Beauty, William Hussey has crafted an intricate LGBT+ love story which interweaves with Dylan's quest to find out who publicly outed him and who managed to save him from a sinking car but left Ellis behind to die. Their characters are deftly drawn as a pair who are destined for happiness; Ellis, the survivor of domestic abuse now living with his drug addict aunt in a high rise; Dylan the second son of affluent parents in the 'nicer part of town'.

After someone publishes a video of them online, Ellis supports Dylan as he tells his parents about his sexuality. They appear supportive as do all their school mates when the boys go to the Easter Ball. So why does Ellis suddenly turn quiet and introspective as they leave the school and head out on that fateful car journey?

As he starts to recuperate from the accident, Dylan is left with more questions than answers and only the support of his BFF Mike, who himself is struggling with his cancer treatment. Written with chapters set in the lead up to the accident alternating with chapters set post-accident, this is an enthralling read, ideal for all thriller fans.

This is a book that portrays strong relationships on many levels but it is a dark story and one that does indeed warrant the publisher's cautionary note. This is further enhanced by the advice guidance at the end of the book. Although this is most certainly only for older YA readers, I feel this book opens many conversations and would be a good book club choice.

I was gripped from the minute I started the book and could not put it down until I knew the outcome.

336 pages / Ages 15+ / Reviewed by Sharon Bolton, school librarian


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