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Sonja Ska Reviews, 6/27/2024

The Devil Thinks I'm Pretty starts off easy enough, with a teenage girl convinced she has the devil lurking inside her. But before you know it, you're caught in a disorienting spiral, unable and unwilling to look away from the grotesque and oddly beautiful places Charlene Elsby takes you.

We follow an unnamed protagonist as she plunges into a world of obsession and violence, where the boundaries between reality and nightmare become more ambiguous with each turn of the page. This isn't a book that offers easy answers. Instead, it entangles you in a dark stream of conscious narrative that distorts time and morality. Every time you think you have a handle on what's happening, it dissolves between your fingers and you're left sifting through the remains to try to figure out what's happening.

Lingering behind every unanswered question is a growing sense of dread that transforms into its own palpable presence as you question what's real and what's imagined. Is something supernatural at play? Or is our narrator succumbing to her mounting inner demons? Not knowing the source of the madness spreading through the characters is half the fun of watching them surrender to their dark urges as they pull you, kicking and screaming, toward the end.

While the emotional stakes are high, this is a slow burn. But trust me when I saw the wait is worth it. You don't come out of this the same person you were when you cracked the first page. And while you might need some time to wrap yourself in a blanket and stare at the wall while you recover, every pain-staking moment is worth the cost of being forced to leave pieces of yourself behind.

The Devil Thinks I'm Pretty is a must-read for horror fans who enjoy delving into the dark depths of the human mind. It's a captivating and unsettling journey that scratches itself into your subconscious long after you've turned the final page.

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