cover image Gorgeous Gruesome Faces

Gorgeous Gruesome Faces

Linda Cheng. Roaring Brook, $19.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-86499-4

The mysterious circumstances behind an Asian American pop star’s death spell disaster for the group’s remaining members in Cheng’s debut, a thrilling psychological horror. Two years ago, Sunday Lee, who is of Taiwanese and Chinese descent; Chinese American Candice Tsai; and Korean American Mina Park made up the all-girl musical group Sweet Cadence. But when nude photos of Mina are leaked online, Mina supposedly dies by suicide, and the group disbands. Now 18 and living in Atlanta, Sunny learns that Candie—from whom she’s estranged—is arriving from Los Angeles to participate in a prestigious workshop from which a few candidates will be chosen to become K-pop trainees in Korea. As Sunny inserts herself into the workshop, she determines to unravel the mystery of Mina’s death and reckons with the increasing instances of injury among her competitors, all while grappling with her ever-shifting relationship with Candie, who still seems to yield an inexplicable power over her. Alternating chapters titled “Then” and “Now” weave flashbacks from the height of Sweet Cadence’s fame with harrowing behind-the-scenes looks into the world of K-pop and fascinating, eeriely rendered supernatural horror elements . Ages 14–up. Agent: John Cusick, Folio Literary Management. (Nov.)