Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang | Book Review

I wasn't really expecting this level of body horror, yikes!

Natural Beauty by Ling Ling Huang

Released April 2023

Source: Library Borrow

Goodreads  | Amazon

Sly, surprising, and razor-sharp, Natural Beauty follows a young musician into an elite, beauty-obsessed world where perfection comes at a staggering cost.

Our narrator produces a sound from the piano no one else at the Conservatory can. She employs a technique she learned from her parents—also talented musicians—who fled China in the wake of the Cultural Revolution. But when an accident leaves her parents debilitated, she abandons her future for a job at a high-end beauty and wellness store in New York City.

Holistik is known for its remarkable products and procedures—from remoras that suck out cheap Botox to eyelash extensions made of spider silk—and her new job affords her entry into a world of privilege and a long-awaited sense of belonging. She becomes transfixed by Helen, the niece of Holistik’s charismatic owner, and the two strike up a friendship that hazily veers into more. All the while, our narrator is plied with products that slim her thighs, smooth her skin, and lighten her hair. But beneath these creams and tinctures lies something sinister.

A piercing, darkly funny debut, Natural Beauty explores questions of consumerism, self-worth, race, and identity—and leaves readers with a shocking and unsettling truth.

My 2 Cents for Free!

Oh wow, this book is Disturbing. And Horrifying. And Heartbreaking.

A young woman is just getting by. She’s a gifted pianist but now due to heartbreaking circumstances and a whole lot of guilt gets her hands boiled at a dishwashing job each day. When she’s offered a dream job at a holistic spa/supplement company out of the blue she begins to think her luck may just be turning around. But Holistik has some secrets. And boy are they ever doozies.

Why does everyone look the same? Blonde, beautiful, and flawless. She feels like an oddball with her dark hair and eyes but not for long . . . I don’t want to say any more than this as this is a book definitely best read cold. Just know that the reveals keep coming and each is more sinister than the last.

Be warned it contains pages and pages of triggering content. Body horror, loss of bodily autonomy, animal harm, and lack of consent for all of it. It’s a dark and highly disturbing look at the elite vs. the broke, race, acceptance, and the beauty industry that feeds and fuels insecurities and values only money.



  1. Oh my Holistik sounds horrible. In a great way lol. I'm so curious about this now. :)

  2. I don't think it's for me but it sounds intense.


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