The God of Good Looks: A Novel (Hardcover)
An NPR best book of the year and recommended by Oprah Daily, Good Housekeeping, Zibby Mag, Lit Hub, Electric Lit, and Katie Couric Media!
"A summer read with bite.”—NPR
Disgraced model-writer Bianca Bridge can’t stand hotshot makeup maven Obadiah Cortland. And he lets her know the feeling is mutual. But when working together is their last resort, they must navigate scandal, revenge, and unexpected affection to unlock the beauty that’s found in redemption.
Getting a second chance is a beautiful thing…
Bianca Bridge is like an eyeshadow palette. She's a vibrant kaleidoscope of big personality and even bigger dreams, with a tendency towards messiness and fallout. Case in point: losing her job and ruining her reputation by having an affair with a married government official.
Her fiercely confident and tyrannical new boss Obadiah Cortland—a legend in Trinidad's beauty scene—is like a statement red lipstick. Dubbed the God of Good Looks, Obadiah has perfected his hotshot façade through years of slipping through the island's rigid class barriers. He knows as well as Bianca that the tiniest smudge can ruin your image.
When Bianca's ex threatens both their futures, they must find a way to work together to save everything they care about. But, underneath their clashing personalities, as they strive to protect everyone in their shared orbit and begin to let down their carefully constructed masks, is it possible that one of the things they care about is…each other?
Breanne Mc Ivor is an award-winning writer who holds degrees from the universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh and has a certificate in Advanced Professional Makeup Artistry. She lives in her home country of Trinidad and Tobago. The God of Good Looks is her debut novel.
“The God of Good Looks represents a vibrant, nuanced, and entertaining view of Caribbean culture, a perspective that transcends both trauma and pure escapism. At the sweet spot between popular entertainment and literature, it's riveting and transportive—a summer read with bite.” — NPR
“Breanne Mc Ivor is a talented Trinidadian author and regional literary prize-winner making her international debut.” — Oprah.com
“Alternating between smart, self-aware and snappy diary entries written by Bianca and first-person chapters told through Obadiah's perspective, Mc Ivor tells a powerful redemption story about two hardscrabble, brilliant creators and their battle against class, the patriarchy, growth and the commodification of beauty…. Entertaining, humorous and then jaw-droppingly poignant, The God of Good Looks is a smart, cleverly crafted debut that manages to both delight with its portrayals of the beauty industry and shock with its searingly current observations on class and the patriarchy…. The connection between truth and victory is on perfect display, and it makes for an ending that satisfies as much as it educates.” — Bookreporter.com
"Entertaining...Under the glossy surface of this story about two skittish, driven people finding each other in complicated circumstances, this novel has bigger ambitions. Mc Ivor uses the beauty industry to explore the rifts created by poverty, sexism, and class in modern-day Trinidad, revealing how ingrained misogyny can be in a patriarchal society and how hard it can be to overcome.” — Kirkus Reviews
“Mc Ivor shines in this pitch-perfect narrative of power imbalances…. Mc Ivor combines tight plotting and strong character development….This makes for a winning story of comeuppance.” — Publishers Weekly
“Mc Ivor’s first novel is an entertaining story with vivid depictions of the history, culture, and current social challenges of Trinidad and Tobago…. For readers who enjoy allusions to Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, blended with Lauren Weisberger’s The Devil Wears Prada.” — Library Journal
“[R]ich in social commentary…Mc Ivor effectively captures a surprising and evolving relationship in a mix of humor and drama. Along the way, she innovatively expands the established tropes of Caribbean literature, cleverly using the beauty industry to challenge conventional notions of womanhood and attractiveness. Memorable characters, evocative descriptions, and a well-paced story make this an eminently enjoyable novel.” — Booklist
“A will-they-won't-they tension ensues as Mc Ivor uses the metaphor of make-up (there's an awful lot of it) to examine privilege, corruption and truth. It's wickedly funny ... Bianca is a hugely endearing heroine.” — Daily Mail (UK)
“Mc Ivor uses Bianca's attempt to rebuild her life to examine issues surrounding the beauty industry and the poverty, violence and corruption blighting life in Trinidad . . . There's lots to enjoy, particularly a more authentic picture of Caribbean life than the postcard fantasy.” — The Times (UK)
“Part ribald farce, part feminist tract, part love letter to an island, The God of Good Looks takes a look at Caribbean island life and culture rarely seen in books, that of its bristling, competitive carnival culture and beauty world. McIvor writes with wit and confidence of a world where female beauty is celebrated and monetized. Her heroine, an outsider tarnished by scandal, navigates both with skill and satire. Every page we wince and smirk. A self-aware, modern, female-centered novel out of Trinidad which breaks new ground.” — Monique Roffey, author of Costa Book of the Year, The Mermaid of Black Conch
"Phenomenal! A book worthy of a standing ovation. I will never forget how this novel made me feel. It's effortlessly beautiful." — Lizzie Damilola Blackburn, author of Yinka, Where is your Huzband?
“Beautiful inside and out, The God of Good Looks is big-hearted, life-affirming, and salty-sweet. A glittering will-they, won’t they Bridget Jones re-boot, it transported me to the Caribbean. LOVED IT.” — Nikki May, author of Wahala
"Bursting with vivid imagery and a striking voice, The God of Good Looks boldly tackles complex topics and characters with remarkable nuance and grace. Immersive and impossible to put down." — Shirlene Obuobi, author of On Rotation
"A dazzling delight of a debut. The God of Good Looks is a captivating portrait of contemporary Trinidadian culture, a canny exploration of makeup's power as artifice and art, and a tender celebration of unexpected connections and the human need to love and be loved. I gasped, I laughed, I cried—I didn't want it to end!" — Coco Mellors, author of Cleopatra and Frankenstein
“Get ready for a gorgeous literary snapshot of what life is like in twenty-first-century Trinidad without any of the usual tropes. The God of Good Looks paints a vibrant portrait of the contemporary Caribbean as you’ve never read it before. It’s full of characters whose struggles you feel to your bones—and will be rooting for all the way through. Bianca might just be one of my all-time favorite heroines. Mc Ivor’s writing is fresh, smart, and packed with razor-sharp social commentary—a perfect blend of page-turning and thought-provoking. I can’t recommend this debut enough.”
— Caroline Mackenzie, author of One Year of Ugly