Genre: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult
Published by Houghton Mifflin (10.2.2018)
ARC, 384 pages
Seventeen-year-old Anouk envies the human world, where people known as Pretties lavish themselves in fast cars, high fashion, and have the freedom to fall in love. But Anouk can never have those things, because she is not really human. Enchanted from animal to human girl and forbidden to venture beyond her familiar Parisian prison, Anouk is a Beastie: destined for a life surrounded by dust bunnies and cinders serving Mada Vittora, the evil witch who spelled her into existence. That is, until one day she finds her mistress murdered in a pool of blood—and Anouk is accused of the crime.
Now, the world she always dreamed of is rife with danger. Pursued through Paris by the underground magical society known as the Haute, Anouk and her fellow Beasties only have three days to find the real killer before the spell keeping them human fades away. If they fail, they will lose the only lives they’ve ever known…but if they succeed, they could be more powerful than anyone ever bargained for.
From New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd, Grim Lovelies is an epic and glittering YA fantasy. Prepare to be spellbound by the world of Grim Lovelies, where secrets have been long buried, friends can become enemies, and everything—especially humanity—comes at a price.
My poor dears. My grim little lovelies.
I have pretty mixed feelings about this book. The main emotion that I feel after reading? Disappointment. This was one of my most anticipated 2018 releases, and I expected it to be amazing. Sadly, it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it was still good – just…not great.
The concept and world were the gems of this novel. The whole world of magic and the idea of the beasties was incredible!! Honestly this book had so much potential, I’m sad that I didn’t love it like I wanted to. Everything regarding magic was so freakin’ brilliant – the way you had to consume something alive to use it, the vitae echo (all magic comes with a price, dearie *winks*), ugh it was just AMAZING. The world really drew me in!
Magic is life; life is magic.
If it weren’t for the unique concept and imaginative world, I would probably have DNFed this book because sadly that’s where my interest stopped. I didn’t care at all for the prose, which is strange because I read The Cage and really enjoyed it. I don’t remember her prose being subpar, but it felt that way in this one. It was rather bland, and maybe even a little sophomoric. The descriptions were poor and I had a hard time picturing some scenes. It really dragged the story down for me. I also felt a very large disconnect with the story and the characters – to be honest I think 90% of that issue comes from the fact that it’s third person. I hate third person because I can rarely connect to a story written that way, unless the writing is seriously phenomenal. So maybe this was a case of ‘it’s not you, it’s me.’
I didn’t really care about any of the characters. The only reason I was invested in any of them is because the beasties were animals made human, and if you know me you know I’m an animal lover. None of them felt particularly inspirational, and our main character – Anouk – was about as interesting as a piece of cardboard. With the personality of one, too. Same goes for the love interest, Beau. The only vaguely interesting characters were the villains oops? I did like Cricket for the most part. View Spoiler »But maybe not too much because I liked her better as a cat? « Hide Spoiler
I definitely still think you should give it a try just for the magical world, but maybe lower your expectations first!
Writing style: 2.5/5
Overall rating: 3/5