Category: 2018 books

Title: Kill the Boy Band

Author: Goldy Moldavsky

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Horror

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve had Kill the Boy Band at the top of my library stack for a while now, and when I realized I couldn’t renew it anymore, I pushed it to the top of my stack. As soon as I was finished with The Grace Year, I dove in, and I devoured this dark, twisty, humorous mystery in less than a day. It was like something peered inside me and took out everything that made me tick as an obsessed fan girl. The Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, One Direction—it doesn’t really matter which boy band it is; Moldavsky took the very essence of that feeling and turned it into a book, only she frames the plot around a circle of toxic fans and one of the members of a fictional band called The Ruperts. Darkly funny, thoughtful, insightful and shocking, I loved Kill the Boy Band; I’m really mad I didn’t discover this gem earlier!

               They didn’t mean for things to turn out this way; it was all an accident. They got a hotel room hoping to get a sneak peek of the boys they love so much, The Ruperts. What starts as a night of harmless, nostalgic fun quickly spirals into a nightmare, straight out of a horror movie. But when the girls get their hands on Rupert P., they also have the boy’s phone and his most dangerous secrets. When said Rupert ends up dead, the girls are soon turning on each other, and the narrator begins to worry if these events actually happened, or if they were all figments of an overactive imagination…

               I loved this book! I started it right after I finished The Grace Year, and I was immediately obsessed. The prose was sharp, spare and snappy, and I was either gasping in shock or giggling out loud. The pacing was breakneck and almost against my will, I’d devoured the whole story in a matter of hours. I loved the way that it showed a thoughtful and nuanced take on girls and young women, as well as their desires, hungers, and wants, and what can happen when those things turn to obsession. I also adored the narrator, as well as the three other girls who get swept up in the madness that eventually leads to the boy in their keeping dying under mysterious circumstances. Who killed Rupert P.? Why? And that ending; it landed like a punch to the gut, it was so unexpected! A dark, funny, and slightly gruesome take on the experiences of an obsessed fangirl, gone too far. The bottom line: Hilarious, dark, honest and more than a little twisty, I loved Kill the Boy Band! Next on deck: Toil and Trouble by Augusten Borroughs!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/kill-boy-band-by-goldy-moldavsky-review.html

Title: Her Body and Other Parties: Stories

Author: Carmen Maria Machado

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Anthology/Short Story Collection

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve been wanting to read Machado’s debut set of stories for a long time; the first couple times that I tried to read it, I had to return it to my library before I could actually read it. As soon as I was finished with Come November, I pushed it to the top of my library stack. This collection of seven stories was dark, comic, feminist and shocking, and I loved every single one of them. Carmen Maria Machado has become one of my new favorite authors, full of talent and dark truths. I cannot wait to see what comes next from this amazing, wonderful new talent; this set of stories is unforgettable. I was laughing, crying, and gasping. Machado grabs the horror genre and turns it on its head.

               A wife refuses her husband’s pleas to take off the green ribbon around her neck. A lonely woman recounts her sexual history while a plague ravages humanity. A salesclerk at a thrift shop in a mall makes a gruesome, horrible discovery inside of used prom dresses. A woman decides to have a weight reduction surgery and receives an unwelcome and unpleasant houseguest in return. And the novella that has garnered the most attention in the collection reimagines seven seasons of the hit crime show, Law and Order: SVU. I loved this bloody, dark, and gory collection of stories; all of them were unique, some retellings and some original tales. I loved the way that it seemed to peel off the skin of the female psyche; reading this book made me feel both exposed and hidden, like Machado had peered into the deepest parts of my heart and soul. The stories in this collection were about hunger, desire, and the hidden longings that we speak of rarely, if at all. I can’t even decide which story was my favorite, because they all ended up affecting me in different ways. By the end of the book, I was sad it was over, and felt like there were new parts of myself, unearthed by Machado’s lush words. Reading this collection felt like nothing less than a shock, and I cannot wait to see what comes next for this talented, exciting new author. The bottom line: Surprising, wry, darkly funny and honest, I loved Her Body and Other Stories! Next on deck: The Grace Year by Kim Liggett!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/her-body-and-other-parties-stories-by.html

Title: Come November

Author: Katrin van Dam

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Series: Come November, book one

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Come November was the book club book for one of the clubs I go to, Young Adult for Adults. I finished it last week and I still can’t get it out of my head. This book is van Dam’s first, and I was so happy when we realized that she was writing a book about November’s younger brother, Daniel. This story was so unique, I will never forget it. It was emotional and more than a little stressful, but I’m so glad that I was able to accompany November on her journey through life. It wasn’t perfect, but I liked that a lot as well; it felt like it was truer to life that way. This debut novel was strong and beautifully written, and even with the flaws, it is one of my favorite books that I’ve read this year. I won’t forget November and her family! Props to the head of the book club for picking this book. (You know who you are!)

               Rooney Harris knows that the end of the world isn’t truly coming, but trying to say that to her passionate and flighty mother is next to impossible. She knows that she’s the only responsible one for herself and her brother, Daniel, since their mom joined a cult called The Next World Society. On November 17th, her mother and countless others are going to be taken away to live on a new planet and live with otherworldly beings who will save anyone brave enough to part with all of their worldly possessions. But the day finally arrives, only to cause massive disappointment and confusion when it doesn’t actually happen. Rooney’s already complicated existence gets even scarier when she finally reaches out to her father, who left their mother behind years ago to start over with someone else. Rooney begins to learn to let people in, and that nothing about her life is quite what it seems.

               I loved this book. It was a hell of a kick, right to the feels, but I just adored it. It made me so stressed and emotional, at times. There were times I got so emotional that I had to walk away, set it down. But I finished it in a day, and I still haven’t been able to get November’s poignant, sad voice out of my head. The pacing of this book was breakneck; it enthralled me, right out of the gate. I also adored the other characters in the novel: Rooney’s parents, Daniel, Anjelica, Mercer, and the Fishers. Rooney, though, was the star: I loved her defiance, her rage, her sweet but broken writer’s heart. I loved the ending, too, even though it left me feeling a bit cheated at first. Upon further thought and discussion, I liked that there were some loose ends, because in all honesty, that’s usually how life goes. Nothing is ever cut and dried, and I liked that. Katrin van Dam has outdone herself with Come November, and I’m so excited for the sequel! The bottom line: A lyrical, darkly funny and thoughtful debut, I loved Come November! Next on deck: Her Body and Other Parties: Stories by Carmen Maria Machado!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/come-november-by-katrin-van-dam-review.html

Title: Nightingale

Author: Amy Ludavics

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Horror

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Nightingale was the October pick for my young adult book club at the one of the libraries I go to, and I’m embarrassed to tell you all that I forgot about it until the day we were supposed to meet, and because I’d forgotten, I was halfway through an anthology I’d started a few days before! Luckily, I reminded my friend who gives me a ride and we were able to make it. However, I didn’t finish the book until later that week. It’s been two weeks, and I’m still absolutely stunned. This is the first book I’ve read by Amy Ludavics, and I can happily inform you all that it certainly won’t be my last! In fact, that very night one of my other friends demanded I take home her sophomore novel, The Women in the Walls. Nightingale was her third novel, and even after all of this time, I’m still not quite sure what to think of it. It was dark, gory, terrifying, and strange, but there were several loose ends that I wish had been elaborated on more. Nonetheless, this book was a great mashup of science fiction and horror, and I loved the feminist overtones! One of my favorite books I’ve read in 2019, hands down!

               June Hardie has always known that she’s not normal. After all, she’s not drawn to improving her homemaking skills, despite her mother’s persistence. Nor does she long for a fiancé. Instead, she dreams of being a writer. In 1951, she is considered strange and even radical. When a strange and astonishing accident happens, harming one of June’s acquaintances, her parents, fed up with her behavior, commit her to Burrow Place Asylum. With awful, inhumane conditions, abusive staff members, and brutal torture disguised as medical treatments, June’s new home is more like a prison. She fears that the people who run the asylum are preying on her deepest fears and darkest secrets, and she isn’t alone. The other girls begin to show signs of mysterious, unexplained powers, and June begins to realize that some things are just better left alone…

               This book was nothing less than a knockout, for me. Horror is one of my favorite genres, and I especially love to indulge in it when fall begins, all the way through Halloween and beyond. I feel bad for forgetting about this book, but I’m so happy I was able to attend Young Adult for Adults, and I loved Nightingale. The pacing was breakneck, the prose almost hypnotic; this was horror at its finest. I also loved the way the book made me feel: paranoid, claustrophobic and on edge. That’s how you know you’ve got it, folks. That unexplainable, explanation-defying feeling of having found a winner. (Shout out to the head of our book club for picking it! Absolutely fantastic!) I also adored June, who was years ahead of her time, and her ambition to become a writer. I felt a real kinship with her as the book went on. But I think the best part of the novel was the horror elements. Blood, gore, hallucinations, monsters and supernatural powers? Sign me up! It kind of reminded me of Stranger Things a little bit. I also loved the historical details, though I was grating at most of the other characters, the adults in particular. I loved the girls June formed friendships with, especially Eleanor. That ending knocked me flat, but I wasn’t sure what to make of it, exactly, and I wish there hadn’t been so many loose ends. Nonetheless, Amy Ludavics has proven herself to one a formidable and memorable author, and I can’t wait to dive deep into her other works! The bottom line: Terrifying, thought-provoking, feminist and perfect to get in the mood for Halloween, I loved Nightingale, despite some strange loose ends! Next on deck: His Hideous Heart: 13 of Edgar Allen Poe’s Most Unsettling Tales Reimagined by Dahlia Adler!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/11/nightingale-by-amy-ludavics-review.html

Title: Unclaimed Baggage

Author: Jen Doll

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I have a confession to make: Unclaimed Baggage was my young adult book club pick for September, and I just finished it last night. The first time I tried to read it, I only made it eighty or so pages and was bored, so I dropped it. But when I went to book club a few weeks ago, everyone had read it and begged me to, in order to participate in the discussion. So, as soon as I was finished with Wonderbook, I dove in, excited to read the story and compare my thoughts to those of my friends. I’m so happy to report that this time around, after being convinced to give it a chance, I liked it a lot more! Unclaimed Baggage is one of those books that makes me fall in love with the contemporary genre all over again. Hilarious, heartfelt, timely and thought-provoking, I really enjoyed it, but there were a couple of snags that I just couldn’t get past. Nonetheless, Jen Doll’s first novel was a great debut, and I’m so happy that I actually read it in full this time.

               Doris, Nell, and Grant all have two things in common: living in small-town Alabama, and working for the resale store, aptly named Unclaimed Baggage. Doris doesn’t believe in God and isn’t shy about expressing that opinion, Nell is a reluctant transplant from Chicago, her friends, and most important of all, her boyfriend, Ashton. She misses her old life, but soon discovers that she can start a new one, with new friends and meaningful bonds. And lastly, there’s Grant, the town golden boy fallen from grace after a tragic accident, trying desperately to redeem himself and become a better person. All three kids find out secrets, about the town, their families, and themselves in the process.

               I really enjoyed this book the second time around. I was laughing, crying, and cheering the whole time; the pacing was good, and the transition between the kids’ voices were smooth. The small town setting was one that felt all too familiar: everyone knowing everyone, old prejudices and petty feuds. It was claustrophobic, to say the least. I loved Doris, Nell, and Grant the most; their characterization was absolutely incredible. But I also adored Stella, Nell’s parents and brother, and Grant’s mother and siblings; this felt realistic. But there were quite a few snags that really ended up bothering me. I wish that more had been fleshed out, particularly in Doris’s and Grant’s families; it felt like there was just too much that ended up unresolved. Nonetheless, Jen Doll has penned a fantastic debut, and I can’t wait for what she does next! The bottom line: Funny and heartfelt but lacking in detail in some spots, I really enjoyed Unclaimed Baggage! Next on deck: Gideon The Ninth by Tamsyn Muir!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/10/unclaimed-baggage-by-jen-doll-review.html

Title: It’s Always the Husband

Author: Michelle Campbell

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

               I
borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               I’ve
heard great things about It’s Always the Husband; in fact, I was so curious
about it that I ordered it from my local library. It’s been sitting in my stack
for a while, and once I realized that it had a hold on it, I pushed it to the
top as soon as I finished Pachinko. Once I finished it, I dove right in, not
sure what to expect, as I’d never read any of Campbell’s work before.
Thrillers, in general, make me leery: either I guess who did it within a
hundred pages, or it’s just so predictable that I lose interest. That wasn’t
the issue here, quite the opposite, in fact. The writing was a bit simplistic,
but it really suited the book, and I loved the concept: How well do we truly
know the people we love, especially our friends? The pacing was breakneck, and
once I began, I couldn’t stop reading. I just finished It’s Always the Husband
last night, and I’m still in shock. I was blindsided by the ending; I thought I
had it all figured out, but it was still a nasty surprise! Michelle Campbell
proves her writing chops with It’s Always the Husband, and I can’t wait to read
more of her work!

               The
book begins at Carlisle College in New England, with three young women from
different walks of life: Aubrey, the poor kid desperate to make friends and fit
in, Kate, the charismatic and wild rich girl with undeniable magnetism, and
Jenny, the overachiever from a middle-class family. Roommates all, the girls
form an unbreakable bond that stands the test of time, up to adulthood. But
that all changes when Kate dies unexpectedly. The police are thinking that it
was a suicide, but some people in town believe that she was murdered. Soon,
everyone in town is under scrutiny, and dark, dangerous secrets threaten to
disturb the peaceful, sleepy town of Belle River…

               This
book was wonderful! It was a bit simplistic, but I think that it suited the
book and the genre. The pacing was breakneck, and once I started reading, I
couldn’t stop. Even when I had to put it down, it stayed in my mind, and I kept
trying to untangle the gnarled, knotted threads that the mystery presented. The
large cast of characters, too, made it nearly impossible to figure out who had
hurt Kate. I loved all of the characters, whose true motives were hidden under
layers of secrets and deceit. I was left guessing at nearly everyone’s motives,
and the ending, when it came, hit me like a brutal punch to the chest. I
thought I had it all figured it out, but I definitely didn’t: I finished it
last night in the tub, and I’m still totally stunned. Michelle Campbell did a
fantastic job with this soapy, dramatic thriller that focuses on frenemies, and
I can’t wait to look into more of her work! The bottom line: Dark, oppressive,
and twisted, I loved It’s Always the Husband! Next on deck: We Set the Dark on
Fire by Tehlor Kay Meija!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/09/its-always-husband-by-michelle-campbell.html

Title: The War Outside

Author: Monica Hesse

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Historical Fiction

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               The War Outside was the August book club pick for one of the book discussions I go to; I finished it in three days. I, unfortunately, was not able to finish it the actual night of book club, so I finished it the day after. This book was so heartfelt and emotional, and the issues it brought up are still relevant today. Touching on a dark period of America’s history, The War Outside depicts the fraught relationship of two young women, locked away with their families in an internment camp. Haruko is Japanese-American, taken from her home to live with her father, who has been accused of betraying the country and passing on trade secrets. Margot is German-American, sent with her parents on suspicion that she is siding with the enemy. The girls’ lives collide in the most explosive way, ending in tragedy and betrayal. I loved every painful, topical moment of this book, because those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it. Unfortunately, America has indeed been repeating history, ripping families apart and putting innocent little kids in cages. I’ll be honest: I cried through most of this book. It was so incredibly painful, and absolutely necessary. I will never forget The War Outside, and I can’t wait to read The Girl in the Blue Coat!

               I liked this book a lot; historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, because it allows me to experience a time that I can’t in person. The pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately entranced by both Haruko and Margot’s voices, bitter and afraid and angry at the country who refuses to accept them because of their ancestry. I couldn’t tell if they were just friends, or if their relationship went deeper than that, but the tension and chemistry between Margot and Haruko was totally electric. I also enjoyed the cast of characters around them: both of their families, entwined with dark, dangerous secrets, and the internment camp itself, a prison dressed up in new clapboard houses, little food, and a new swimming pool. I was constantly turning pages, and when I wasn’t reading, the girls lurked in my head, attempting to lure me back into the book, regardless of what I was doing. The narrative was tinged with regret on all sides, salty and bitter, sitting like a lump in my throat. Fear itself was also a prominent character; no one in the camps trust one another, or the country that promised them all a new life, only to lock them away for things that they did not do. And the ending! I was so shocked; it was the literary equivalent to dropping a bomb. I was blown away and wasn’t expecting it at all, even after being warned! This tender, romantic and bittersweet story tells of a time that should be in our past, but alas, it is happening all over again with Mexican asylum seekers, right before our very eyes. I loved the friendship between the two young women, even as it frayed irreversibly at the end. The only thing I didn’t like was that most of the adults weren’t even listening to the girls; I didn’t like ninety percent of them. Nonetheless, Hesse has penned a breathless and unforgettable sophomore novel that casts a light on one of America’s darkest historical periods, and I will never forget it! The bottom line: Fraught with emotion and distrust, I loved The War Outside! A bittersweet, tender and topical sophomore novel, Monica Hesse has outdone herself, and I can’t wait to read The Girl in the Blue Coat! Next on deck: Pan’s Labyrinth: Labyrinth of the Faun by Guillermo Del Toro, Cornelia Funke, and Allen Williams!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/08/the-war-outside-by-monica-hesse-review.html

Title: Queen of Air and Darkness

Author: Cassandra Clare

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: The Dark Artifices, book three

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               So, I’ll start this review by being completely honest: I’ve been avoiding this book since it came out last December, partly because I just wasn’t ready for it to end, and half because Lord of Shadows tore my soul to shreds. I’ve checked it out at my local library a few times, and had to return it almost every time. I couldn’t renew it anymore this time, so as soon as I was finished with Queen of Ruin, I pushed it to the top of my stack, figuring that I could no longer avoid it. This book took me a week and a half to finish, and I’ve been chewing on it for almost three weeks. To tell the truth, guys, I’m still not ready to put my feelings to paper. But I’ve been sitting on it long enough, and if I keep avoiding it, I won’t write it. This book is probably one of the most emotional and intense of Clare’s books, and the last book in The Dark Artifices series is one that I will never forget. I was absolutely blown away, and I’m so very happy and sad that it’s all over!

               Queen of Air and Darkness picks up where Lord of Shadows left off, with the Blackthorn family and Emma Carstairs shattered after a horribly traumatic death. Left reeling over it, Julian makes a heartbreaking decision. Emma is desperate to keep the only family she’s ever had together, and The Clave is dangerously teetering, on the brink of a bloody civil war among Shadowhunters. One part of the family heads to Los Angeles to discover the cause of a dangerous disease that is decimating the warlock race. Meanwhile, Emma and Julian must put the thoughts of their forbidden love aside as they journey to Faerie to retrieve The Black Volume of the Dead. But the secrets waiting for them within the Court are dark, dangerous, and powerful, and may tear the foundation of the Shadowhunters apart. Caught in a deadly race against time, they must save the world before the dark power of the parabatai curse destroys them and everyone they care about…

               This book, to be completely frank, absolutely destroyed me, which is why I avoided it so long. It was beautifully written, and I adored the black and white illustrations throughout. That was such a cool bonus! As with all sequels, it took me a little bit of time to remember what was happening. But the pacing was breakneck, and I was immediately absorbed in the novel. I also enjoyed all the different points of view; one of the things I love about Clare’s books is the scope of them. I also really liked all of the Easter eggs left throughout the book: appearances of other familiar faces, secrets that I didn’t get throughout the series until this book. I was totally spellbound by this mammoth book; counting the bonus material, it was over eight hundred pages. This book absolutely gutted me, emotionally: I was laughing, or straight up ugly crying throughout. Nonetheless, this book was a great ending to one of my favorite Cassandra Clare offerings, meaty and dark and tender, and full of surprises! Especially that ending. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO ACCEPT THE END OF THIS WHEN IT ENDED LIKE THAT?! Come on, Cassandra, you’re killing me here! The bottom line: The last book in The Dark Artifices trilogy, Queen of Air and Darkness may be Cassandra Clare’s best book yet. Next on deck: No Beast So Fierce: The Terrifying True Story of the Champawat Tiger, the Deadliest Animal in History by Dane Huckelbridge!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/08/queen-of-air-and-darkness-by-cassandra.html

Title: Love a la Mode

Author: Stephanie Kate Strohm

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Romance

Series: Standalone

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               When I found out that our book club pick for June was Love a la Mode, I was ecstatic! I’d already ordered a copy through my interlibrary loan system, and I was excited for the excuse to push it to the top of my stack. I was hopeful for The Flame and the Candle, but it wasn’t working for me. Plus, things have been crazy for me in my personal life, and I needed a break from all the dark stuff I’ve been feeling and experiencing. I figured this would fit the bill, and I was right. Romantic, mouthwatering, hilarious and as sweet and light as any pastry made in Paris, I loved Love a la Mode, and I’m beginning to have a new appreciation for the romance genre in general. It really is the perfect antidote when real life is bogging you down.

Henry Yi and Rosie Radeke are two teens that both love food, and they are both on their way to Paris to study at one of the best cooking schools in the world. And they just so happen to fall in love on the airplane ride over. But alas, lovely Paris isn’t all delicious food: Rosie begins to wonder if she can really cook after all, and Henry longs to run his own restaurant, just like his father, despite his mother insisting he go to college. Hilarity, hijinks, and adorable love scenes ensue, complete with misunderstandings and kisses straight out of a romcom! Honestly, I really loved it. Before I’d read Love a La Mode, I’d forgotten just how therapeutic this genre can be. I’ve been dealing with a lot of heavy stuff, and I’m finding that I’m gravitating toward happier things instead of dark ones. The pacing was breakneck, I was crying laughing throughout the book; this book is a real gem! I loved all of the characters, and their distinctive personalities. And the descriptions of the food! Oh, my goodness, I was so hungry as I was reading this book! It was all so vivid I felt as though I could taste the food. I loved the rollercoaster that was Henry and Rosie’s relationship. Love a la Mode was a great reprieve from the stresses of life, and I very much enjoyed it. It was a great example of the YA romance genre. The bottom line: Bubbly, sweet, romantic and hilarious, I loved Love a la Mode! Next on deck: Girl Gone Viral by Arvin Ahmadi!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/06/love-la-mode-by-stephanie-kate-strohm.html

Title: Grim Lovelies

Author: Megan Shepherd

Age Group: Teen/Young Adult

Genre: Fantasy

Series: Grim Lovelies, book one

Star Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

               I borrowed this book from my local library and reviewed it.

               Grim Lovelies has been on my library loan list since it came out, so when I found it at my library, I took it home. It’s been sitting in my stack for a while, and once I realized I couldn’t renew it anymore, I pushed it to the top of the stack and began reading as soon as I was finished with America Was Hard to Find. Megan Shepherd is one of my favorite authors; I loved The Madman’s Daughter and The Cage series. I was so happy with this book. It was full of magic, mystery, seductive darkness and dangerous secrets, with Beasties, Goblins, Witches and Royals that stole my heart. I can’t wait for the sequel to come out in August! I daresay that this book is one of the strongest in the entirety of Shepherd’s body of work.

               Anouk is a Beastie, an animal who was turned into a human girl to do a Witch’s bidding. Despite loving her mistress, she longs to join the world of the Pretties, the humans that the Witches and Royals rule over. But her content existence is shattered when she discovers that Mada Vittoria has been brutally murdered. To add to this mess, one of her fellow Beasties, Luc, has disappeared. Forced to make a mad dash across Paris, Anouk and the others must race against the clock to retain their humanity. But more than one person has conspired to see Anouk lose, and she must discover the hidden power inside of herself in order to emerge from the trials unscathed, or she just might lose everything…

               This book was amazing! It was a seductive, dark fairy tale full of dangerous magic and secrets that had me shocked. The characters were my favorite; I fell in love with Anouk and her strange little family. The pacing was breakneck, and the prose was gorgeous; Shepherd’s writing and worldbuilding were unforgettable. But even more than that, I loved the tense, mad dash through a magical, dangerous Paris that I felt was just on the other side of our world. The twists and turns had me gasping, laughing and crying as the book went on. I’ve been waiting for something like Grim Lovelies my whole life. There wasn’t a character that I didn’t love, didn’t feel for in some way. I loved every crazy moment, and I wanted more. That ending! Oh, my goodness! I wish I had Midnight Beauties right now because two days later, I’m reeling! I won’t say anything about it, in case there are some readers that haven’t yet read it. All I can say is that I can’t wait for Midnight Beauties; there was nothing about this beautifully wrought fairy tale that I didn’t love. It’s probably my favorite of all of Megan Shepherd’s books, and I will never forget Anouk and her friends! This is one of my favorite books I’ve read recently, and I can’t wait until Midnight Beauties. The bottom line: Gorgeous, dark and dangerous, I loved Grim Lovelies! One of my favorites that I’ve read recently, and I can’t wait for the sequel! Next on deck: Girls With Sharp Sticks by Suzanne Young!

https://literatureobsessed.blogspot.com/2019/05/grim-lovelies-by-megan-shepherd-review.html