November 2, 2018

Review: Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd

Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies #1)
Author: Megan Shepherd
Genre: YA Fantasy/Paranormal
Release Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers


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.

Grim Lovelies is a fascinating and thrilling first book in a new YA fantasy series that readers are definitely going to want to get their hands on. I really liked this book - even more than I thought I was going to, which was a lot to begin with. I actually loved everything about this novel and have no real complaints. The only reason I didn't give it a full 5 stars is because it's written in the third person point of view and I always prefer the first person. With the first person POV, the reader gets a deeper and more personal connection to the narrator and it always seems to make all the difference for me personally. This is my own opinion and doesn't reflect poorly on the book or writing - just a personal preference. I wish we could've had this story in the first person from Anouk's perspective. It would've been a lot more intimate and hit the next level (for me at least).

Aside from that minor issue, I loved this book a lot. I couldn't stop reading and ended up devouring the entire novel in a few hours. I loved the characters. Every single one of them was unique and complex, from each of the beasties to the witches and the royals. I loved getting to know each of them, even though some of them weren't the best people, and I can't wait to get to know them even better in the upcoming sequel. Anouk is our main character and she's fantastic. She starts out timid, shy, quiet, and a maid/housekeeper for a witch. All she wants is attention or any little bit of affection shown to her. It's sad really because she doesn't know anything but that life - that there's more out there and life doesn't have to be like that. When things take a huge turn in the plot though, Anouk and her friends find themselves out in the real world and discovering what they're really made of and what they are capable of. I loved watching Anouk's character change and grow stronger throughout the story. It was inspiring and gave the novel hope and a sense of pride not just for her but for the rest of her little family of beasties. Of course, I have to mention the romance with Beau, which I thought was absolutely adorable and sweet. Normally I don't like romance in novels of other genres because it can overshadow the main plot, but I don't feel this happened in the book. It was a nice addition to the story and helped add a layer of tension and happiness.

The setting was amazing as well. I'm a huge Francophile and I adored this alternate France with magic. I loved how the author inserts French words into the book and how she describes different settings throughout France. She does so in a way that brings them to life before the reader's eyes with vivid imagery and detailed descriptions of every little thing. Although this might not be as big of a deal to other readers, the French aspects really did it for me. I can't explain how much I loved that this was the setting and the little inclusions the author did. It helped make the book such a delight to read. I could go on and on, rambling about everything I liked about the novel - but I probably wouldn't make much sense. I just know that I loved this book and I'm so incredibly excited that it's the start of a new series because I need more of this magic and the characters (and the ending would've been horrible if it was a standalone!). I highly recommend this novel to fans of the author's other works, and of YA fiction, fantasy, paranormal, and even romance.


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