TITLE: Grim Lovelies

AUTHOR: Megan Shepherd

Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3.5)

PAGES: 384

PUBLISHER: HMH Books for Young Readers

TARGET AUDIENCE: Young Adult

GENRE(S): Fantasy

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd - The Contented ReaderSeventeen-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.

Review

Grim Lovelies is a great mixture of a charming modern setting, intriguing characters and whimsical magic. It’s a fast-paced book that leaves you wanting more.

Grim Lovelies follows Anouk, who works as a maid for an evil witch who transformed her from animal to human. Following the death of the evil witch, Anouk travels around Paris in search for a spell that will keep her and her other ‘beastie’ friends human.

The characters in this novel are a big aspect to why this book is enjoyable. In the beginning, Anouk seems somewhat childish and naive. She’s blinded by the world that the witch, Mada Vittora, has given her and her ‘beastie’ friends. As Anouk discovers more about herself, she becomes strong, brave and confident.

The other ‘beasties’ are just as enjoyable. My favourite definitely is Cricket – she’s sassy and sarcastic. She also is defiant and stubborn, and I really enjoyed her throughout the book. Viggo and Hunter Black play the arrogant characters you sometimes need to have around, while Beau is the constant companion.

One of the aspects I did not enjoy as much in this book is the romantic element. In my opinion it felt a bit forced. It was extremely insta-lovey, and I did not feel it had much development. I found it to be very underwhelming and the book really could do without it.

There is a lot happening throughout the plot; traveling between Paris and the outer city, visits by the Royals, attending Goblin balls. But this helps to drive the book and create a fast-paced adventure that leaves you in suspense. The ending of this book certainly has me intrigued for the next book, Midnight Beauties.

This book is dark, whimsical, magical and filled with adventure. It’s fast-paced and very character driven, while grounded in friendship and strength. Overall, I would recommend this book to those who are fans of urban fantasy, modern settings and magic!

Q&A

Victoria: Hi Megan! I’m so excited for the release of Grim Lovelies – congratulations! I was wondering if you could spend a day with any of the characters from Grim Lovelies, who would it be and what would you spend the day doing?

Megan: Great question! I’d be tempted to spend the day with Anouk, because she is an incredible baker and could whip up cakes and pies and cookies. Or with Beau, whose passion in life is driving fast cars through the crazy streets of Paris. But I think I’d pick Cricket, the thief, because she knows the hidden nooks of Paris – where to get the best coffee, the location of secret parties, and how to sneak into venues for the most exclusive concerts.

It's because our true lives are just about to begin.

Favourite Quote

About the Author

Megan Shepherd Author Photo - The Contented Reader

New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

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Are you looking forward to checking out Grim Lovelies? Have you already read it? If you could be an animal, which animal would you want to be?

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Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Victoria @ The Contented Reader

Avid reader and tea drinker. I read and review young adult books on my blog, The Contented Reader!

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