Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
Published by HMH Books for Young Readers on October 2, 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy
Pages: 384 Format: ARC Source: Library
This ARC was received by my library department for marketing purposes. This does not impact my thoughts and opinions in any way.
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.
Picture this: Paris under the sway of magic wielders, animals turned human, and a murder that changes everything. That’s Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd in a nutshell. With plenty of action that keeps the reader invested and a gilded world full of danger and wonder I found myself flipping pages faster and faster while enjoying the reading experience immensely.
Inspired by stories like Cinderella where fairy tale sidekick animals are made human, the premise of this one was super exciting and the setting of Paris brought the lush world of The Haute, the underground magical society pulling the strings, to the forefront. I found the magic system super interesting but wish it had been fleshed out more and there were a couple plot choices near the end that I could have done without.
Anouk was a hard sell at first; naive and sheltered, blissfully in love with a world she’s never known. She really came into her own though, challenging herself, pursuing something more, and making hard choices. Beau was so sweet and endearing even while he was irritatingly overprotective and Cricket was a super cool angry chick. I did wish that Luc and Hunter Black had played bigger roles though.
Overall I really enjoyed Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies and the dive into magic and power in Paris. The intriguing magic, delectable descriptions, and compelling characters combine for an interesting read and the pace meant I couldn’t put this book down. While I did have a couple things bother me I’m hoping this book was a start to a series with definite potential.
Are you excited for Grim Lovelies? Enjoy books with magic set in the modern world?
Let me know in the comments below!