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I picked up an ARC of Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd at Yallwest. There were macarons involved, how could I refuse? I read the book very soon after, and these are my honest opinions!

Click here for the blurb!

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.

 

I really didn’t have any expectations for this book when I decided to spend over an hour in the hot hot Santa Monica sun in line to get it. I have a couple of friends who were very excited for it, (maybe it was all about the macarons?) so I figured I would hang out with them, and maybe be pleasantly surprised by the book. I am happy to say that I was and I gave Grim Lovelies 5 stars.

There are certain fairy tale characters/creatures that tend to go overlooked. The pets, the farm animals, the servants. This book is an in-depth exploration of their struggles and stories. The primary cast is led by Anouk, an animal-turned-human who just wants to get by and have a quiet life. Things change for her when a member of her household is suddenly taken out of the picture and the adventure kicks into high gear. There are action scenes, cool magic, training montages, even a shopping escapade.

I found myself immediately in love with the core characters because they are all animals! It was fun to try to pick out which animals they may have been prior to their human transformation, and to see how their behaviors linked them to animal counterparts. Like many great fairy tale reimaginings, there is a fair amount of dark fantasy involved. Magic is twisted and used in grim ways throughout the story. I loved every minute and I can’t wait for the sequel, even though this book doesn’t come out until October 2018. Definitely add it to your tbr if you haven’t already!

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