Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies, #1)
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 (Grim Lovelies, #1) Details

TitleGrim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 2nd, 2018
PublisherHMH Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781328809186
Rating
GenreFantasy, Young Adult

Grim Lovelies (Grim Lovelies, #1) Review

  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    I'll be doing a full review of this later (I SWEAR, OK) but this was really deliciously magical and addictive and I ended up reading 2/3rds of it without stopping?! Which is unusually for my lengthen attention span. So pls prepare yourself for☆ magic and witches and enchantments but in a modern setting☆ Paris!!☆ staying to eat pastries > running for your life☆ dysfunctional family squad dynamics☆ villains grudgingly doing good omg☆ softest sweet hufflepuff being badass☆ wickedly beautiful wor I'll be doing a full review of this later (I SWEAR, OK) but this was really deliciously magical and addictive and I ended up reading 2/3rds of it without stopping?! Which is unusually for my lengthen attention span. So pls prepare yourself for☆ magic and witches and enchantments but in a modern setting☆ Paris!!☆ staying to eat pastries > running for your life☆ dysfunctional family squad dynamics☆ villains grudgingly doing good omg☆ softest sweet hufflepuff being badass☆ wickedly beautiful world building☆ m a g i c"One big happy family whose members haven't attempted to murder one another in at least a few hours.""Keep your eyes open. If anything looks off, leave your pastries and run for the car.""Hey, now, no one's desperate enough to abandon pastries," Cricket said. "Not yet."
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  • may ➹
    January 1, 1970
    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO I LOVE BEING SO ANGRY ABOUT THE BURY YOUR GAYS TROPE IN THIS BOOK THAT I DROP THE RATING TO ONE STAR!!!!!!!review to come Thank you to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! This does not affect my opinion in any way.
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  • Candace Robinson
    January 1, 1970
    I thought this was a pretty good start to the series and had an original feel to it. Anouk and four other "beasties" live together with a witch who gave them human form. After finding the witch murdered, Anouk and the other beasties leave their home. Anouk has never been out of the house, and I found her quite adorable in certain parts as she learned her way. There was also mystery: who killed the witch, where was one of the missing beasties, and will they be able to stop from turning back into I thought this was a pretty good start to the series and had an original feel to it. Anouk and four other "beasties" live together with a witch who gave them human form. After finding the witch murdered, Anouk and the other beasties leave their home. Anouk has never been out of the house, and I found her quite adorable in certain parts as she learned her way. There was also mystery: who killed the witch, where was one of the missing beasties, and will they be able to stop from turning back into animals?There was also a cute side romance. It wasn't a big part of the book, but I found Beau quite cute and protective at times. He also made me mad at times, too! But I liked him and Anouk together.Overall, the writing is well done and the descriptions were on point. I'm curious to see what happens next as it does end on a cliffhanger.
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  • Chelsea Humphrey
    January 1, 1970
    I think this one will be very appealing to those on the younger end of the YA spectrum. I'm not sure where my expectations came from, but I was certain this would be darker and more mature than it was, and the failing of those expectations were solely on my end. While the idea was superb, it seems that the story fell a bit short for me, mainly due to the fact that I found this entire book to be mostly a setting up for the following stories that may take place. I think, if this part had been cond I think this one will be very appealing to those on the younger end of the YA spectrum. I'm not sure where my expectations came from, but I was certain this would be darker and more mature than it was, and the failing of those expectations were solely on my end. While the idea was superb, it seems that the story fell a bit short for me, mainly due to the fact that I found this entire book to be mostly a setting up for the following stories that may take place. I think, if this part had been condensed into a novella and utilized as an introduction to Anouk and co, that my attention would have been snagged more thoroughly. All in all, not a bad read, and my first from Megan Shepherd. *I received a copy for review via NetGalley from the publisher.
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  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    they’re dead Jim. the gays are dead
  • Cait • A Page with a View
    January 1, 1970
    I’m leaving off a rating because this wasn’t really my cup of tea, but it’s definitely something that fans of The Infernal Devices will love!
  • Megan Shepherd
    January 1, 1970
    ETA 6/29/18: The preorder giveaway is live! Every preorder of GRIM LOVELIES comes with a branded tote because the Haute insists you carry your books in style ♥ AAAAAND you also get automatically entered to win a Grim Lovelies $500 beauty sweepstakes with fun glam goodies!Get your tote & sweepstakes entry here:Grim Lovelies Pre-order Giveaway + SweepstakesETA 6/20/18: *SPARKLY* PREORDER CAMPAIGN & TOUR DATES WILL BE ANNOUNCED 6/28/18! Save your preorder receipts!Welcome to the Haute!This ETA 6/29/18: The preorder giveaway is live! Every preorder of GRIM LOVELIES comes with a branded tote because the Haute insists you carry your books in style ♥️ AAAAAND you also get automatically entered to win a Grim Lovelies $500 beauty sweepstakes with fun glam goodies!Get your tote & sweepstakes entry here:Grim Lovelies Pre-order Giveaway + SweepstakesETA 6/20/18: *SPARKLY* PREORDER CAMPAIGN & TOUR DATES WILL BE ANNOUNCED 6/28/18! Save your preorder receipts!Welcome to the Haute!This book is: Paris, witches, pastries, blood, fast cars, fashion, Goblins, fairy tales.This is the story of secondary characters who grew up hearing fairy tales and never realized they were living in one of their own.My inspiration was the mice-turned-servants in Cinderella. At midnight, Cinderella loses a pretty dress, but the mice stand to lose so much more: They’ve been taken from animal to human, allowed to experience things like laughter and music and love, and for them, midnight means The End. In GRIM LOVELIES, my "beasties" refuse to let midnight come and claim them.Thank you for picking up this book, lovelies. May a little magic wander off the page and into your own life <3
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  • mith
    January 1, 1970
    find this review and others on biscotto's books!---I… don’t remember much about this novel, and that’s honestly the first problem with Grim Lovelies. While the idea of the book is so cool, the end result leaves a lot to be desired.I will say this though—I’m excited about where it could go. The ending left me with ideas of where Anouk’s story could go next, who she could be. Most of the novel, I experienced her grow from this innocent little beastie. If I have one weakness, it’s watching those sw find this review and others on biscotto's books!---I… don’t remember much about this novel, and that’s honestly the first problem with Grim Lovelies. While the idea of the book is so cool, the end result leaves a lot to be desired.I will say this though—I’m excited about where it could go. The ending left me with ideas of where Anouk’s story could go next, who she could be. Most of the novel, I experienced her grow from this innocent little beastie. If I have one weakness, it’s watching those sweet, sheltered characters grow into a hardened soldier.That being said, there isn’t much else I really liked. I mean, there was the idea of witches in Paris and the whole Pretties and beasties thing. Beasties are basically animals turned human and serve Pretties and witches—I think. (re: I don’t remember much about this book.) I felt there were so many ways this book could go, but for more than half the book, it felt like travelling from point A to point B to point C. There wasn’t much action and it was boring.I could have done without the romance too. The guy, who is still as irrelevant as he was during my time reading Grim Lovelies, was initially friend-zoned but of course, that boring relationship progressed. Guys, there was no chemistry at all. The book could have done without this. The only thing that made up for it—to me, at least—was the fact that I picked up undertones of interest for another character… the villain. So. This is me hoping.There’s another thing that made me super uncomfortable too. I’m, like, 98% sure there’s that dreaded bury-your-gays trope. From here on out, there will be spoilers for events occurring near the ending. Remember what I said about Beasties? How they’re animals turned human? Okay, well, Anouk is one of, like 4 or 5? total in her witch’s household. One of them is gay—and he was described as being the lone wolf, coming off as cruel to the others. He wasn’t always the nicest except to the human boy he was loyal too.Near the end, the Beasties face a terrible fate: going back to their original form. But most of them are okay—just, uh, held hostage by The Bad Guys. The gay character, though, is the only one that dies. Which makes me, a) sigh for a thousand years and, b) so tired. If this is the type of thing that keeps you from reading a book—and understandably so—steer clear of Grim Lovelies.With all the pretty Parisian culture and witchy stuff this book had to offer, very little was shown. This book had so much potential! I hold out hope for future sequels, maybe foolishly. I wished this was darker, a bit more action-packed, a little less… dull. Overall, 2 stars.
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  • Femke (booksfemme)
    January 1, 1970
    This was a very enjoyable read, but it didn't manage to intrigue me as much as I had initially hoped. It might also be that I just wasn't in the mood for reading, but I'm not sure. The characters are quite lovely but I feel like some of them lacked depth. The story itself is cute, but I recommend it more for younger YA readers.
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  • Victor Dixen
    January 1, 1970
    Can you remember the mice changed into footmen to conduct Cinderella’s coach? The animals-turned-into-humans have left no names in the many fairy tales where they appear. They remain faceless silhouettes, sentenced to serve the wizards and witches who gave them birth.In her captivating novel, which I had the opportunity to read pre-publication, Megan Shepherd rights this wrong and finally gives a voice to those who never had one. She invites us to join a small group of runaway metamorphs in thei Can you remember the mice changed into footmen to conduct Cinderella’s coach? The animals-turned-into-humans have left no names in the many fairy tales where they appear. They remain faceless silhouettes, sentenced to serve the wizards and witches who gave them birth.In her captivating novel, which I had the opportunity to read pre-publication, Megan Shepherd rights this wrong and finally gives a voice to those who never had one. She invites us to join a small group of runaway metamorphs in their breathless quest for freedom, across a Paris that is both contemporary and magical, glittering and dark. Eventually, she asks a question that concerns us all: what does it mean to be human?
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  • Shelflove
    January 1, 1970
    Absolutely loved this book!
  • julianna ➹
    January 1, 1970
    even if this turns out horribly let's just agree that this cover is amazing
  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    The premise of this book is supposedly built on fairytales, but I really didn’t get that in the story. It’s its own beast. This book struggled with trying too hard - I felt like I could see the mechanisms behind the scenes - how the plot would go, etc. There wasn’t enough to truly pull me through the story.
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  • Amy
    January 1, 1970
    ARC provided by HMH via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.There we have it, folks. My first one-star rating of 2018. I am so sorry and hope I don't offend anyone with this post, but Grim Lovelies was the biggest disappointment of the year for me.Grim Lovelies is an urban fantasy set in a Paris where there are different classes of people/supernaturals:1) The Pretties: humans like us who live in the world, existing with their flashy technology and cars.2) The Haute: The magical elite such ARC provided by HMH via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.There we have it, folks. My first one-star rating of 2018. I am so sorry and hope I don't offend anyone with this post, but Grim Lovelies was the biggest disappointment of the year for me.Grim Lovelies is an urban fantasy set in a Paris where there are different classes of people/supernaturals:1) The Pretties: humans like us who live in the world, existing with their flashy technology and cars.2) The Haute: The magical elite such as witches and goblins.3) The Beasties: Animals who were enchanted and turned into humans with the purpose to serve the Haute.Anouk is a Beastie who serves a powerful witch, Mada Vittora. Anouk also lives with other Beasties: Luc, Beau, Cricket, and Hunter Black. Mada Vittora also has a human son, Viggo. However, one day Mada Vittora is murdered, and the Beasties are now living on borrowed time. You see, once the witch who "made" a Beastie dies, her powers die with her. The Beasties only have three days to find a way to remain human or else they are turned back into their original animal forms.Grim Lovelies failed at pulling me in from the first page. I was really hoping for more witchy story lines and a stronger magic system. The world building also fell completely flat. There were no explanations about how their magic system worked; it was just there. And even though Anouk is a subservient girl who isn't supposed to be able to do magic, she was able to all of a sudden cast powerful spells without any training at all. It was like she was "the chosen one" and there was no explanation on how she became to be powerful.The other characters were also just... there. I didn't fall in love with anyone even though they all had so much potential for better character arcs. The gay rep for Hunter Black was so cast over and I really hated what happened to his character towards the end. Also I felt zero chemistry between Beau and Anouk. Their romance was such a failed attempt at friends-to-lovers. It really didn't even need to happen.Then there's Luc who is our POC rep but he's basically stuck in a giant hand bag throughout the ENTIRE book, so we only meet him much later. Dare I say my only favorite characters were the "villains" or "morally ambiguous characters": Petra (I loved her; she is trans and was the one redeeming character in this entire book), Viggo (he's only funny when he's under a love spell), and Rennar, the main villain. But even then, Rennar was such a weak villain and I didn't even understand why he had to exist other than to just... be the bad guy. He has no back story or purpose other than "wanting power."I don't know, y'all. I think I just had way higher expectations and I was really let down. I wanted a vast world of beasts and witches, a stronger magic system, and back stories on how this all came to be. The writing and progression felt juvenile, and I think this book would benefit more as a middle grade book. Better yet, I believe some of the scenes and characters could translate well if illustrated in a manga. But it all ends on a cliff hanger, and this just disappointed me even further. I wasn't expecting this to be a series, so that's my bad on my part.I didn't hate this book and I'm not angry at it. But it just left me feeling so disappointed about so many things. And overall? I was so bored. I got really hopeful around the 50% mark when things finally picked up, but then it all went downhill again.I hope you all like it more than I did!Blog | Instagram | Twitter
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  • Samm | Sassenach the Book Wizard
    January 1, 1970
    HELL YES TO THIS COVER
  • Kristi Housman Confessions of a YA Reader
    January 1, 1970
    I really loved this book!  But it's another one that is going to be tough to review without giving anything away.  I apologize now if this is a mess. I enjoyed the writing and it the pacing was great.  It was easy to like a lot of the characters, but there were some that I didn't like.  That was kind of the point though.  There were some very questionable characters in the book.  I also really loved the magic system.Grim Lovelies takes place in Paris, but it's not the Paris we know.  This Paris I really loved this book!  But it's another one that is going to be tough to review without giving anything away.  I apologize now if this is a mess. I enjoyed the writing and it the pacing was great.  It was easy to like a lot of the characters, but there were some that I didn't like.  That was kind of the point though.  There were some very questionable characters in the book.  I also really loved the magic system.Grim Lovelies takes place in Paris, but it's not the Paris we know.  This Paris has a lot of magic.  The Royals are at the top.  Then there are the witches that are powerful.  The Goblins are treated poorly.  There are also Beasties.  The 5 were created by a witch.  She took 5 animals and made them into humans.  These humans, Anouk, Luc, Beau, Cricket, and Hunter Black all serve the witch that created them.  This witch also has a son, Viggo, that gives her the blood she uses for her magic.  In a sense, they are all slaves to Mada Vittora (their witch).   The magic used is either done with blood or with other life, like herbs.  Witches use small amounts of blood, but they can't take a life.  If they do, that comes back to them. When Mada Vittora is killed, the Beasties must search for someone strong enough to recast the spell that made them human.  It is tied to the witch that created them.  They have three days before they become animals again.  Also, Luc went missing a couple weeks before, so they don't have their typical leader.  The four of them, plus Viggo, go visit another witch that was banished.  During this time, they are tricked by different people, find allies in others, and find out more about themselves and why the Beasties were originally created.I was surprised by some deaths that made me sad.  I really loved the ending and cannot wait to see what happens in the next book.Thank you to HMH Teen for sending me a physical copy which I read and also Netgalley for the digital arc that I got before the physical copy.  I gave this book 5 stars.  It was fun to read and exactly what I hoped when I first read the summary.
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  • Stacie (Shy Book Nerd)
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating 3.5I decided to round up because even though the first half of the book was slow, it really picked up the second half and I really started to like Anouk. In a way, the story kind of felt like Cinderella because Anouk and her friends were racing to stay human before midnight, except that they were the animals instead. It was really confusing at first because I had no idea what was really going on, but the more the book went on the more I started to love it. I loved Anouk and her gro Actual rating 3.5I decided to round up because even though the first half of the book was slow, it really picked up the second half and I really started to like Anouk. In a way, the story kind of felt like Cinderella because Anouk and her friends were racing to stay human before midnight, except that they were the animals instead. It was really confusing at first because I had no idea what was really going on, but the more the book went on the more I started to love it. I loved Anouk and her group of friends. They were a little naive at first, but as they worked together as a family they grew a lot, especially Anouk. Anouk was just awesome. She was quiet and shy but really became confident in herself that she could do anything possible. Aside from that, I enjoyed reading the complex side of how magic is used. That was definitely interesting to read and I hope to delve more into that in the next book.
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  • Michelle Lecumberry
    January 1, 1970
    Grim Lovelies comes out on October 2nd just in time for Halloween. Megan Shepard really captures the gruesome and cruel details of the Grim Fairy Tales making this book completely unforgettable and a new favorite. Anouk is our main character. She is a beastie, timid maid at the service of Mada Vittoria. Beasties are animals who are now human and mostly used as slaves. Anouk has no desire to leave the service of Mada Vittoria until she is found murdered and Anouk is accused of her crime. That’s w Grim Lovelies comes out on October 2nd just in time for Halloween. Megan Shepard really captures the gruesome and cruel details of the Grim Fairy Tales making this book completely unforgettable and a new favorite. Anouk is our main character. She is a beastie, timid maid at the service of Mada Vittoria. Beasties are animals who are now human and mostly used as slaves. Anouk has no desire to leave the service of Mada Vittoria until she is found murdered and Anouk is accused of her crime. That’s where our story starts, Anouk embarks on a journey full of conspiracies, mystery, and war, all while there is a ticking clock.I really want to give a hat’s off to Megan Shepherd. She transports us to a magical Paris where she writes a story full of complexity and depth. The world building was fantastic. Shepard really creates a world full of magic and intrigue. The details impressed me, all the different factions, the ingredients for spells and the description of the locations. I was transported to dazzling new magical world. The romance its tastefully done and it felt real. The story has also familiarity to it as the beasties create a family for themselves that made this book also heartwarming. I loved all the connections and interactions between the different characters. Grim Lovelies was beautiful read and a surprise in the best of ways. Enchanting and full of world building. A very unique take on fairytales with a stunning cover. I couldn’t stop reading, I was utterly captivated by the story and I look forward to more adventures from Megan Shepherd and Anouk’s journey.BOOK STATSPlot: ✰✰✰✰Characters: ✰✰✰✰✰Writing Style ✰✰✰✰✰Personal Experience ✰✰✰✰✰Overall: ✰✰✰✰✰ (4.70 Stars)
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  • Jourdan Gandy (old.enough.for.fairytales)
    January 1, 1970
    "...she stopped short when she saw the statue. It wasn't a Greek go. It wasn't a mermaid, either. Nothing nearly so lovely. Gargoyle; the word came to her. She's seen drawings of them in old books, hideous things that clung to buildings like demons, and a pang of disappointment hit her...she was foolish. She started to turn back toward Beau, but then the gargoyle's mouth caught her eye. It had an odd curl to the stone. Almost...a smile." Before I start with this review, let us all just take a m "...she stopped short when she saw the statue. It wasn't a Greek go. It wasn't a mermaid, either. Nothing nearly so lovely. Gargoyle; the word came to her. She's seen drawings of them in old books, hideous things that clung to buildings like demons, and a pang of disappointment hit her...she was foolish. She started to turn back toward Beau, but then the gargoyle's mouth caught her eye. It had an odd curl to the stone. Almost...a smile." Before I start with this review, let us all just take a moment to admire the beauty that is the Grim Lovelies cover......Just gorgeous. Anyway, here goes the fun part...Rating: 3.5 out of 5 starsSpoiler Free ReviewAs one of my most anticipated reads of 2018 and because of my love for Megan Shepherd's Madman's Daughter trilogy, I had high expectations for Grim Lovelies (due out October 2, 2018). Though I found Grim Lovelies enjoyable, I don't think it quite hit the mark for me.     I'm not normally a reader of urban fantasy, but because of my love for Shepherd's other dark, fantasy series I thought I'd loved this book. And while I liked certain pieces and still think the premise is really unique and twisty, I found myself skimming pages toward the end just so I could finish. Possibly this is because I maybe don't enjoy urban fantasy, or maybe this book just barely missed the mark. Let's break it down: What I loved (minus the gorgeous cover because how could you NOT love that cover?!):- I loved the premise behind this book. Here is Megan explaining the idea behind Grim Lovelies to Bustle in January of this year:  "I was thinking about Cinderella in particular and the mice that are turned into footmen by the fairy godmother. They’re briefly given all the gifts of humanity, only to be forced to serve and then have their humanity taken away again at midnight, which feels rather heartless. This is a story that explores that darkness — and awakening."  - The ending was a really fun twist! Up until the last chapter, I didn't really think I'd be reading the sequel whenever it came out (from what I've read, it looks like this will be a duology, but I could see an additional book being necessary to wrap up these storylines). Thanks to that ending though, I'm definitely curious to see what happens to Anouk in the next book.-  This book was deliciously dark and twisted, and you can certainly tell that Shepherd loves and excels at creating Gothic settings for her books...and for some reason, I love dark and messed up books.- The magic system was fascinating! I loved the idea that "all magic has a cost" and the vitae echo concept was really unique. This type of magic was different from all other types of magic I've read about in books, so I definitely appreciated reading about something new!- Prince Rennar seems really interesting and I can't wait to see more of him in book 2. He seems like a Darkling type of character, and those are always my favorites! What I didn't love (there are some spoilers below, but I've hidden them):- The character development felt a bit shallow for me. At the start of the book, Anouk is a shy, timid housemaid who seems utterly clueless about almost everything...which, to be fair, she should be utterly clueless (view spoiler)[ since she's only been alive for about a year and has lived her entire existence inside of the townhome (hide spoiler)]. My issue with Anouk though is that by the middle of the story (at most 36 hours after the book starts), she's fierce, independent, and strong. This quick change just did not seem believable...yes, her circumstances required her to grow fairly quickly, but I just didn't buy into her development.- Because the character development was lacking, I found myself not caring about what happened to Anouk's band of Beasties. I mean sure, I wanted (view spoiler)[ them to beat the clock and find a way to stay human, but when everyone but Anouk turned back into their animal form (hide spoiler)], I really wasn't affected beyond just thinking, "Well, that kinda sucks."- Also my least favorite trope by far is insta-love. I looooathe it. Detest it. And ughh was there a serious case of insta-love! Example: "You're my brother...that's what you're like to me." A little bit later: " ...but she knew that sometime in the past few days, he'd ceased to be like a brother to her. He was something else. Something more." And then a few pages later they're making out. Idk, maybe some people will buy this relationship more than I do, but I never felt the angst and never felt like it was convincing. Honestly, I'm still rooting for Anouk (view spoiler)[ to change her mind and end up with Prince Rennar (hide spoiler)].- It seemed like the story went in 20 different directions and every time I thought we might finally be wrapping up, I'd realize I still had 200 pages left. I think we could have cut out some of the excessive fashion talk (some people love high fashion and if you do, you'll love this book...but I'm just not that person) and maybe a few scenes in the middle and at that point, I think we would have been left with something really special. Honestly, the story was about 100 pages too long. All in all, this book just barely missed the mark for me. If the character development hadn't lacked and had the plot moved along at a quicker pace, I think I would have liked this more. This certainly was not a bad book, it just wasn't as spectacular as I expected it to be. And maybe that's my fault for having such high expectations. But maybe it was also because this book just need a little bit more refining. I received an advanced copy of Grim Lovelies in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
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  • Natverse
    January 1, 1970
    I saw Megan Shepherd's name attached and knew it was going to be a well-written book, but it was also wild. If you want elements of magic, histories of magic and magical beings, and some good old fairy tale twists (the beasties turned human of everyone's favourite fairy tales), then really have to look no further. What really struck this as a 5-star book over 4, however, was that it did not fall into all the little tropes and predictable traps I thought it would. Oh, there's a hot prince? HOLD O I saw Megan Shepherd's name attached and knew it was going to be a well-written book, but it was also wild. If you want elements of magic, histories of magic and magical beings, and some good old fairy tale twists (the beasties turned human of everyone's favourite fairy tales), then really have to look no further. What really struck this as a 5-star book over 4, however, was that it did not fall into all the little tropes and predictable traps I thought it would. Oh, there's a hot prince? HOLD ONTO YOUR BUTTS.For all the characters' arguments about things being or not being black and white, Megan Shepherd wonderfully paints everything outside of shades of grey even. Colourful story, beautiful setting (FRANCE), solid premise, excellent plotting, good pacing, *insert another positive adjective* humour and dialogue. I can't imagine I will be disappointed by the next volume of this story.I have one little gripe. I dislike the name for the book, to be honest. I think the name doesn't do it justice at all, but only because I really loved this book.Fans of the Kerstin Gier's Ruby Red trilogy and various books by Diana Wynne Jones will love this book.
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  • Jennifer Parr
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 stars. This wasn't bad and I'll be sure to check out the sequel.
  • Tegan
    January 1, 1970
    I got an ARC from NetGalley!!! Thank you!! I am so pumped!!
  • Britt
    January 1, 1970
    Imagine a book written by the mice from Cinderella, while they were human… and then add Paris, magic, witches, royals, goblins, and some darkness.Grim Lovelies is about 5 beasties -animals that have been whispered into humans, told from the view of a shy, quiet girl named Anouk. Beasties’ lives are tied to the witch that created them. When they lose their witch, the beasties are in a race against time to find another spellcaster to keep them from returning to their animal forms at midnight, in t Imagine a book written by the mice from Cinderella, while they were human… and then add Paris, magic, witches, royals, goblins, and some darkness.Grim Lovelies is about 5 beasties -animals that have been whispered into humans, told from the view of a shy, quiet girl named Anouk. Beasties’ lives are tied to the witch that created them. When they lose their witch, the beasties are in a race against time to find another spellcaster to keep them from returning to their animal forms at midnight, in three days time.Along the way they have to work with and fight off magical spells and charms, royals, witches, and goblins while racing all over Paris. There are lots of twists and turns in deciding who to trust and I felt my own anxiety growing with the countdown of time until midnight. Anouk was a great character to follow. I loved seeing her journey from a quiet and timid maid to a strong and confident leader.“If there was anything to fear in the streets of Paris, it was her.”The magic system was also really interesting and I liked the aspect of ‘vitae echo’ (all magic comes with a price) and that one had to consume some sort of life force (flowers, herbs, blood) in order to use magic. Magic is Life; Life is Magic. There is also an intriguing mystery around who was which animal before they were turned. The bag of pelts contained a cat, a dog, a mouse, a wolf, and an owl... I liked trying to decipher parts of their personalities and actions and make my own guesses between the thief, driver, assassin, maid, and gardener.“One big happy family whose members haven’t attempted to murder one another in at least a few hours.”There were some gay and trans representation, but it was kind of just touched on and we didn’t really get to learn much about these characters and I really would have liked to. There were actually a lot of other characters I would like to see more of, the villain included. Maybe in the next book?🤞🏼🤞🏼The romance was also a little meh for me. I was actually shipping her with someone else the whole time, so again -fingers crossed for the next one!Overall, this was a fun, quick and easy read -I ended up finishing it the same day because I just got sucked into this magical world. Some parts read a little bit slow, but it picked up and seemed like a great set up for the next book to follow. I did expect it to be somewhat darker, but that didn’t deter from the enjoyment I had reading this one. It did end on a pretty epic cliff-hanger and a possible death of one of the five -so be warned.I will definitely be looking forward to book 2, Midnight Beauties.*Thanks so much to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt via Edelweiss*
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  • Bethany
    January 1, 1970
    The cover is gorgeous, but a "too dumb to live" heroine AND love interest, along with what feels like a rehashed plot made this a less than enjoyable read for me. While it isn't a bad book, nothing about it felt fresh, I didn't care for the characters, and I wasn't terribly intrigued by the world either. While this may work for some, it just fell a bit flat for me. Grim Lovelies is a YA fantasy novel sent in Paris, premised on a world with a secret organization of witches and magical people who The cover is gorgeous, but a "too dumb to live" heroine AND love interest, along with what feels like a rehashed plot made this a less than enjoyable read for me. While it isn't a bad book, nothing about it felt fresh, I didn't care for the characters, and I wasn't terribly intrigued by the world either. While this may work for some, it just fell a bit flat for me. Grim Lovelies is a YA fantasy novel sent in Paris, premised on a world with a secret organization of witches and magical people who use humans for their own ends. Anouk is a "beastie": a teenage girl created by a witch as a servant out of an animal. When her mistress suddenly dies, she enters the city of Paris for the first time with her fellow beasties (one of whom is in love with her) in search of a way to keep their humanity. I found the plot to be relatively predictable, but those who are new to the genre might not find it to be that way. Anouk does a LOT of really stupid things and fails to pay attention to critical clues that affect her safety and that of the people around her. Her love interest also does a lot of stupid things and I fail to see why she is remotely interested in him given his selfish and sexist behavior toward her. I was also taken aback by the massive loss of life that suddenly takes place near the end of the book. It didn't flow with the rest of the story and felt like it wasn't taking all the death seriously enough. While some people will probably enjoy this book, I don't think I will be continuing with the series. I received an advance review copy via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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  • Melie
    January 1, 1970
    Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC (advance uncorrected proof to be more precise). I should disclose upfront that after I started reading the book, the author made a call for artist to which I've applied. I'm currently creating promotional material for Megan Shepherd but I felt bad not writing a review after being given access to the book. Grim Lovelies is a happy blend of several of my favourite book subjects; witches, darker undertones, a pinch of politics Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC (advance uncorrected proof to be more precise). I should disclose upfront that after I started reading the book, the author made a call for artist to which I've applied. I'm currently creating promotional material for Megan Shepherd but I felt bad not writing a review after being given access to the book. Grim Lovelies is a happy blend of several of my favourite book subjects; witches, darker undertones, a pinch of politics and scheming and a nice, rich universe that you'll want to see more of. Though set in modern day Paris, the book's adventure is mostly spent within the parallel world that an aristocracy of witches and magical creatures have built for themselves. Steering the human world from the shadows, witches in this book are closer to the illuminati than they are Harry Potter. Pair that with a race against time for Anouk and her beastie friends to find the means to stay human and you should have had a fast-paced, mystery filled adventure but unfortunately it wasn't to be. The first half of the book is slowed down by too many detours and a few repetitive scenes (looking at you, Beau trying to get out of the friend-zone) and by the time the action really kicks in, it can't quite make up for the slow start. I would have loved to see more of the witch's world (which is definitely where the book shines most) and less of the driving around and thinking about the human world. As it stands, Grim Lovelies is fine, it offers a unique universe, a good protagonist and the building blocks for a good sequel but just not the kind of action you'd expect out of the premise.
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  • Giota (the reader)
    January 1, 1970
    [I got the ARC of Grim Lovelies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review].This was a super fast read for me, although dark and lush. I couldn't put it down and the end (cliffhanger extraordinaire) let me craving for more. Definitely recommend as it has an interesting magic system, beautiful descriptions and interesting side characters which is always a plus for me. Only drawback is that I couldn't quite relate to the main character, Anouk, who I thought, albeit interesting, fell rathe [I got the ARC of Grim Lovelies from the publisher in exchange for an honest review].This was a super fast read for me, although dark and lush. I couldn't put it down and the end (cliffhanger extraordinaire) let me craving for more. Definitely recommend as it has an interesting magic system, beautiful descriptions and interesting side characters which is always a plus for me. Only drawback is that I couldn't quite relate to the main character, Anouk, who I thought, albeit interesting, fell rather flat. I felt like the strong side characters overshadowed her some times.4 stars.
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  • Aoife
    January 1, 1970
    Grim Lovelies, I really wanted to love you. I've read reviews praising you for your world building, your characters, your lush language. And you do have all of those things. I can't fault you in any way. We just...didn't click. I found you slow to get going, and even when the plot kicked in I wasn't invested. You (presumably) found me impatient. At just over 50% read, I'm releasing you. Find another reader; you'll be very happy together. Because you are a fantastic book. You're just not the righ Grim Lovelies, I really wanted to love you. I've read reviews praising you for your world building, your characters, your lush language. And you do have all of those things. I can't fault you in any way. We just...didn't click. I found you slow to get going, and even when the plot kicked in I wasn't invested. You (presumably) found me impatient. At just over 50% read, I'm releasing you. Find another reader; you'll be very happy together. Because you are a fantastic book. You're just not the right book for me right now.Receiving an ARC did not alter my review in any way.
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  • Melissa
    January 1, 1970
    I really enjoyed this! It's a really cool, magical spin on modern Paris, but it feels anicent and witchy and mysterious. The world building is complex, but very interesting; it never feels tedious or boring. I have a lot of questions still, and I hope that they will be answered in the sequel! Because I DID NOT EXPECT IT TO END LIKE THAT.
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  • Ryley (Ryley Reads)
    January 1, 1970
    I'm always a little hesitant about urban fantasies, but I was willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt because the synopsis sounded really interesting. Luckily, I ended up really enjoying this one!Thanks to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always all opinions are my own.**FULL REVIEW TO COME CLOSER TO RELEASE DATE**
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  • Deli Stryker
    January 1, 1970
    High stakes, but the characters are so bland, I didn't care what happened to them. Minuscule character development and world building. The whole set was a blur. It appalls me how much I struggled reading this.
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