Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Bland, inconsistent, depressing.
I’m sorry, but not only I found this book incredibly boring, I also couldn’t find a single aspect of it I could like.
After I read first chapter, I thought I was about to read a light story about magic… I didn’t even need it to be exiting end intriguing, I just wanted it to be magical and captivating. But then it felt like it was turning more and more disappointing with every chapter. It was a struggle to read. I made myself finish it, and I won’t ever manage to remember all of the things I disliked, but here’re are some of the impressions I have left of it:
1) First of all, this story is not light, and neither it is pleasant, because you have to read about things like cutting people’s toes and biting rats’ heads off. And all the gore in it is just depressing.
2) For the first half of it I sometimes felt like I was reading some article in a cheesy housewife magazine on ‘what to pay attention to while in Paris’. Oh the name dropping… the fashion brands… the shops… the pastries…. I tried to tell myself it was supposed to be world building, but it didn’t work, and these descriptions got so very annoying so very fast.
3) I don’t know if the author was going for the whole ‘unreliable narrator’ thing, or if it just… happened, but the characters, on top of being extremely bland, are inconsistent, unbelievable, and utterly confusing. Everything about the main character is confusing. There character development is hardly there, and when it is, is more of a ‘and suddenly this naive girl is the most powerful untouchable being’. Also, she was supposed to be human for only year, and yet exactly nothing is there to back up that fact and make it believable.
The whole ‘acts as an ally->betrays everyone’ and ‘acts like an asshole -> becomes close ally’ ideas were not executed well at all. I can’t even describe what exactly was wrong, but these descriptions felt too inorganic. The only way it could work, is if you believe this is how the main characters sees the world, while accepting the fact that she is an extremely fickle person with a heavy personality disorder on top, and changes what she thinks and her whole world view every hour. Also, there were only two characters who could show some promise, but both of them were washed down the drain.
4) The way the animals are treated. As in, being an animal repeatedly described as ‘being in dark place’, horrible dead existence, not feeling anything but hunger and fear, having no ability to love or think as an intelligent being… Just… no. This, and how the whole concept of ‘beasties’ was treated and described was likely my least favorite thing about this book.
5) Ideas being pulled in by the ears. As in ‘oh, suddenly, in this magic compartment of this magic bag, I suddenly find the exact specific potion that will allow me to create an astral projection of my body, and suddenly I know exactly how to use this rare old potion, and also, suddenly, my astral body will be able to handle solid objects, and of course, suddenly, I will manage to kill one of the most powerful witches just like that’. This book is full of these forced explanations jumping out of nowhere, and none of them feel remotely believable or organic.
I will leave it at this, because I don’t even have energy to dig back and argue about how things just don’t work in this book. Nothing in it made me care enough, sorry.
View all my reviews
Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd