Sunday, December 23, 2018

Abbreviations #76 | Everless, Grim Lovelies + Love & Friendship

I really have Kristin (from Super Space Chick) to thank for getting me to read Everless, which I had been mildly interested in before but was convinced to read when she mentioned how much she was enjoying it. Everless is set in a world where currency is in the form of time, which can be drawn from blood and forged into blood-irons. Jules and her father are struggling to make ends meet, and she knows that the only way to earn enough time to save her dying father is to return to Everless - the palatial estate that used to be her home before an accident forced them to flee. But going back to Everless means facing people she never thought she’d see again and discovering that there are more secrets hidden within those walls, within her own self than she could ever imagine. It will likely be unsurprising to learn that there are a lot of recognizable YA fantasy tropes in this story. Despite the predictability, I thought this story was fun! It’s well-paced, it’s easy to fly through the chapters and it inspired the sort of addictive fascination that TV show episodes (from shows of the likes of Riverdale) usually do. While I didn’t come to care overly much for main character Jules, she was a decent enough protagonist that I didn’t mind following her as the story progressed. All in all, Everless was entertaining and I do look forward to seeing how everything wraps up in the sequel.

Everless by Sara Holland | Series: Everless #1 | Publisher: Harper Teen | Publication Date: January 2, 2018 | Source: Borrowed the ebook from the library


Anouk is a Beastie, a girl who was formerly a beast and whose life is tied to the witch who created her, Mada Vittora. When the Mada meets an untimely demise, Anouk and her fellow Beasties must find a way to sustain the spell that gave them human life. They embark on a madcap adventure in Paris… one that includes a heist, a revel, the Goblins, the Royals and a whole lot of magic. Paris and magic? Grim Lovelies basically had me at hello when I first heard of it, and I’m glad I finally had the opportunity to read it (and buddy read it too, with Kristin !). It gives me the same vibes as The Hazel Wood and Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald, with a seemingly innocuous urban setting combined with whimsical magic; it has villains and shenanigans that remind me of a Disney film or two (specifically 101 Dalmatians and Tangled, if you must know). It has an intriguing plot, which includes life-or-death stakes for our protagonist and the people she cares for. However, I do have a number of reservations - the inconsistent pacing, the romantic aspects of the tale (both in terms of the main romance and a secondary, not-as-explicit one), the deus ex machina of certain moments, the character development for the secondary (and even tertiary) characters or lack thereof. Still, there was something about this story that reeled me in despite all those things, and I did enjoy it overall and will be reading the sequel.

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd | Series: Grim Lovelies #1 | Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers | Publication Date: October 2, 2018 | Source: ARC received from a friend (Thanks Steph!)



In hindsight, I don’t particularly feel like it was necessary for me to read Love & Friendship. It’s essentially a collection of writing snippets from Jane Austen’s earlier years as an author, so it’s rough and unfinished and generally what my own first drafts feel like. Her humor, tone and language - at least glimmers of it - appeared in these scraps, reminiscent of her two works that I’ve actually read. It’s likely something Austen fans might enjoy perusing, in order to complete their experience of what we have of her work, but personally, I could have done without.

Love & Friendship by Jane Austen | Publisher: Gray & Gold Publishing | Publication Date: January 31, 2017 | Source: Owned the paperback

2 comments

  1. I'm glad we both liked Everless more than we expected and Grim Lovelies as our first buddy read was the perfect choice! Plus I love the cover for book two!

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  2. Eee, gorgeous reviews Alexa :D This time I have actually read two of these books, haha. Grim Lovelies was a four star for me. <3 While not perfect, it was pretty good too, haha :) I wanted more from the romance, though, sigh. But I loved the main boy a whole bunch. Rude, haha :) Glad you mostly liked the book too :D But ahh. Everless. I am glad you weren't disappointed in that book; not a lot, anyway, haha. <3 Because I was. Very much so. I gave it two stars, but I did not think highly of it at all, hahaha :D Sorry. <3

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