book review, indigo teen staff pick, young adult

Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Review)

Title: Grim Lovelies
Authors: Megan Shepherd
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Date published: October 2, 2018

Physical copies of this book were kindly provided by the publisher and Indigo Books & Music Inc., in exchange for an honest review.

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.

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I had a very interesting experience with this book. I started it in October, but went through some stuff (including personal things, career changes, and packing and moving to a new apartment). I also hit a very bad reading slump in November due to stress (it had nothing to do with this book at all). Needless to say, it took me longer than normal to read Grim Lovelies from start to finish, but that was not due to boredom with the story or anything like that, in case you took note on Goodreads. Now that I have that cleared up, here are some of my thoughts about Megan Shepherd’s Grim Lovelies: That cover is absolutely stunning to me! Also, I found the setting to be unique for YA (for me at least, because I don’t recall having ever read a YA book set in Paris or anywhere in France). I also found the magic system to be quite different from what I’m used to.

It took me a little bit of time to truly immerse myself in the world and the magic system (and the stress and reading slump definitely didn’t help), but once I did completely immerse, I found that I was truly enjoying myself. There were some slow bits where the plot and world were being set up, but mostly there was action. The imagery was also dark and lush at the same time (definitely up my alley either way). I had a lot of fun looking up pictures of and neighbourhoods in Paris, as well as the French countryside, as well as a lot of floral themed images for my Pinterest board for this bookGrim Lovelies’ aesthetic really appealed to me, and so did the story once I really got into things. By the end of the book, I was fully invested in the story and characters, and wanted more of those things and the world. I greatly look forward to the next book in the series, and seeing what the beasties will get up to in Germany and England!


New York Times bestselling author Megan Shepherd grew up in her family’s independent bookstore in the Blue Ridge Mountains. She is the author of several young adult and middle grade novels. She now lives and writes on a 125-year-old farm outside Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband, two cats, and an especially scruffy dog.

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Grim Lovelies was the Indigo Teen Staff Pick of the Month for November!


12 thoughts on “Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd (Review)

  1. I actually just got a copy of this that I’m hoping to pick up soon, so your review is perfect timing! I really love the idea of this setting and atmosphere, and I loved Megan Shepherd’s The Madman’s Daughter so I’m looking forward to this one. Great review!

    1. Hehe yay! Isn’t the cover so photogenic?! And I hope that you’ll get to read it soon 🙂 Also, her Madman series is on my TBR so that’s great to hear 😀 Thanks so much and thank you for reading and commenting! <3

  2. This one is on my list! I hope to read it soon, but you never know! I didn’t realize it had a Paris setting. I just finished Love a la Mode, which was also set in Paris. A culinary boarding school — awesome. The story was really great if you’re looking for something new to read!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear?

    1. I hope you’ll get to read it soon! And yeah! There’s a little Eiffel Tower on the cover but it didn’t click for me either haha. And oooo I think that one is on my TBR, so I’m glad to hear you liked it! 😀

  3. Wonderful review!! This really makes me want to give Grim Lovelies another try. It’s so exciting that she’s switching up the setting for the next books although I loved the Paris setting in the chapters I read!

    1. Thank you so much! And ahhh that’s so great to hear! I hope that you’ll enjoy it more 🙂 And I loved the France setting too but think that there’s a lot of dark magic and folklore the author can dip into when she takes us to Germany so I’m excited. Plus the revealed the cover and it’s GORGEOUS!

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