Grim Lovelies

Grim Lovelies

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 s...

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Title:Grim Lovelies
Author:Megan Shepherd
Rating:
Edition Language:English

Grim Lovelies Reviews

  • C.G. Drews

    This is the kind of book where the gorgeous cover thoroughly promises what you’re going to find inside. It was so good, OK?! I completely fell in love with the characters, the vivid world building, thE PASTRY APPRECIATION, and all the characters’ snark (despite them being about to die). Quality content right here thank you I will take 7 more of these books.

    I freaking love Paris. I have I been?

    This is the kind of book where the gorgeous cover thoroughly promises what you’re going to find inside. It was so good, OK?! I completely fell in love with the characters, the vivid world building, thE PASTRY APPRECIATION, and all the characters’ snark (despite them being about to die). Quality content right here thank you I will take 7 more of these books.

    I freaking love Paris. I have I been? No. But that doesn’t stop me being a teeny bit obsessed with it. And the descriptions were gorgeous and vivid so it’s like the bookworm trip to Paris! Also Parisian pastries are keeping this world together, so 10/10 here for the appreciation they gave to them.

    The descriptions are the kind that are very sensory and really pull you in with the taste of things and colours and the scruffy details of someone’s coat — I LIVE FOR THIS.

    You know?! Like in the Disney Cinderella movie where the fairy godmother turns mice into men, etc. THAT is what a “grim lovely” is. (They also call them “Beasties”.) So we have this witch and her 5 enchanted servants (she treats them as slaves too) but when she’s murdered they have 3 days to get someone else to cast a new humanising spell on them or GOODBYE.

    Also we don’t know what their animal forms original were, but the 5 of them are: wolf, owl, cat, mouse, and dog.

    Makes the pace fast! And stressful! Of course bookworms love stress haha, our grey hair and bloodshot eyes mean nothing, carry on.

    She’s so timid and demure to start with, and she doesn’t suddenly — ZAP — change into a saucy fighter or anything. She stays quiet and calm…but she gets confidence and she fights back and she believes in more than what she’s spoon fed. I LOVE HER SO MUCH. We need more soft™ protagonists! Her arc just ahhhhhh. SO good.

    Also the cast is BIG and amazing and I feel all the things for them.

    She’s like the badass older sister, made to be a thief, and she loves flowers and skulls and lipstick. Love her.

    So of course we must have a love interest (although it’s good that it’s the “we already knew each other” romance because otherwise a 3-day romance is always too hard to believe)…and I admit I DIDN’T LIKE HIM. He’s very overprotective of Anouk. Aka “no no Anouk you can’t do anythinggggg” and I wanted to slap him. I didn’t really see their chemistry? But he drives cars fast so I’ll give him that.

    He’s actually missing when the book starts, but he’s the Big Bro figure and they all love him so bad.

    he’s the trained assassin and actually starts off an enemy of the rest because he’s super close to the witch’s son. I feel many things for Hunter Black. Ugh the antiheroes get me every time I can’t even.

    ☆ VIGGO: he’s NOT a beastie, but the “witch’s boy”. Basically a kid she stole to use as a blood bank (you need blood for magic) but also spoiled rotten and super rich thanks to the witch. He is AWFUL and we HATE him but by thE END….WHAT HAPPENED WE DON’T. GO VIGGO!!!

    They have all the dysfunctional family vibes and I freaking LOVE IT.

    Ok so a lot of people have expressed

    I’ll put my thoughts in spoilers but I DON’T spoil the book. I’m just talking about the trope’s use:

    ☆ 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

    ☆ sneaky evil plotting by people you think are sweet

    ☆ fashion appreciation, especially of epic jackets

    ☆ LIES AND MURDER

    It totally captured my imagination, from all the unique twists on old magic, and the fairy tales it wove in, to the gorgeous lush setting and the characters I wOULD DIE FOR. I’m chill as a person, for sure. I’ve wanted an intoxicating magical fantasy for a while and this !! is it !!

  • Emma Giordano

    Review to come!

  • Chelsea Humphrey

    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.

  • Carrie

    Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd is the first book in the young adult fantasy Grim Lovelies series. While this is primarily fantasy readers will also come across a bit of romance and mystery mixed into the action. 

    Seventeen year old Anouk is a Beastie. She spends her days peering out and envying the human world from her place in the captivity of Mada Vittora. Mada Vittora is the evil witch who captured and spelled Anouk and the other Beastie's in her command. 

    One day however Anouk comes across Ma

    Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd is the first book in the young adult fantasy Grim Lovelies series. While this is primarily fantasy readers will also come across a bit of romance and mystery mixed into the action. 

    Seventeen year old Anouk is a Beastie. She spends her days peering out and envying the human world from her place in the captivity of Mada Vittora. Mada Vittora is the evil witch who captured and spelled Anouk and the other Beastie's in her command. 

    One day however Anouk comes across Mada Vittora's body and realizes that her captor has been murdered. Fearing being accused of the crime Anouk and her fellow Beasties go on the run looking to find out who was behind the crime before the spell keeping them human wears off. 

    Grim Lovelies was another of those books that kind of contradicted itself as far as the pacing goes. It really didn't take long at all for the action in the story to begin however a lot of it still felt slow paced even while things happened. Perhaps this was due to the fact that I found myself not overly invested in the characters along the way. The ideas were interesting and the way it left off I'm intrigued to know more but for now this was just a so-so start for me. 

    I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

    For more reviews please visit

  • mith

    find this review and others on

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    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

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    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.

  • may ➹

    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO I LOVE BEING SO ANGRY ABOUT THE BURY YOUR GAYS TROPE IN THIS BOOK THAT I DROP THE RATING TO ONE STAR!!!!!!!

    Hi, this is my second one-star book of the year and I couldn’t be more excited to rant about it!!

    (I’m kidding. I don’t want to have this discussion. Why do books like these—books with tragic dead gays—still exist. In 2018. 20GAYTEEN.)

    I’m sad that this book didn’t turn out to be better than I expected, but unfortunately, this book just makes me extremely angry. Though I recei

    LMAOOOOOOOOOOOO I LOVE BEING SO ANGRY ABOUT THE BURY YOUR GAYS TROPE IN THIS BOOK THAT I DROP THE RATING TO ONE STAR!!!!!!!

    Hi, this is my second one-star book of the year and I couldn’t be more excited to rant about it!!

    (I’m kidding. I don’t want to have this discussion. Why do books like these—books with tragic dead gays—still exist. In 2018. 20GAYTEEN.)

    I’m sad that this book didn’t turn out to be better than I expected, but unfortunately, this book just makes me extremely angry. Though I received the ARC in order to promote it, I cannot, in good conscience, do anything but speak out against it, so here are

    Basically, this is a story about some animals-turned-humans (furries), who are suddenly faced with a problem when their mistress dies: If they don’t do something in three days to stop the spell from not working anymore, then they’ll turn back to animals (furries).

    It’s a Cinderella-inspired concept, and it could have been really cool. I was actually lowkey enjoying it up until the ending. But sadly, that’s not how things turned out and here are just 4 reasons (out of many) why you should avoid this book:

    This aspect wasn’t actually as bad as I thought it would be, and TECHNICALLY they’re humans that used to be animals… but 1) they’re literally called BEASTIES they’re not even trying to hide their true furry nature, and 2)

    .

    Oh maybe the furries thing isn’t so bad after all!!

    You don’t know what it was like. Before we were human. It was all… dark. Empty. Nothing. No purpose, no worth. I can’t imagine going back to that. I will never stop fighting to be human. I refuse to be

    animal again.

    My dude, my guy… the characters of a book is the most important part, in my opinion, and this book had literally

    . There were only a few that were actually...

    , and they were side characters with bad diverse rep.

    There’s firstly Anouk, who, to put it lightly, has no personality. She did undergo a LOT of development from the beginning to the end of the book. But no amount of change could make her any less annoying or any more interesting so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    There are four other beasties: Beau, Cricket, Hunter Black, and Luc. Here’s how I would describe them:

    The only character that develops is Anouk. It’s not even good development. All of the characters are boring and bland (except for Cricket) and they all lack depth and I’m just… why.

    No backstory!!! Just “want to be powerful want to rule the world want to change the world for the better”!!!! I, a teenager in high school, could write a better, more well-rounded villain!!!!! More well-rounded CHARACTERS in general!!!!!!

    I don’t even want to talk about the romance because that’s LITERALLY how little I liked it.

    Anouk is annoying. And irritating. And has no personality whatsoever.

    The love interest is annoying. And irritating. And useless. And boring. And hypocritical. And clingy. And jealous. And has no personality whatsoever.

    I mean, I guess their chemistry could be how irritating they both were???

    Or attractive. I don’t know. Is this some weird furry fetish??

    The love interest has essentially been crushing on Anouk for FOREVER and Anouk has always seen him as a brother. In the beginning of the book it literally states that she sees him as a brother. But then, and I kid you not this is an actual quote in the book: “Sometime in the past few days, she had ceased to see him as a brother anymore.”

    INSTA-LOVE. INSTA-LOVE. INSTA-LOVE. INSTA-LOVE.

    Here’s a list of the the how marginalized characters were mistreated in this book:

    - implemented the bury your gays trope

    - implemented the tragic gays trope

    - misrepresented a trans character

    - had one POC gone for 75ish% of the book

    - had the other POC’s rep be so vague I’m not even 100% sure that they’re a POC

    Yeah, that’s some really good stuff right there!!!!

    There are two queer characters: one is gay and another is a trans girl. Neither had good rep.

    Basically, it was revealed that a character was gay… 310 pages into the book. THIRTY PAGES LATER, he was killed off. The book is about 380 pages long.

    I’M?????

    The thing is: If anyone had to die, it was logical that he was the one. But

    . He didn’t have to be the ONLY gay character. And he died as a sacrifice for the other STRAIGHT characters to live.

    and I only know of one other person who’s mentioned this trope in their review.

    (And yes it’s not CERTAIN that he’s dead but why. do. you. have. to. make. us. think. that the ONE. gay. character. is dead. Just... pretend-kill another character?? Or better yet, not make him gay at all if he’s going to be treated this way???)

    And!! as if it couldn’t get any worse!!! when it was revealed that he was gay, it was revealed that

    He was a tragic gay!!! And whether or not it’s intentional, the message being given out to gay people is: Oh yeah you’re going to live a bad, sad life and then you’re going to die!!!!

    Oh and you’re just gonna LOVE this: The gay character was also written as standoffish and cruel and lonely and kind only to one person at first. Then as the book progressed and he showed “less cruelty”, the main character thought “maybe he wasn’t SO bad” in reference to him. (And then of course at the end of the book, because he just LOVES these people now and all traces of “cruelty” are gone now,

    WOW!!!!!)

    It’s 2018, my dude. So much has been said about the bury your gays trope. It’s a nasty move to make readers think that the one gay character is dead, even if he ends up being alive.

    And now, about the trans rep. It’s just… sigh.

    Basically, the trans character is like “I didn’t start out a girl”. Anouk is confused. Cricket explains and asks if she remembers a story that Luc told Anouk. Anouk narrates the story in her head and it’s essentially this:

    The thing that’s wrong with this is: It’s essentially

    that they end up transitioning to. Which is….not true.

    There’s no want. Like: Gay people don’t wanna be gay?? They’re just gay?? Why and how is it different for trans people???

    (OBVIOUSLY!! There are some trans people who “want” to be a gender that they can’t be because of unsafe environments, and there are some trans people who did go through that “want” stage—but the majority of trans people that I’ve talked to / researched about never WANT to be trans; they just are!!)

    And this is getting a TINY bit personal but when I started questioning my gender, I never “wanted” to be genderqueer/fluid*. I questioned my female gender, and when I found a label that fit me, I identified as that. And that was it.

    Finally, the last mistake in the trans rep was saying that this trans character was “born a girl”. Gender is a social construct. You are not born a gender. You’re just assigned one. And this is a concept that a lot of people can’t grasp, but if you’re going to write a trans character:

    .

    *I don’t want people to get the wrong idea: Genderqueer/fluid people can be trans if they identify as trans, because they (most likely) were not assigned that gender at birth! I just don’t identify as trans because it’s not something I feel comfortable labeling myself.

    This is going to be a short rant, because it’s pretty straightforward, but basically:

    and I think it was mentioned once offhandedly that they were a POC.

    Yikes.

    The other POC

    without looking through the book (and trust me, it would take me a long time to find where it said that the character was a POC because I can think of maybe only one time it was mentioned).

    Yikes.

    First of all, the rep is so MINIMAL. Like, so minimal that those two sentences are above are literally all I can say about its minimalism.

    Second of all, this book is set in the urban world in Paris. If you have POC in your book that takes place in this world now, IT’S GOING TO BE A BIG THING, because race is and has always been a big thing.

    and it’s not good rep.

    (And the thing that makes me the most annoyed is that I see people giving this book brownie points for the POC and queer rep, saying things like “even had a fair amount of representation!*” “some racial and sexual representation too!” THIS??? THE QUEER AND POC REP??? It’s... not even the bare minimum. How is this being applauded.)

    *I hate this phrase with everything in me, like “oh yeah great characters, plot, story, loved the setting, oh and there was EvEN a fAIr amount of REprEseNTaTiON oMg!!!” Marginalized people always gonna be an afterthought huh!!

    The thing with this review is that I could list so many more reasons why this book was not good: The plot was uninteresting. The worldbuilding was insufficient. The writing was so dry.

    But with just 4 reasons (1 not being even a real one), I’m at 2K words. That’s how much this book makes me rant. That’s how bad it is. And frankly, I’m too exhausted to say anything else, because talking about the queer and POC rep in this book just makes me so tired.

    If nothing I say in this review doesn’t make you take the book off your TBRs, I don’t know what will. Just know that

    if I wasn’t pretty much the only person in this godforsaken book community warning people (especially queer people and people of color) away from it.

  • Elise (TheBookishActress)

    they’re dead Jim. the gays are dead

  • Candace Robinson

    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.

  • Cait • A Page with a View

    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!

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