Published by Delacorte on August 6, 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
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In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.
Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls' lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.
Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn't sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?
When Annaleigh's involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it's a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Am I the only person who didn’t love this book? It has a 4+ star rating on GoodReads! I just don’t see how…I wanted to like it. I wanted to LOVE it! Come on, just look at that cover. It’s stunning. Sadly though, the cover was really the only thing I could 100% get behind with this book.
- The writing itself was quite good. I would read something else by this author without hesitation. It was just the actual plot and storyline I didn’t care for.
- As I’ve already said, the cover!
- The creep factor in the last half of the book really amped up and was extremely well done. I completely doubted the conclusions I had already drawn, haha! The author was great at dragging the reader right along into all the confusion and dream-in-a-dream confusion of reality along with the characters.
The Bad and the Ugly
- Our heroine, who is built up as this fearless, snarky, go-getter in the first few chapters of the book, takes one look – LITERALLY one look – at a handsome man and becomes a tongue-tied, bumbling, helpless girl. She’s had a sheltered life, has met very few men outside one of her family’s servant’s sons and her father, and all of a sudden she sees a stranger and completely falls for him. Really? This is 2019, I thought we were past this sort of ridiculousness.
- The first half of the book is almost all dancing and balls and fancy dresses and shoes. I wanted to stab my eyeballs out. How many descriptions of dancing shoes and ballgowns does one really need? Like nothing was happening except they were dancing. I get it, it’s a retelling of the 12 Dancing Princesses…but COME ON.
- The villain of the story was SO OBVIOUS and it was such a worn-out trope I wanted to fling the book across the room (except, I was reading on my iPad, so I couldn’t). Can stepmoms catch a freaking break already?
- At the very end, I actually thought the author was going to redeem the story by not wrapping everything up in a pretty little bow as far as the romance. BUT OH NO! There must be a romantic interest and there must be a pairing up or I guess it’s not a good YA story.
2.5/5 stars. If you’re a die-hard fan of retellings you might enjoy it more, also if you’re more of a love-at-first-sight person than I am. Otherwise I’ll have to recommend you skip it, but keep an eye out for other books by the author!
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