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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

MICHELLE'S REVIEW: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

Title: The Treachery of Beautiful Things
Format Acquired: Hardcover
Publication Date: August 16 2012
Publishing House: Dial Books
ISBN: 9780803735804
Source of Copy: Purchased from Fully Booked

Summary: The trees swallowed her brother whole. And Jenny was there to see it. Years later, when she returns to the woods where Tom was taken to say good-bye at last, she finds herself lured into a world where stunning beauty masks the most treacherous of evils, and strange and dangerous creatures await - creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with allegiances that shift as much as his moods. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where nothing is what it seems, no one is who they say and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice - and not just her own.


(Image and information courtesy of Goodreads; Summary lifted from actual book) 


Review:

This has got to be one of the surprisingly good books of the year. Just looking at the pretty cover made me think that the book may be treacherous as well, but it did keep my attention to the point that I was even trying to read from the passing street lamps when the skies were dark. (It's a bad habit, don't pick it up; even my younger brother told me that I was violating two Don't Dos: Reading in the car, and reading when it's dark.)

Long invites readers to join Jenny in her quest to find her brother Tom and convince him to leave the beautiful, yet hostile world of Titania, Oberon, and Jack. The forest is a beguiling traitor, and every creature it harbors exhibits the same traits. As Jenny stumbles through the enchanted forest, one can't help but continuously root for her as she goes along. It is in this world that Jenny finds courage to fight for those she holds dear, and to secure her own happy ending. Sure, it may sound a bit like something Disney may have had a hand in, but this book was like a breath of fresh air-no dark, mysterious, drop-dead gorgeous guys, and no whiny self-centered female protagonist who would seem to instantly find out that she has hormones as soon as she lays eyes on said guy.

This book is partially influenced by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream, and even portrays the leading female protagonist as Snow White, and Cinderella at times! I have a feeling that that wasn't all the symbolism Long skillfully weaved in the story (Puck also being Loki, Oberon having other names, etc.). It was wonderfully deceptive, and I would just have to give Long kudos for using such techniques to keep the story interesting and fresh. The timing of the romance felt right, and Jack and Jenny just seemed so right together. Jenny may be somewhat foolish at times, but I may be saying this only because I'm a bit cynical of how the world works. She is headstrong, and loves fiercely, which only endeared me to her-she's refreshing that way! Jack was a bit of a conundrum at first, but even after, I just had to succumb to his charms as well. He has got to be one of the sweetest guys I have ever read about! (I just keep gushing about him, I can't help it.) I loved the cast of characters - even the mischievous Puck who I wanted to smack at some points during the story.

The last few chapters were what propelled me to attempt to finish it quickly, because I seriously could not wait to find out what would happen next. Although the ending was a bit of a cliche, it still had me rooting for true love and the many wonders it beholds. Until now, I still get this weird, tingly feeling when I see my copy of the book. Long's descriptions are so vivid it felt like I was watching a movie inside my head. Pick the book up and be swept away into a lovely realm where fantasy and romance collide splendidly. With that being said, Long surely has just found a smitten fan in me.


Rating:
       




3 comments:

  1. Awesome review!
    The premise of this book seems really interesting, and your review piqued my interest even more! :)
    I especially love books that have just the right amount of description-not too little that the reader can't imagine it in her head, but not too much that it bores the reader.
    I've got to pick this up soon.

    (I do both-reading in the car AND reading in the dark) LOL
    -Tiffany@Read, Breathe, Read

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  2. Ooh, I really hope you'd enjoy it as much as I did! :) If you do get the book and finish reading it, I would be very much delighted if you'd tell me what you thought about it.

    (I don't know why but I lovelovelove reading in the car! I'm thinking it's more than just letting time pass...)

    -Michelle

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