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Friday, February 8, 2013

[Review] The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

Cover Rating: ★★★★★
Title: The Treachery of Beautiful Things
Author: Ruth Frances Long
Pages: 363 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Dial
Release Date: August 16, 2012
Source: Won

A darkly compelling mix of romance, fairy tale, and suspense from a new voice in teen fiction

The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.

The Treachery of Beautiful Things was one of my most anticipated novels last year, but I didn't get to it until now. The fae are quickly become one of my favorite paranormal creatures, and I tend to love fairy tales, so I was hoping this one would be a winner for me. Unfortunately, it was a little disappointing.

Jenny is one of my least favorite type of characters. You know the ones who are thrown into a new situation or a new world and they act like they know better than those who have always been there? Yep, she's one of those. Whenever Puck or Jack tell her to do something, or not to do something, she always has to do the opposite and when they save her her response is something like "But I had to!" No, you didn't have to, and you almost got yourself killed! What she thinks is bravery and taking control of the situation is actually recklessness and stupidity. Less than 1/3 into the book I found myself severely irritated with Jenny.

However, I loved the world! Faerie is hidden within the forest in the mortal realm, and it's full of creatures both beautiful and terrible. It's impossible to tell who's dangerous and who's not, since the most beautiful of the fae can be the most deadly, while the most hideous could save you from certain death. Jenny, of course, learned all of this the hard way. The trees were my favorite part. They're alive in more ways than one. The forest is always watching and protects its own.

The story was also good, too, when Jenny wasn't driving me bonkers. She's out to save her brother who was stolen by the forest seven years prior. However, she gets caught up in the games of Queen Titania and King Oberon. Each wants her for their own selfish reasons, and neither is willing to let her go so easily. Jack, a forest guardian, has debts to both of the rulers, but he also a duty to protect those who get lost in the forest. Jenny isn't sure if she can trust him, since his loyalties may lay elsewhere, but who else is she suppose to trust in Faerie?

It keeps up a good pace, so I was almost always engaged in the story. There's quite a bit more action and violence than I had expected, but nothing too over the top. I do think I would have loved this one if there had been a more likeable heroine. Or maybe if it had been in 1st person POV, so I could at least understand what Jenny was up to when she made her horrible decisions.

Favorite Quotes

"Nature is hard, unforgiving. It can destroy as much as it can create. That's -- that's its nature." (pg 88)

"Beware a kiss," he told her. "Kisses are powerful things. You expose part of your soul. Have you learned nothing?" (pg 247)

Can you get tetanus in fairyland? she wondered idly. Or something worse? (pg 292)

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