I'm always a little hesitant about urban fantasies, but I was willing to give this one the benefit of the doubt because the synopsis sounded really interesting. Luckily, I ended up really enjoying this one!

Hello everyone!

I'm back with another book review, Grim Lovelies by Megan Shepherd. Thanks to Raincoast Books for sending me an ARC of this book for an honest review, as always all opinions are my own.

The story follows Anouk, a Beastie, created from an animal by a witch as an enslaved servant. She is forbidden from leaving the house, but looks at the humans, the Pretties, in the outside world with wonder and envy. She and fellow Beasties in the house are under the control of the witch because she created them. But one day, Anouk finds the witch murdered, and herself in the spotlight as her killer. Anouk now has to evade those blaming her for the murder and find a new witch to keep them human before the magic wears off.

Like I mentioned, I'm always a little bit nervous about urban fantasy books, I never know how authors will work the real and fantastical together. I found that Shepherd did a really good job and most of the time I forgot we were even in a magical Paris most of the time (which is a positive for me). I also really loved how atmospheric this book was. You were in Paris and you knew it. I sometimes find, especially with books set in foreign locations, that aspect of the story gets lost with the plot - but Shepherd does a really good job of making sure you get information on the setting as well.

Plot-wise, I thought this was a really interesting and unique story. It kind of gave me Vassa in the Night vibes mixed with a little bit of a fairy tale retelling (not really one specifically). The idea of looking at the Beasties, that is, the animals turned human to do the bidding of their masters. It's not really something that they talk about in any retellings I've read so it was cool to see the different perspectives.

There was a bit of a romance in this book which I wasn't sure I wanted at first but quickly got on board with. I was also a little worried about it turning into a love triangle - which, thankfully, in this book doesn't seem to happen but if there's a sequel it might be something we'll have to watch out for. The romance grew on me after a little bit but it still felt a little bit out of the blue. Maybe it's just me, but there wasn't a lot of build up to it.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I look forward to the rest in the series (I'm assuming it will be a series!)