Author: Ruth Frances Long
Release Date: August 16th, 2012
Publisher: Dial Books
Genre(s): YA Urban Fantasy
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.
~Spoilers are hidden- just highlight the page to see them!:)~
Big props to that gorgeous cover!:)
Similar beginning idea with Iron Fey series, simple and innocent writing style, bland plot, meek main character, (sort of) deus ex machina ending.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things wasn't a bad read, nor a good read. It was an okay read. I loved the fae concept because there aren't many good books out there that write about this thread of fantasy. This story was simply written, and it gave a sense that the Realm was very delicate. It made the world seem very pretty, even when it was described as malicious.
The main thing about this book that bothered me was the plot and Jenny. The plot was a bit bland for my taste, and I found myself skimming the last 150 pages or so. I didn't mind that the missing brother idea was similar to the missing brother plot of the Iron Fey series. It was the way this author presented the story that made me lose interest half way through. The simply written format was beautiful, and gave a feeling of innocence and magic, but the plot was boring and predictable, and the side trips didn’t really do anything except make me skip those parts to get back to the main story.
The ending was just disappointing- a sort of deus ex machina. It was way too convenient for Jack to appear like that and to get his memory back. I did love Puck, who was so different from swoony Puck of the Iron Fey series. Nonetheless, even his witty and sometimes warm mannerisms couldn't spice up the book as a whole.
Jenny was a really weak character development wise. I didn’t mind the damsel in distress personality of Jenny (hey, in life there aren’t only Katnisses and Keturahs); it was a bit refreshing, actually, and it wasn’t like she was groveling at the feet of men; she just needed help, that was all. Plus, Jenny had no choice but to depend on other people because she was unfamiliar with this world and all the dangers that came with it. This made sense, and totally what a lot of people would do (rely on someone to help them) if they were suddenly pulled into a magical world where trees ate people. She wasn't a very developed character, even though she was the main heroine, and that made it hard for me to care for her.
It's usually really hard for me personally to feel attachment to characters when the book is written in third person (omniscient or limited), but if done right (UnWind!!), anything's possible. Here, it was not done right. I felt no attachment to Jenny- or that wild boy Jack. (When Jenny was drowning, I couldn't have cared less whether or not Jack got her back- and that Nix drowning her subplot was annoying. It deviated from the plot for no reason, and if the author's intent was to make us feel anxious about whether or not they would get back together or if the queen would get her body, it was a really poor attempt.) She just had no character besides her innocence being emphasized. Jack didn’t bother me as much, but he was also very bland as a character.
With that being said, I don't regret reading this book (which I picked up because of the gorgeous cover!), but I do wish it had a little bit more oomph.
For people who also felt the book lacking, I would recommend Keturah and the Death Lord. The book is on the fantasy side, but it has nothing to do with the fae folk. However, the writing style is beautiful and simple- kind of like here, but the characters are well written, and it had a very interesting and unique story.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5