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.
How do I feel about The Treachery of Beautiful Things. I enjoyed it, that's for sure, but it didn't completely hit the mark for me/ I feel as though this book felt twice as long as it's 384 pages and I had to read it in spurts with more gripping books in the middle to keep me reading. It was an okay read but it isn't particularly memorable or exciting.
The beginning of this book really excited me. I was gripped by the start, by Tom getting taken away and Jenny's fear of the trees and of what she saw. When Jenny enters the otherworld things are still good, the pace kept up extremely well until about half-way through the book when suddenly it dropped and I became extremely bored. The rest of the book has it's good points (the fight with Titania/Mab and the ending) but I wasn't as gripped in the second half as I was in the beginning.
Despite the bad pace, I really did enjoy the storyline. Whilst the world and the characters are similar to other fae characters I loved the addition of the May Queen and the kobolds. Long also has a very beautiful narrative, this story was told so beautifully and enchantingly and I was extremely blown away for the tone and vibe of this book.
I had some problems with the characters; Jenny annoyed me since she does stupid things which are supposed to show how 'gentle' she is but really just put her in distress in order to paint Jack as her saviour and hero. Jack was underdeveloped, though I did like him and I did eventually root for the relationship I didn't feel like the two of them really worked that well, since there is a little bit of insta-luv. I liked Puck, but compared to the Puck we see in other fairy books he lacked charisma and development.
Overall, The Treachery of Beautiful things was an alright read, but I didn't feel gripped since the pace was very slow in the second half of the book. I liked the storyline and I loved Long's beautiful narrative voice. The characters needed more development in order to stand up against other YA fae titles (The Iron King/Tithe/Wicked Lovely).
Overall Rating: C
Book released August 16th 2012 by Dial
Book received as an eBook for review (via NetGalley)