Monday, June 2, 2014

Book Review: The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long

The Treachery of Beautiful Things

Ruth Frances Long

Publication Date: August 16th 2012

Publisher: Dial Books

Pages: 363

Genre:  Paranormal, Adventure, Young Adult

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.
I first read this book as an ARC in 2012 before it debuted (I was only able to have the book for a short period of time however and had to pass it on before I was able to get the review finished back then). I was incredibly excited about it, however, because it showed fae in my favourite light: terrifying.

Honestly, for me, this book is a masterpiece. I love Jenny and the realistic way she reacted to seeing her brother engulfed by trees as a child (by being traumatized). I loved Jack and the incredible amount of depth to his character and origins. I even loved the romance, it did the cliches in all the best ways.

The way the book is written follows the evolution of how Jenny sees things. The first half of the book is horror focused. Jenny is encountering creatures that are viscous, untrustworthy and some are just down right scary. Yet, as she gets used to the paranoia and grows to trust Jack and Puck, even if she really shouldn't, the book evolves its storytelling to that of an epic quest. The more determined she becomes to save not just her brother, but Jack as well, the more grandiose the writing becomes. I have no idea if Long did this on purpose or not, but I really enjoyed the way it evolved.

As for the world building, it is top-notch in The Treachery of Beautiful Thing. I can tell that there is much, much more information that the author could tell us about it, but didn't. Always just when it seems we have the breadth of it, another layer is revealed and we realize that it was hinted at throughout the book, thus not just tacked on.

I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys terrifying accounts of sidhe and fae. If you enjoyed the book, Don't Breathe a Word by Jennifer McMahon, then this is similar to it in many ways (although less terrifying). I also recommend this book if you enjoyed reading O.R. Melling's The Chronicle of Faerie books as the quest feeling in the second half of the book reminded me immediately of that series.



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