I had misgivings. I was happily wrong. This book is fantastic!
I was so nervous about this book. Why? Call me a doubter (actually, don’t, it’s not nice), but most of my Goodreads friends had rated it 2-stars and several people told me it sucked! That’s not the best intro to a book. BUT. Look at the cover. Go on! Scroll up and look at it. It’s gorgeous. Coupled with the fantastic premise…
I loved it. I did! I’d happily recommend it to everyone! (As is, I’ve shoved it in Mime’s face and told her to read it or I’ll chop off her head. What? It is about Marie Antoinette.)
Since the book takes place in Paris, I’m doubly in love with it. I want to see Paris so badly! It’s a quiet (or loud, depending on the day and how much chocolate I’ve sneaked) obsession of mine. Reading this was just like going to Paris! The description is so sensory and detailed. But not in an overloading way. It’s a snippet and a snatch. Realistic details. I approve! I tasted the food. Walked the uneven cobbles. Tasted the food. The food sounded delicious. DID I MENTION THE CROISSANTS?
Characters? Colette is a fantastic narrator! I really related to her. She’s the a chameleon friend in a border-line-mean-girl-clique. I loved how she had mean-girl tendencies, but deep down inside, she was just plain nice! Plus, although her friends were a waaay over-the-top with their fashion, Colette had a really sweet blend of caring about her appearances but not being over the top. It’s nice not to have “Looking Nice” slammed!
There’s a bit of a mean-girls clique happening. Let’s face it: Colette’s friends are awful. But I understood her need to be with them! Being friends with super-snob-Hannah made Colette cool by default. Buuut, Hannah treated her like dirt.
I loved how the author wove in unhealthy friendships with the coolness of Paris and the horribleness of a serial killer on the loose. Is that not a perfect combination? Yes, yes it is.
Writing? Very neat, very nice. It’s not wordy and slow. Très bon! (See?! SEE! I used French!)
The murders were sufficiently creepy! Every few chapters we get an omnipresent sneak-peek at what the serial killer is doing. Can I just say: kind of creepy?! It wasn’t Neal Gaiman or Dan Wells freak-my-brains-out, but it was definitely enough to keep me turning pages. Fast. It’s like a glitzy murder. Half chick-flick, half everybody-is-getting-their-heads-chopped-off.
I only had a few problems:
- the Bonny Sunshine and Rainbows ending. It was a little too neat. Real life rarely sorts out so well, unfortunately, and I felt that detracted from how realistic everything had been.
- her French tour-guide/boyfriend’s lectures. I honestly thought he had no right to lecture her on her friends! Sure he was right, but he’d known her for one week. Colette had known her friends for years. You don’t just waltz into someone’s life and pretend you understand everything ASAP.
This is totally a book I love owning! And looking at! (Gorgeous cover.)
Colette Iselin is excited to go to Paris on a class trip. She’ll get to soak up the beauty and culture, and maybe even learn something about her family’s French roots.
But a series of gruesome murders are taking place across the city, putting everyone on edge. And as she tours museums and palaces, Colette keeps seeing a strange vision: a pale woman in a ball gown and powdered wig, who looks suspiciously like Marie Antoinette.
Colette knows her popular, status-obsessed friends won’t believe her, so she seeks out the help of a charming French boy. Together, they uncover a shocking secret involving a dark, hidden history. When Colette realizes she herself may hold the key to the mystery, her own life is suddenly in danger.