Title: The Treachery of Beautiful Things
Author: Ruth Frances Long
Published: August 16th 2012 by Dial Books
Source: ARC courtesy of the publisher for an honest review. Any quoting maybe subject to change in the final copy.
"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."
Thoughts: I'll admit, what originally drew me to this novel was the cover. It's just too gorgeous to overlook. The question is, will it's beauty be deceiving? Well, my friends, the answer is simply no. The only thing more beautiful than the cover is the writing.
As you can see, the story starts off with a bang. As a child, Jenny watches trees (yes, trees) swallow her brother whole. The thing is, no one believes her. I mean, how could they? After years of therapy and boarding school, Jenny is still haunted by the imagine she saw so long ago. Needless to say, she suffers from a bit of dendrophobia. Eep!
It's not until she hears a sound so beautiful, so haunting it can only come from Tom and his flute. Could it be? Is he playing in the woods? He must know she's there! Before fear can consume her, she rushes into the woods in search of her long lost brother. What she ends up finding is so much more complicated and terrifying than merely trees swallowing a person whole.
I know I've already stated this, but I have to tell you again how much I adored the writing in this book. It kind of reminds me of how WICKED LOVELY by Melissa Marr is written. While the story isn't very similar (other than the faeries), the writing style is. It's incredibly elegant and honestly what kept me reading.
The pacing in this novel is, at times, a little slow. I'm not saying it's bad, but this book is definitely more focused on imagery, character and world building rather than action. Don't get me wrong, there's a handful of suspenseful, even petrifying scenes (AHH, Titania! Oberon! NO!), but the majority of the novel is based around the characters and Faerie.
And lest not forget the romance. The first thing you think of when you see the cover is romance. The first thing you hear in the summary is about romance. With all that said and done, the romance was very mild but also tasteful. There's an obvious attraction between Jenny and Jack yet very little happens between them. They both have obligations and quests that comes first and in a way, neither really know what they're feeling is love. Did I mention it's told through alternating points of view? You have Jenny if first and Jack in third, which is a personal favorite of mine.
Though there's very little romance in this novel, I really wouldn't have it any other way. Too much can be overbearing and would have been if this were the case. The tension between both characters is rather perfect, and I really enjoyed watching them and their relationship grow.
My favorite of all the characters has to be, of course, Puck. Though he's not the comical Puck we've all grown to like, he is the same riddle telling, questionable one we've come to love. He's the perfect amount of complicated and compassionate I adore in fey novels.
"Faeries. Jenny smiled in bewilderment as they darted about her."
Oh, honey. They may be pretty, but they're dangerous.
"He smiled fully then, such a beautiful smile. She scowled- or tried to. Beautiful boys didn't smile at her."
Did I mention he has one green eye and one blue one? Add a smile like that, and he'll stop hearts around the world!
"Deep in his throat Jack gave a muffled groan, something between submission and resignation, and he gathered her into his arms, deepening the kiss, while his hands moved to her hair, her shoulders, the curve of her side."
Overall, if you're a fan of Melissa Marr's WICKED LOVELY series, I'd recommend this book. It will not only sate your fey fix but will also make you wonder what's really in the woods. Watch out for the trees! They could be dangerous!