Thursday, 28 August 2014
Review: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan
Publisher: Balzer + Bay
Publication Date: September 2nd, 2014
Series: The Dolls #1
Source: Publisher **I received this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review**
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Eveny Cheval just moved back to Louisiana after spending her childhood in New York with her aunt Bea. Eveny hasn't seen her hometown since her mother’s suicide fourteen years ago, and her memories couldn't have prepared her for what she encounters. Because pristine, perfectly manicured Carrefour has a dark side full of intrigue, betrayal, and lies—and Eveny quickly finds herself at the center of it all.
Enter Peregrine Marceau, Chloe St. Pierre, and their group of rich, sexy friends known as the Dolls. From sipping champagne at lunch to hooking up with the hottest boys, Peregrine and Chloe have everything—including an explanation for what’s going on in Carrefour. And Eveny doesn't trust them one bit.
But after murder strikes and Eveny discovers that everything she believes about herself, her family, and her life is a lie, she must turn to the Dolls for answers. Something’s wrong in paradise, and it’s up to Eveny, Chloe, and Peregrine to save Carrefour and make it right.
The premise of The Dolls sounds like fans of The Caster Chronicles would find a new series to fill the hole that series left two years ago. And there's definitely some really promising aspects that would make those fans happy. The mysterious, walled in gothic southern town being one and the eventual reveal of the magic that keeps the town alive being the second. I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery surrounding the town. So for the first half of the book I was quickly flipping pages. I needed to know what the hell was going on. Unfortunately the second half of the book really took a dive and didn't live up to how well The Dolls started out.
Eveny was born in Carrefour but at the age of three her aunt ups and moves her to NYC after the untimely death of her mother. But upon Eveny's seventeenth birthday her aunt decides it's time for the two of them to move back to Carrefour. Obviously Eveny is upset at first. She has friends, school and a life in NYC. But what can she do? Upon arrival in Carrefour Eveny quickly realizes that things are not what they seem. To start with her aunt needs a key to get through this wall that surrounds the town. What? And things just get weirder from there. Like straight up weird. She meets a girl snooping through her families herb garden and next thing you know that girl is dead. There's also a group of kids(think Mean Girls) headed by Chloe and Peregrine, who take an immediate interest in Eveny. So Eveny's trying to get her head around her new surroundings, figure out these disturbing yet foretelling dreams she's having, dealing with Chloe and Peregrine and the stories they bring her about her life, plus trying to have some semblance of a normal life with normal seeming friends. That's a lot for a girl to take in.
This was another book where the characters were not really what kept me reading. Like I seem to mention a lot, I am a character driven reader. That's usually my make or break on my enjoyment of the book. But the mystery surrounding Carrefour was super intriguing. Like Eveny, you're thrown into this town that you know things are quite not what they seem. There are secrets being kept from Eveny and dang if that doesn't make me want to turn the pages super quick to find out what they are. What is really the deal with Carrefour and its residents?
Eveny had her moments. She's not a stand out character. She'd use her voice and stand up to Chloe and Peregrine and defend her friends but she'd also do some really stupid things. I just wanted her to ask questions rather than just take everything she was told at face value. Girl, as soon as you arrived in Carrefour you should have realized that you would be lied to. Don't let that happen.
Chloe and Peregrine were really great "mean girls". They were the perfect mixture of controlling, deadly and beautiful. I really enjoy those kind of girls. The ones that you hate for messing around with the heroine but just know something else will come from them.
Unfortunately there is a really bad case of insta-love. It's pretty terrible. The usual, guy is mean and distant with girl and even though they don't have many interactions girl falls for guys hot looks and terrible attitude. Than they quickly realize they love each other but can't be together. *rolls eyes* It was totally unnecessary and really affected my opinion of the second half of the book.
Like mentioned above, the first half of The Dolls is totally a page turner for me, but as soon as Eveny had the twist and secrets revealed to her things quickly turned to uninteresting. Eveny took everything she was told without a second thought and that lead to some really predictable, cheesy and eye rolly bits.
In the end though, The Dolls shows a lot of promise. I enjoyed the magic and gothic southern setting. I do want to know where Eveny is going take her new found powers. And I really hope we get to see some epic show downs between worlds in the sequel.