The Dead Queens Club

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

King Henry VIII and his six wives step out of history and take on high school teen drama in The Dead Queens Club. I have to say I do really like the title and that it is used later on in the book. Unfortunately being the second Henry VIII adaptation that I have read, I can now say that I am not a fan of books based on him. I think the author did well at turning these historical figures into prom king and queens and naming the characters to fit them. I also liked all of the references in her "possible future day jobs" such as "#24601 Life Without Parole" and "#1984" though they didn't seem to have anything to do with the Tudors. I'd say the last 80% was pretty good as the reader starts to see the girls banding together and be all "girl power." That way it didn't end with just broken hearts...and rolling heads. In my opinion I wasn't a fan of the content, but that's not to say that it was a badly written book or that the plot didn't work. It just wasn't for me.

Thank you to Netgalley and Harlequin Teen for the arc in exchange for an honest review.
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Rating 4/5

I loved this! It was like watching The Mean Girls again but with Tudor actors! The drama here was unreal and I am VERY glad I was not part of any of it! I laughed so much and enjoyed this immensely!
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Thank you NetGalley and Inkyard Press for the eARC. All opinions are my own.

This book, although having a very interesting premise was not for me. The humour and the pacing turned me completely off and the plot was all over the place. 

I did not connect with any of the characters at all and in that lies my overall distaste for this book as I tend to like more character driven books.
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4.5 stars.

The sordid tale of King Henry VIII and his six wives is probably the one most well-known to those with even only a passing interest in English history. As an Anglophile myself, I grew up reading Antonia Fraser's The Six Wives of Henry VIII alongside other titles more obscure on the topic, and heartily enjoyed the many popular TV adaptations. I tended to avoid the fictional stuff, an inclination cemented by viewing the movie of The Other Boleyn Girl. It was so terrible that, for once, Natalie Portman's acting was the highlight of a movie for me (and she was quite good in it, don't get me wrong, but the lack of historical rigor was appalling!) Most historical fiction about the six queens tends to follow some weird agenda, such as Ford Madox Ford's attempt at redeeming Katherine Howard by pretending she was Anne Boleyn in The Fifth Queen. I did, however, give in and read Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall because Booker, and found it, while an excellent portrayal of Thomas Cromwell, a somewhat tedious read.

All this is by way of saying that I've read tons and tons of books on the subject and consumed so much film and TV on it, that when I watched the Mark Rylance-starring version of Wolf Hall, it was actually a shock to me to realize for the first time what a monster Henry VIII was. It was as if some BBC producer got tired of everyone pretending that Henry was just a quirky horndog and decided to finally put his sociopathy front and center (and God bless you, BBC producer, for doing it.) Pretty much everything ever written or filmed about Henry before the Beeb's Wolf Hall tried to justify his actions because romance or religion or monarchy or whatever, but guys, he sucked, and nearly everything good that came out of his reign happened almost in spite of him. 

And this is where we circle round to The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin. It takes the story of Henry and his queens and transplants it to a small-town Indiana high school in the modern day (and frankly, if you're trying to reshape history to fit your own agenda, this is the way to do it, by changing the scenario entirely so that it makes sense to pick and choose what you carry over.) Our narrator is Annie Marck, the adopted Asian daughter of Cleveland professors, who is the best friend of Henry, the most popular guy in Lancaster, Indiana. As the book opens, Henry is dating Annie's other best friend, Katie Howard, while Annie, an aspiring journalist, is constantly thwarted by her nemesis, editor-in-chief of the high school paper, Cat Parr. When Katie dies at a party in the woods, Annie must start to confront Henry's terrible dating history and, more sinisterly, the death of yet another of his exes, Anna Boleyn.

While modern and feminist, TDQC hews quite closely to the history, performing a remarkable feat in repotting this Tudor drama into the hothouse of an American high school. Ms Capin clearly knows her stuff, and readers will find themselves absorbing actual history almost unwittingly, as we're carried along by the narrative. Her portrayals of Katherine Howard, especially, and (Jane) Parker (Boleyn) Rochford are both loving and illuminating. I have to admit that it took me a while to get really comfortable with Annie's first person POV, as she's a decidedly idiosyncratic personality, but that's sort of the point, that she's the quirky one. And also? A teenager. Ms Capin does a really terrific job of taking these archetypes and pinning them on to actual teenage personalities.

I really enjoyed this book, and am looking forward to reading more from Ms Capin, perhaps with more non-white characters (tho I'm going to pretend that Lina is a brown Latina, because if Annie can be Chinese, why not?) I especially recommend it to everyone tired of Henry VIII being given a pass on being a bad dude. It doesn't fix what he did, but it does help people see better the truth of his court, quite an accomplishment for an ostensibly YA novel.
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A modern historical retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives, The Dead Queens Club feels like a cathartic answer to one wondering what would happen if Henry got what he deserved. Relevant even in a contemporary context, the novel is told from the point of Henry's best friend (as well as girlfriend #4) Annie, as in Anne of Cleves, who takes way too long to realize that her womanizing best friend may also be a literal ladykiller. Occasionally jumping back and forth on a two-year timeline, the story comes during the time of #5 and continues into #6, merging a murder mystery-ish plot with a girl-squad-seeks-justice plot.

Annie, aka Cleves, has known Henry for a couple of years from summer camp, and when she moves to Lancaster, Indiana from Cleveland, she is readily accepted by the popular kids (mostly because Henry rules the school), and finds an easy friendship with Parker and Katie, the latter being #5. Her friendship with Henry is formed on a mutual love for pranks, and doing daredevil things. She has been with him through all of his breakups and though she calls herself a feminist, she has a glaring blindspot when it comes to him, and is much more ready to accept that Anna Boleyn may have accidentally caused her own and her brother's death.

She finds it unfair, though, that the general consensus in the school is vitriol towards Anna, (even though she herself calls her a boyfriend-stealer) and tries to mend the dead girl's reputation through her position as a correspondent on the school newspaper (also, BTW, I loved how the chapter titles are framed like headlines). When Katie, too, dies 'accidentally', Cleves is devastated and is frustrated over how the school once again tarnishes Katie's image and thinks she had it coming. As the novel progresses, she is roped into Parker's scheme to get justice for Katie, and eventually has to contend with the fact that Henry is shady AF. Bonus: they make a girl squad out of the living 'queens' + Parker in order to get the truth.

As a retelling, it works really well to translate the story from its historical context to a modern one - there are plenty of references that tie it back, as well as little nods to the fates of the original people. The names being similar, or in some cases, same as historical figures warranted at least one joke about history repeating itself, but maybe that's just me. Annie is a wonderful narrator with some quippy lines, and the best part about the book - she keeps the book lively with her sarcastic and dry humor, and is human in that she finds it difficult to believe her best friend could be a killer (still, shouldn't have taken her 400 pages to open her eyes!) and struggles with her feminism (a lot) but grows through the book. The other girls in her squad, though archetypes in some ways, are well-fleshed out characters, and the friendship and solidarity between them is played so well. It also touches upon consent and slut-shaming, in a topical manner.

With regards to the murder aspect, I still feel it wasn't as clean as it made it out to be. For a supposed 'crime of passion' it was too easily dismissed as accidental, and I don't think Henry was charming enough to make even investigators not suspect him (especially not a second time). It would have probably made more sense if his father was bribing officials or something, to be honest. The drama may have been a bit exaggerated for a high school setting, even if it was entertaining. The ending, though, is satisfactory enough to make the book an enjoyable read overall.
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Let me start by saying I would (and no doubt will) read it again a dozen times. I’ve been looking for some really good contemps to get me out of this weird struggle I’ve had getting into them lately. NO TROUBLE GETTING INTO THIS ONE. Just enough touches of humor balanced with the murder-y vibes to make it impossible to put down. Some of the moments felt like they were trying a tad too hard but I overall really enjoyed where this story went. And, I mean, you can’t go wrong with a main character like Cleves. You just can’t.
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I really enjoyed this story on its own but the dedication in the back made me enjoy it even more! I noticed a few similar names from history and didn’t think much of it at first but then it all started to make sense. The story is great and has an interesting vibe to it through out. The main character’s kept me laughing out right in many spots.
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I was extremely lucky to receive a digital ARC of this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book or the content of this review.

I’m always a sucker for stories based on Tudor-era drama, especially when it’s focused more on the many women screwed over by Henry VIII instead of just Henry VIII. This book did that in so many ways, but it’s definitely an odd little (well, big – over 450+ pages) book that might not be for everyone.

It took me a little white to get into this book because it bounced around a lot. We enter the story while Henry is dating Katie, aka Catherine Howard, Wife #5. We learn first about how our protagonist, “Cleves” (aka Anne of Cleves, Wife #4) first met Henry and became his best friend, even after their short romantic relationship ended. We go back and forth from the present timeline, where Cleves is friends with Katie and Henry still likes her, but is suspicious that she might be cheating, and we slowly learn more about how Cleves met him at Over-Achiever summer camp before moving to the same town as him, as well as how things ended with girlfriends one through three.

I had a lot of fun matching the characters with their real-life counterparts. They’re not hidden, obviously, but there are some details, like the fact that Lina (girlfriend #1, Lina Aràgon, aka Catherine of Aragon) is the daughter of Isabella Castille and Ferdinand Aràgon, aka Isabella of Castille and Ferdinand of Aragon, that are fun to notice if you know some of the history of the characters. It was also interesting to see how author Hannah Capin modernized different things, like how Lina is still religious and beloved by the people, but now that just means she doesn’t believe in sex before marriage and everyone is Team Lina when Anna (Anne) Boleyn enters the pictures.

Things were darker than I expected – for instance, without too many spoilers, people die or died before the story started, just like the actual historical people. Sure, not everyone died – one guy who’s supposedly involved with one of the girlfriends isn’t actually drawn and quartered, but he does drop out of school and move “to Alaska to get a job on a fishing boat or a pipeline or something where you might make bank, but you’ll probably die in some heinous winching incident that’s essentially modern-day drawing and quartering,” (pages 209 – 210 of the eARC). It’s the little things like that that amused me.

And there’s a lot to find amusing in this book – Cleves, our protagonist, is a very sarcastic person. Sometimes the humor can feel over the top and like it’s trying a little too hard, but for the most part, I enjoyed it. It’s definitely an element that some people might not enjoy as much, though. Same with the way things take a turn in the second half of the book and it almost becomes a quasi-mystery, or at least a “prove that Henry is horrible” quest, since he has a habit of losing girlfriends to various things, like moving away and dying. It threw me a little, just like how I was surprised with how many flashback scenes we got in the first 50 or so pages, but it didn’t derail things for me.

I think that people could really enjoy this odd retelling/high school drama/pseudo-murder mystery story, as long as they know what they’re getting into. It has a lot of feminism, from defending girls who are sex shamed and vilified and such, to also acknowledging that girls can do bad things like “steal” boyfriends and are still victims of other crimes, even if they’re not perfect. I liked that aspect, even if it felt like it was a bit anvilicious at times – for teenagers and young adults who haven’t been exposed to feminist theory as much as I have, it might bring up some good points that they hadn’t though about, and that’s always a good thing.

This book took me a while to read, mainly because I had it in PDF form, which is annoying to read on Adobe Digital Editions, but also because it really was a big book, and there were some things that didn’t always work, but ultimately, I enjoyed this debut. Capin already has a 2020 book listed on Goodreads – another retelling, this time Macbeth with some #MeToo elements – and I already know I’ll be checking that out as soon as possible.
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The book is narrated by Annie "Cleaves" Marek, Henry's 4th wife, or in this case girlfriend. The book starts in the middle of the story. Henry is know with girlfriend number 5, Katie Howard. We get flashbacks to the other girlfriends and it can get a little confusing to be honest. The chapters aren't marked whether they are in the past or present so you have to figure it out for yourself. 

The first half of the book switches between Cleaves talking about the past and the present which leads up to homecoming, where the 5th girlfriend is disposed of.

I'm pretty much assuming everybody knows about Henry and his 6 wives at this point. He divorced them and two of them were beheaded because Henry was a big asshole. A quick wikipedia search will tell you all you need to know. So where the book really lost me was at the half way point where it turns into a murder mystery type book. If you know your history, you know who did the murder in this book. So the murder mystery angle doesn't work here, The characters don't know for sure, but we the readers do. It becomes somewhat tedious honestly.

I also felt that the tone of this book just didn't work for me. It was very parody like. The book didn't take itself really seriously despite being based on real events that were pretty serious. A more dramatic take on this that dealt with the themes of slut shaming and toxic masculinity would have been fantastic. It tries to address this but with the goofy tone it takes, it doesn't work.

The characters were all stereotypes. This worked for some of them. I liked Parker. She was very over the top but I liked her the same way I like Blair from Gossip Girl. She's ridiculous but that's why you love her. I did not feel the same about our main character. Cleaves was your typical quirky girl. She says witty things that really aren't witty. She claims to be a hardcore feminist but demonstrates this by kind scolding Henry when he says something sexist...and that's about it. Henry is awful but he's suppose to be. Unfortunately, it take Cleaves up until page 415 to realize this. They are best friends for some reason. She helps pull pranks on his girlfriends when he thinks they are cheating, all while claiming to be a feminist. He's cheated multiple times but she just rolls her eyes. That's Henry for ya! I'm not sure why they needed to be best friends in this book. I think you could have had most of the book be the same if she was just an ex girlfriend and not his best friend.

In conclusion, this book was entertaining enough to keep me reading but I had my problems with it. Especially the second half. I think there are some people that will really like this spoofy tongue in check retelling but it just wasn't for me
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This review was posted on Magical Reads and Goodreads on January 26, 2019.

The Dead Queens Club really snuck up and me; I truly did not expect to like it as much as I did. This book has just the right amount of drama and outrageousness. Hannah Capin wrote the drama of Henry VIII and his six wives so seamlessly into a modern high school setting, you won't even be able to recognize all the references.

What I loved the most about this book was the writing. Cleves's snarkiness is the best and entirely my sense of humor. Also, Capin writes the characters so incredibly well. You'll find yourself falling in love (just a little) with Henry, and being manipulated by him, just like Cleves. I was genuinely so caught up in the drama that I was almost convinced by his lies; it was great feeling this way. I mean, not being manipulated by an angry liar, but really feeling what the main character is going through is such a good marker of excellent writing.

And you'd think that in a book with so much drama between girls, there would be a lot of slut-shaming and double standards. There's not. Cleves calls out pretty much double standard, things said by Henry and the other girls. She talks often about not liking Anna, but when people act like she was just an overreacting bitch, she rebuts with remarks of not reducing girls to a two-dimensional standard. When people only bring up Katie to talk about her sex life, she shuts them down. This book is definitely a great example of girls supporting girls.

I'd like to think that I know a decent amount about this whole debacle because we covered it pretty heavily in school (what with the whole, let's break off from Catholicism! thing). However, there are still so many gaps in my knowledge. Only after I went on Wikipedia after finishing the book did I realize some of the references because some of them are so subtle.

I do think what this book lacked was representation. Cleves and her sister are both adopted (from China and Malawi, respectively), so there's that, but it's brought up twice so it's easy to forget. This book is based on England and set in the Midwest, but we're already reimagining so much of it, so I do think it could have done better in the representation factor.

Overall, this book was such a fun read; it was dramatic without being overbearing and scornful without crossing into slut-shaming. I definitely recommend it if you're a fan of Trouble is a Friend of Mine or Sarah Rees Brennan's books. The drama was such a trip, the plot so enticing, and the characters great to follow. If you're looking for a hilarious, fun ride of a novel, I totally suggest you pick The Dead Queens Club up, but be warned, you won't be able to put it down.
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This is such a spot-on retelling of the history of King Henry VIII, right down to certain quotes from different characters. It’s not even just the girls and Henry that are reminiscent of people from Tudor history. It’s everyone.
Add to that the entertaining first-person narration from a snarky protagonist.

The only thing that didn’t quite work for me about this book is the way that people actually do die in this, even though it’s set during modern day, and it’s treated like a totally normal thing. That sort of took away from the story a little bit, because it was trying to be thriller-y but also...not.
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I felt like THE DEAD QUEENS CLUB started slow, but in all, I give this 3.5 stars out of 5. This book is insanely unique. You will not forget it. 

THINGS I LIKED
1. The twists. You'd think a book based on very well known history wouldn't be twisty, but there were enough surprises to keep me going. And even though I knew the history, some things truly surprised me when they occurred. 
2. The funny historical references. At some point, Parker Rochford (based on Jane Boleyn, Lady Rochford, who was George Boleyn's wife) tells Lina (based on Catherine of Aragon) "You and Henry dated for like, twenty five years!" It was cleverly done (most of the time). 
3. Katie Howard. Poor Katie. And Katheryn Howard in general. 

THINGS I DIDN'T LOVE
1. I couldn't quite get a read on Cleves or her humor. 
2. I'm a journalist by nature so I always get a little cranky with journalism based plots that are so very obviously not following journalistic standards. Sorry, Cleves, but Cat Parr was right on that one. 
3. So much backstory to begin with. I liked that Cleves hadn't grown up with all of these people and was an outsider, but goodness, it took a long time to get through all of that and camp with Henry to the GOOD STUFF. The first 50% of the book was slow, and I read the last 50% in one sitting.
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Dead queens club is a book that people will be talking about for awhile! Thank you netgalley for the free arc in exchange for an honest review!
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The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin is a young adult contemporary story that is a retelling of Henry VIII and his wives. In this case however the “wives” are all high school girlfriends of Henry, the charming homecoming king.

The story is told from the point of view of Annie Marck or “Cleves” as Henry likes to call her who is the high school equivalent of Anne of Cleves, Henry’s 4th wife. Cleves in this story met Henry at camp and became really good friends with Henry often getting talked into his mischievous adventures.

Cleves gets transferred to Lancaster High with Henry and already being the best of friends she finds herself diving right into his world. There’s some mystery to the previous girlfriends and drama with the current but what else can one expect from high school relationships?

Being well beyond the intended audience for this one I will admit that it took a little getting used to the high school world and thought maybe it would be one that would feel too young. However, once getting going and really noticing the real life Henry’s story being played out in this young adult environment I really began to enjoy it. I don’t think it’s necessary to know all the details of Henry VIII to enjoy and maybe this one might even make it easier to do so if you know nothing beforehand. I do think it’s worth giving it a try though if you enjoy real life retellings.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.
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*Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing me a complimentary arc of The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin in exchange for my honest review.*

First off, I want to say how original and fun this idea is! Like damn Hannah, good job. Now onto characters...

* okay, Cleves is so funny. I wish I had been her in high school, or damn even now. I really loved how much she wanted to change the narrative and called out people for being sexist or labeling women when they were so much more. I did have so issues with how much she wanted to believe in Henry and some other things that went down, but I also think it was an honest depiction. Women want to believe in their friends and that the men they care about aren't trash, and a lot of girls in high school (myself included) have feelings for sucky guys and make questionable decisions surrounding that. But, girl always goes back to her girls and I am 100% here for it.

* Henry started out fun and then.. Not so much. mild spoiler? Idk he's based off the Real Henry, so maybe it shouldn't be. But, damn I was drowning in Henry's toxic masculinity, hypocrisy, and disrespect for women.  

* Katie was so much fun and always had me laughing and was apologetically herself. 

*Parker was a fun time, never knew quite what was going to happen with her.

* SO MANY FUN AND DIFFERENT FEMALES CHARACTERS. YES, HANNAH, YES.

I was reading this on E-reader app on my phone, so it does mess with my concentration so that could have led to this next thought. The story telling is a little confusing at first, back and forth from present to past, but still fun and entertaining. That does eventually stop as much once you're caught up, so be aware!

There were a lot of moments in this book calling out people for saying things against other women and sexist thinking, but it also called out when feminist women say things that don't align with what they should be standing for. I loved the calling out and even it calling me out for wrong thinking and every feminist and girl in this story.


SPOILER, SPOILER. SPOILER. never heard truer words of it won’t be enough evidence to actually get a man rightfully prosecuted. SPOILER OVER. SPOILER OVER. SPOILER OVER.

This was a really fun and original story and I'm excited to see where Hannah goes next!

finally, as Anna would say, ainsi sera.

and as the entire girl gang would say,

LOVE LIVE THE QUEENS.
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The Dead Queens Club
by Hannah Capin
Harlequin TEEN (US & Canada)
Inkyard Press
Teens & YA
Pub Date 29 Jan 2019


I am reviewing a copy of The Dead Queen’s Club through Harlequin Teen and Netgalley:


You might be tempted to think that being the new girl in town might equate to one boring sen year. But that was far from the case for me,  Annie Marc, also known as Cleeves because I was accidentally transformed into teenage royalty by walking into Lancaster High in the arm of the King himself.



Henry has it all, the jock, the genius, and the brooding bad boy all wrapped into one.  It’s no wonder he’s on his sixth girlfriend in only two years.



What this does not explain is why two of us are dead!


My best friend believes it’s Henry’s fault  but that’s ridiculous, right?  My nemesis says we just shouldn‘t talk about it which is sketchy.  As the new girl I’m determined to find out what happened to the dead queen’s before history repeats itself!


Five out of five stars!


Happy Reading!
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20%. That's where I should have DNF'ed this. I wouldn't have missed a thing. 

Was there a point to this? I mean, there must have been because it's over 400 pages, but it was lost under page upon page of inane and tiresome high school drama I struggle to come to grips with. I think this was supposed to be a feminist positive story, but you've got to wade through a hell of a lot of slut-shaming to get to that conclusion. 

Honestly, I only carried on to the end because someone whose reviews I trust said it rewards you. Yeah, no. This was unbelievably dull and annoying to read. The drama that supposedly was the centre of the story is a mess, and the writing doesn't help that along much. I think there was a mystery being solved, but who the hell knows. It's one of those books that tries to have a relatable voice and be funny and personable. I say tries because good lord did it ever. Another thing that made me exhausted of the whole thing before I'm even a quarter of the way in. 

I don't know if it was the formatting of my e-ARC, but I couldn't follow this. 90% of this story was just dialogue. Swaths and swaths of people talking in teenage slang that I had a very hard time believing (do people seriously still do the talk to the hand thing?) Not to mention I had no idea who was talking half the time because everyone sounded exactly the same and the dialogue tags were non-existent.  

Overall, just another book that steers me away from the contemporary genre. I really don't have much positive to say, and it pains me to say so.
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I absolutely enjoyed this reimagining of Henry the VIII in modern day. I went into this book knowing a bit about ol' Henry, but some things struck me, so as I hit up Google while reading certain sections, it was really cool seeing how much truth was incorporated into this tale. Very tense moments and a tense ending that had me stressed till the very end. Great book!
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I am a hardcore history buff and a sucker for Tudor England. So when I found our about this re-telling of Henry VIII and his wives set in a modern high school, I said sign me up! Unfortunately I had a hard time staying interested and the length of the book didn't help. If it were about 100 or so pages shorter I probably could have kept pushing but I found the narrator to be annoying and the story confusing. It makes me very sad as I was looking very much forward to reading this book. Concept was awesome the execution not so much.
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3.5 

I finished this last night but had to sleep on it. When you read a 450+ page book in one day it kind of attacks your brain like a hoard of little termites causing you to think of little else. Thankfully the termites were gone when I woke up so now I'm going to try to bang out a coherent review.

I liked this book more than my starring suggests, but - a big ol' but - I had some problems with it that I felt a higher rating would be a stretch. So, yes. I enjoyed it. But.

But why on earth were these teenagers so quick-witted? God knows I was an annoyingly quick-witted teenager - hello, sixteen year old kayla, have you met your un-biological twin sister Cleves? - but these kids never stopped. In real life at some point someone would have run out of dry, witty, and/or sarcastic remarks, wouldn't they? So, yeah, it got to a point where the writing changed from Really Fun and Snappy and Unlike Anything I've Read Recently, to How Do These Children Have So Many Funny Thoughts [insert fourteen question marks here]. Breaking: they don't. (If you've read it you know why that's funny - or not funny depending on many times your brain can handle reading the word breaking before imploding.)

Cleves being introduced as Cleveland to adults and teachers calling her Cleves instead of Annie is just borderline ridiculous, but I supposed it's not the most ridiculous thing in a retelling of Henry VIII and all his wives. To be perfectly frank I don't know much about dear ol' Henry. I two (2) history classes in university and one was The 10 Days That Shaped The World or something which is, like, odd, because we definitely learned more than 10 events? I think. I dropped it before the last exam because This Girl Couldn't Be Bothered! The other class was an ancient history class that was full of BORING FACTS. Why did we need two months on pottery? On urns? Why was there almost no exciting information??? The second I could leave that exam I did and guess what, readers? I PASSED! And stayed bitter about how boring the class was to this day ~7~ years later.  BUT I DIGRESS.

So I don't know much about Henry VIII. Lots of wives, some dead, etc. I never watched the Tudors or read The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels Series (I will read them one day seeing as I own a bunch). I was hoping THE DEAD QUEENS CLUB could teach me a little bit - and it did. Kind of. Maybe? Not sure because as I said, 458 pages in one day is A Lot. The writing just pulled me in despite nothing happening for a good chunk of the first half; one hundred pages could have been cut from the middle and not one thing would have to be changed. 

I would've liked the switch from past to present to in-between to be a little more obvious as the narrative jumped a lot. The plot was messy. I have to say it. I don't know if that was purposeful due to the insanity that Henry's life was or if it was because it was an arc, but god. I was told so much? But nothing? Do I even know what happened in this book? Whom knows.

Why on earth was Cleves so wishy-washy? She was so strong and opinionated for everything in her life that wasn't Henry. I understand the crush aspect - who hasn't had a crush one someone that you think hung the moon? - but when she is being given HEAPS on HEAPS of evidence why does she push back it so much BUT ALSO BELIEVE IT but also push back and Oh My God, No, He Couldn't Have Done That except what if he did? It was, like, five straight chapters of this. Just pick a side and take a nap, girl, honestly.

The chapter titles were very funny and I wish I had saved my favourite ones, but alas. I was hurtling towards the end trying to guess how it would end - remember, all I really know about Henry VIII is that he's dead 'cause he's ancient, so. - and forgot to tab the funniest ones. But I really enjoyed them.

So despite my average rating, it was enjoyable. But messy. BUT I am very excited to read Capin's next novel at some point - it comes out in 2020 but these greedy girl is going to try and get her hands on an arc - because it's a retelling of Macbeth.  


Big thanks to Harlequin TEEN & Inkyard Press for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.
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