The Dead Queens Club

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 25 Feb 2019

Member Reviews

I really wanted to like this book as I love all things about Henry the 8th and his wives. However, I found that I just couldn't get into this book. It was hard to understand the time jumps in the first few sections, leaping back and forth from the present day to the two stays at summer camp. I found that the main character really lacked a voice or an identity. I couldn't really get into the story from her perspective enough to keep up with who she was or what she wanted. The other characters all seemed to be a bit of a stereotype. Instead of any action, I found it more like reading the diary of a pretty boring girl with stereotypical friends. The cheerleaders were preppy and upbeat and happy, the football players were strong and not friends with many people that weren't cheerleaders, and the smart kids had their own clique that no one else was allowed in.  Instead of getting a modern-day Henry the Eighth feeling, I got more a diary of a not quite smart enough, not quite preppy enough, not quite sporty enough girl trying to fit in, and that really wasn't what I was looking for and I struggled to finish.  I also found there were a lot of places where there was a space after the letter f like "f light and f ill" or that there were hyphens in phrases that shouldn't have them like "never-going-to-see" which made it hard to enjoy.
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I would give this book 2.75 stars

I thought the premise of this book to be interested and I was hoping to be interested in the novel. 
Unfortunately, this book was a great disappointment. First of all can we talk about the protagonist, Cleves. I don't know if it was just me but I found her personality to be extremely grating on the nerves. However, I did enjoy her emphasis on feminism and slut shaming. 

The plot in this novel seemed to move extremely slowly and I felt like the first 3/4ths of the book had nothing really to do with the overall plot of the story. The novel picked up in about the last 50 pages. The last 50 pages was a book in itself with a rising action, climax and falling action crammed into it.

Something I enjoyed about the novel was character development. The author took time to build up each character and make them multifaceted. 
Although there were many things I didn't enjoy in this book I found myself sucked into reading it, and I had trouble putting the story down.
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To start off, I have to say, I. Ate. This. Book. Up! This is just the type of chick lit, teenage drama, mystery type book that I live for! It was so compelling and the writing is shockingly funny! I didn’t expect the book to make me laugh out loud. I requested it because I thought it might be similar to Pretty Little Liars (which it does have that type of vibe in parts) but I was pleasantly surprised with how much I loved Hannah Capin’s writing style! I will definitely be keeping an eye out for more of her works!

The plot of this book really moves! There are no dull parts or “filler” chapters or really anything that slows the pace of this book which I love. I literally kept telling myself “ok one more chapter and then I’ll stop” and I just couldn’t! Every chapter drove me forward and I became deeply invested with the story and characters of this book! I HAD to know what happened next and thus I read this whole thing in ONE sitting.

The characters are sort of typical, archetypal high school characters; you’ve got your jocks, cheerleaders, intellectuals, and mean girls. And of course our main character is none of the above but is pretty atypical and “different” and yet everyone still loves her. BUT none of that bothered me because it all worked for the type of story that it was. OH! Did I mention this is a retelling of notorious Playboy Henry VIII? Because it totally is and I was totally here for it.

But anyways, the characters. Loved the main character, however it took her a looooong time to figure out the “twist” even when other characters had literally been screaming it at her for like six chapters. It got a little obnoxious how naive she was but hey, weren’t we all naive in high school??

I also loved the underlying feminism tone this book carried. It hits on many important topics regarding questions like does a girls outfit imply she's "asking for it" and issues like slut shaming that are all very relevant and important conversation starters. I appreciated the stance the author took on these issues. 

I gave this book four stars. I loved it, I ate it up, but there were some plot inconsistencies and maybe a few holes and unanswered questions but all in all this was a highly enjoyable read. I was absolutely head over heels for the author’s writing style.

Definitely look for this on the shelves come January 2019! You don’t want to miss this fast-paced mystery!
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#TheDeadQueensClub #2019YAbooks #NetGalley
In reading the synopsis, you will never really fully understand this book. It is a well written novel like so many, but this book is so much more than that. It reminded me of a delicious piece of chocolate that once you bite into it the texture and flavors keep changing. You think you are getting a thriller, but then it's a drama which changes to a mystery and so on. You want to get to the end, yet the end means it's over. So much drama going on inside your mind and there is the appeal.
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Oh my gosh! I loved this one. First, I live in Indiana, so I eat up the references to the Hoosier State. Second, I’ve been on a Tudor kick, so all the wives are fresh in my mind. Last, but it should be first, I’m a member of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, because just like Rockford women, I have the highest standards! When Cleve meets Henry at Overachievers Camp, they become fast friends. Henry lives in Indiana and Cleve lives in OH, but they stay in touch. Before too long, Cleve moves to Indiana, writes for the school newspaper, and learns a great deal about her new classmates. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me to be an early reader in exchange for my fair and honest review.
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What an interesting book. And I mean that in the highest possible regards. The Dead Queens Club is an interesting book because it manages to be so many things at once. It's a psychological thriller. It's a murder mystery. It's a comedy. It's a black comedy. It's a melodrama. It's so many things wrapped up in one "keep you on the edge of your seats, smiling all the way" flavored package.

And I adored it.

The Dead Queens Club follows Annie, nicknamed Cleaves by golden boy and human magnet Henry, in a retelling of King Henry VIII and his six wives. Historically, Anne of Cleaves got of relatively easy compared to some of the other wives, but here it's all back stabbing and smiles. Re-imagining the story of King Henry is tricky, because there's a lot of re-contextualizing and re-imagining to be done in order to make the narrative fit into the story you want to tell. Thankfully, Capin manages to not only bring the head chopping fool's story to life, but breathes fresh life into it. 

And she did it by making this book fun. It is a fun read from start to finish not only because of Cleaves' whip smart humor, but because the writing allows itself to be fun. It's twisty, it's dark, and it's thrilling but by god if you don't enjoy every second of this book. It tackles issues of slut shamming and narcissism and male vs female double standards in a way that's so much more nuanced then I'm use to. This book knows its fun, but it trusts its audience to understand the messages and themes it's trying to tell them as well. 

With at least seven characters to juggle, Capin did a fantastic job at giving the queens distinct personalities, but making their interactions with one another, and Henry, utterly in character with who they were. God, it's all so good. I cannot sing this books praises enough. The mystery is well paced, the characters are deep and well rounded, and the humor bubbles to the surface on every page.
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I love this modern tale and it’s unique dialogue! I found myself tearing through this story very quickly and I was sad to finish it as soon as I did but not a bit disappointed.
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