Cover Image: The Marvelous

The Marvelous

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Member Reviews

Jewel created the ever popular app Golden Rule and has invited a select group of users to her estate for the weekend. What the group thought was going to be a nice weekend getting to know Jewel turns into a game filled with challenges and a cash prize.

This was told in three different POVs and I couldn’t tell who was who half of the time. I had to go back several times to figure out whose chapter I was on because they were all similar and I couldn’t remember each of them that well.

Some parts were confusing, especially how to solve the puzzles. I felt like as a reader we didn’t get enough backstory or explanation as to why they solved them the way they did.

I did have fun reading this since it gave off The Inheritance Games vibes, but it wasn’t the same. It was a quick read with a decent ending.

Thank you to the publisher for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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I wasn’t so into it as I wish I would. It tools me a pretty long time to just fell into the book even tho the plot was interesting.
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This book was an unexpected surprise. I initially thought it would be a romance or rom com and then quickly found that it was a mystery! I like how Claire Kann switched up her style here! I am a big fan of multiple POVs and was so happy to get that in this book as well!
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The Marvelous was a great idea, that I think was executed pretty well.
The characters were mostly interesting, but I think what kept me reading was just the idea of this place where they were and the challenges.
I think the story went a little off the rails at the end, but I still enjoyed the read, and think YA readers who like a little mystery and darkness would really enjoy as well.
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The plot and the puzzles in this treasure hunt novel were just not very interesting, and neither were the characters. Ultimately, there's something deeply unpleasant about poor people being made to compete for the approval of the rich.
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This is not the sort of book I would normally read, but Claire Kann wrote it, so obviously I needed it. I have no regrets. What an adventure. The Marvelous grabs you from the beginning with a vaguely dystopian-Willy Wonka premise (but what social media-driven plot isn't?) and doesn't let go. Kann's riddles were a step above, and her characters! Stella for life. In a weird way, I’d comp this to Gideon the Ninth though they’re very very different books.
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The Marvelous was an incredibly fascinating YA Mystery which keeps you hooked from the very beginning.

Jewel Van Hanen is an heiress and an actress and her every move has always been followed. She creates a video sharing app, Golden Rule, which instantly becomes popular. Almost immediately after, Jewel disappears for a whole year and nobody knows where she is. And then suddenly she’s back and invites four of Golden Rules’ followers to spend the weekend at her private estate.

Once the followers are there, Jewel Changes the rules and the guests are now meant to be players in a game that’ll require their best tricks, intelligence, etc. There’s challenges, puzzles and obstacles all around and she wants to see who has What it takes to win, no matter the cost they have to pay for it.

The story was told from the perspective of three players, Nicole, Luna and Stella. The story by itself was incredibly interesting but the multiple POVs and glimpse inside players’ heads made it even better. Other than the mystery aspect, the book explored the world of social media and showed lots of puzzles and challenges.

The challenges and riddles had a way of instantly pulling you in, the clues seemed so real, it felt like I was trying to solve them myself. This book would honestly be perfect as a movie. I also found the characters incredibly intriguing and I loved glimpsing inside all their heads time to time, seeing what they thought, their intelligence, how cunning they were willing to be to win the game.

If anyone loves YA Mystery and stories with multiple POVs where everything isn’t as it seems, this book would be a definite recommend!
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This book is a bit too confusing for my taste. However, the characterization, witty banter, and atmosphere are top notch. So I still recommend this book to all the mystery fans out there!

(Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan's Children's Publishing Group for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.)
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Wow. I could not get into this at all. I tried so hard and even went back and read certain paragraphs several times, but I just wasn't the least bit interested. Surprising because the plot sounds like a modern day Willy Wonka and the game aspect gave me Caraval & Inheritance Games vibes. Unfortunately, this was just not a hit for me and I spent the last half of the book waiting for it to be over.

My biggest problem with this book is that I had a lot of difficulty telling the characters apart. Stella, Luna, and the other one whose name I now forget seemed too similar in my brain and I constantly had to go back to remember who was who. There were no distinct voices. Maybe Jewel was distinct enough, but even the game runner herself seemed similar to the players.

Another big problem is that I just didn't get it. I didn't even understand what game they were playing, how to decipher clues, and what role the Golden Rule had in all of this. It was just really confusing.

I tried, guys. I tried. I wanted to like this since Let's Talk About Love was a pleasant surprise for me, but this was just not for me.
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I really enjoyed this book! If you enjoyed The Westing Game, this book is for you. The riddles and clues were complex enough to keep me guessing, and I liked the shifts to different characters' perspectives.
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This was interesting! It's like a willy wonka type book. It was a bit hard to get through though. The first half was just a bit confusing to get into, lots of information to process and while that isn't a bad thing, it was just a bit hard to understand at first. Also in the first half it was all about the challenges and the characters trying to figure out these challenges and I just found it very hard to read through all of their thought processes with the challenges, I'm not sure why exactly.
In the second half though, it does pick up a lot. After they go through the majority of the challenges it really focuses more on the characters themselves, and also focuses on them trying to figure out Jewel which was interesting. The ending was also interesting and I can honestly say I did not know what to expect for the ending!
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Another unexpected gem I enjoyed!

The Perks of being a reader in this digital era is thatodern technology such as social media makes the content much relatable.

I ordered a physical copy so I can reread this one. Truly marvelous!
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The Marvelous by Claire Kann is mystifying story about a game that does not go as expected. Set during a competition in its reclusive creator’s mansion, this one is filled with puzzles and unique challenges. I enjoyed all three narrators, and the eerie atmosphere the author has created makes the story jump off the page. This is a great read for those looking for a contemporary with an exciting twist.

❀ HIGH-STAKES GAME

After Jewel, the creator of a popular video-sharing app, suddenly disappears, she returns to the platform to announce that she has selected a group of users to come to her mansion for the weekend. However, when the guests arrive at Golden Weekend, Jewel reveals that they must play her elaborate game, promising cryptic puzzles, two winners, and one million dollars. Nothing in the game is as it seems, and the players find the stakes slowly getting higher.

❀ THREE NARRATORS

This book contains three narrators, and I enjoyed each of them. Luna is Jewel’s biggest fan, and she has experience cracking her codes. Nicole is one of the app’s most popular creators, and she has a big heart. The third is not as obvious a choice: Stella a mysterious new user. She was my favourite to follow because of her sense of humour.  The multiple narrators are effective because they provide each of the players’ perspectives of the game, and of each other. All three players have their own reasons for competing, and their voices are distinct, which I appreciated.

❀ MYSTERIOUS ATMOSPHERE

What makes the book compelling is its mysterious atmosphere. Claire Kann has done an outstanding job setting the tone of Jewel’s mansion with her elaborate puzzles and themed rooms, and there is always the feeling that something is off. Something about this book gave me Charlie and the Chocolate Factory vibes, so I’m sure fans of this story will enjoy reading about Golden Weekend and its mysterious creator.

❀ A UNIQUE STORY

The Marvelous by Claire Kann is a unique story about an eerie competition. I loved the cryptic puzzles throughout the book, and all three main characters are well-developed. What I especially enjoyed is the atmosphere the author creates, making for an immersive reading experience. Those looking for a thrilling contemporary will not want to miss this one.
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There are a lot of fun things going on in this book, and I love the concept of radically different people coming together, trying to solve a mystery, and creating a little found family in the process. But a lot of the core mystery aspects just didn't work for me: the steps to solve the mystery were often shallow and/or confusing, and I wish it had gotten the proper time to shine. Still, I think teenagers would have a lot of fun with this, especially because it's so easy to feel represented by Luna, Nicole, Stella, and Harlow, who together appeal to a wide variety of readers. Whether you're quiet and warm or a blabbermouth who can't help but show off, you'll see yourself in one of these young women.
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Six teens are pulled into a game in an heiress' mansion with a life changing cash prize. 

This is a very original concept and nothing like any of the other stories I've read recently so props to the author for that. There was a lot put into the game with the challenges and riddles they had to solve however I never fully got into the story. I think it would be better visually especially with the cast of multiple characters. It was hard for me to get into all the different POVS. I initially liked them in the beginning but the further we got throughout the story the less appealing they were to me. And they had very similar narrative voices
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This book was THE INHERITANCE GAMES meets WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. It had riddles, dangerous adventures, and lots of money on the line.

I think I expected more from this book which is why I was so unsatisfied by the ending. It was not a bad book; I just thought things were going to go differently than they did.

The beginning was fun because I was trying to figure out what was happening and who of the participants I could trust. It felt like each character had something to hide and I was convinced something sinister was going to happen. The real reasons behind each character's actions and thoughts turned out to be much less exciting.

However, I did enjoy trying to solve the riddle. It was twisty and fun and Kann did a great job of weaving all the clues together. Also, she threw in plenty of curveballs to keep me on my toes. I know I wouldn't have lasted as a participant in this game so props to these characters.

Overall, I expected more from this book, but it still had many positives to it. I just wish things could have played out a little differently.

Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
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So I enjoyed the book I’ve read by this author before, If It Makes You Happy, and when I heard about this one, I signed up right away! This one was a little different from the one I’d already read, and from what I know of her books so far. While it was a contemporary and definitely fits into a #ownvoices category, it had a bit of a mystery to it as well. But in a really fun way. It was almost like a horror movie, except it wasn’t filled with murder or anything. Just some dangerous or scary situations, missing people, a big prize at the end, and lots of secrets and intrigue. And honestly, that was right up my alley! It kept me guessing though, the whole way through, not knowing just how far the game might really end up going. And the little bits we knew about each of the characters made it definitely even more edge of your seat as you read.

I loved that all of the characters were diverse. Even the rich/famous person wasn’t just a Paris Hilton wannabe. Now I kind of thought maybe there was more to Jewel’s story than we got, and even though we did get more, it didn’t quite go down one of the paths I thought it might. Although I kind of thought it might be what happened though. I don’t want to say anymore because the mystery in this is definitely part of why you should read it. As I mentioned, all the characters had really unique personalities, some that came off as abrupt and totally different than what I would have expected based on their background. But I also liked the way they may have grown as the weekend went on, and the connections they all made with each other. Another great story from Claire Kann!
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Plot: 

The Marvelous follows three of the six contestants participating in the competition of a lifetime, hosted by Jewel Van Hanen, the creator of Golden Rule (a popular video sharing app).  
I am not the best at riddles and solving word puzzles.  I could probably figure them out if given enough time, but certainly not in a competition setting – which is exactly what our contestants are expected to do.  At the beginning of the weekend they are given a nonsense recipe and told to solve it.  The two winners will receive $500,000 each.  
Honestly I spent the majority of the book in a state of confusion.  I had vague idea of what was going on, but absolutely no idea how the characters were actually solving the riddle.  Which left me open for a big surprise at the end when all is finally revealed.  
I did enjoy the overall storyline.  It felt Alice in Wonderland meets Willy Wonka.  

Characters: 

There are a handful of important characters in this one, but the story is told through the perspectives of just three: Luna, Stella, and Nicole.  Nicole was my favorite of the three – famous for her skit style videos and just so caring and like a mama hen with the younger contestants.  She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or the others and has no hesitation putting the competition aside to ensure the wellbeing of the others.  

Stella is a bit – intense?  She’s been essentially locked up inside her house her entire life and this is her big weekend out.  A chance to socialize and make friends.  I’ll be honest, I struggled with Stella in the beginning.  She just didn’t seem to care about anything other than seeing what kind of reactions she could get out of people.  I found her personality to be a bit grating.  But about halfway through, I started to warm up to her, and I was loving her by the end.  She’s hard to put into words (without a whole book to do so) and there’s a lot to her character.  But don’t write her off, because she’s a freaking genius and deserves all the love.  

Luna is only 15.  She’s one of OG members of Golden Rule and also happens to be absolutely adorable.  She’s fearless and kind and her energy just vibrates through the pages.  Being under age, she’s there with her best friend Alex.  I loved their dynamic and thought it wasn’t too much (except one scene towards the end that seemed a bit out of place).  The scene itself was fine, the timing just seemed a bit off.  

Writing: 

Did I mention I spent most of the book confused?  I’m absolutely sure that was the point of this story, but it made it difficult for me to want to keep reading.  I wish there had been more obvious hints because I definitely needed the help!  But I liked the use of multiple POVs, video transcripts and riddles to add variety to the reading experience.  It really helped to keep things interesting and moving along.  

Overall: 

The Marvelous was an intense, confusing, and fun read that did a really excellent job of exploring the ins and outs of the characters and their personalities.  I wish it had been a little easier to understand, just so I could have felt like I was participating in the adventure a bit more. But overall, it was enjoyable.
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"Jewel isn't the person any of us think she is. That's not necessarily a bad thing--it's okay if the Jewel in your head doesn't match the Jewel in real life--but being loyal to an idealized version of her is."

Happy release week to Claire Kann's book, The Marvelous. Thank you to Kann, Swoon Reads, and Xpresso Tours for a free eARC in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is fun and will have you on the edge of your seat! It was a fresh blend of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Clue with a mixture of The Westing Game. Four users of the vlogging social media app Golden Rule are invited to an exclusive weekend at the creator, Jewel's, mansion. When they arrive, they discover that Jewel has created a game filled with puzzles, challenges, team work, and secrets. With plenty of twists and unreliable narrators, this story will keep you guessing the whole way through.

The story is told from three of the players' perspectives, which I did feel to be a little too big of a bite to chew, and the amount of characters involved made me wish for a longer book in order to actually get to know all of them. I still feel like I don't really know Harlow or Francis.

Kann's writing is engaging and descriptive, giving you just enough of a peak behind the curtain to keep you hooked. As this is my first book by this author, I'm definitely going to have to get my hands on her other books!
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I received an advanced copy of The Marvelous through NetGalley so I could share my review with you!

Stella, Lucy, Nicole, Harlowe, Alex, and Francis were all invited to Golden Weekend X, an extremely exclusive retreat hosted by one of the biggest celebrities of their generation.  Jewel Van Hanen, eccentric heiress and founder of the ridiculously popular social media app, “Golden Rule,” has selected the six of them to come play an elaborate game on her estate, with the potential to win a million-dollar cash prize.  Jewel created Golden Rule as a place for people to share their stories and truths in a video format that demands accountability and honesty from her users.  But, honesty is far from guaranteed at Golden Weekend X, and the puzzles are more dangerous than anyone would’ve expected.  If the six competitors want to win, they will have to work together to solve riddles, and piece together the story that Jewel wants them each to tell.

You can get your copy of The Marvelous today from Swoon Reads!

Authenticity, public/private lives, and influencer culture collide in this thrilling new novel!  I’ve read both of Claire Kann’s previous works, so when I saw that she would be releasing something so different from her other novels, I had to pick up a copy.  I adored both of Kann’s contemporary novels, and was delighted by how well her writing translated into a thriller!  Her integration of social media into the story was quite skillful, and Golden Rule felt like it could be an actual app on my phone today.  While reading The Marvelous, I felt like I was trying to solve the puzzles right along with the characters.  Each riddle and hint pulled me deeper into the story, keeping me guessing until the very last page!  

My Recommendation-
If you love mystery stories jam-packed with puzzles to solve, you need to pick up a copy of The Marvelous!  I would especially recommend this book to fans of One of Us is Lying and Ace of Spades!
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