I don’t remember how I first heard about this book, probably on a blog or something, but does it really matter? Reading only the synopsis, I knew I wanted to pick this book, and read it. It seemed to hold everything I love : mystery, mixed up with girls coming straight out of a Gossip Girl novel, suspense, even maybe creepy surroundings… Obviously, I couldn’t wait to read this one. I didn’t know that I would enjoy it so much.
“Something’s going on, but whatever secrets this house is holding, it’s not giving them up tonight.”
From the first page of the book, I was dragged into the story, and caught by the mystery it holds. We follow Eveny, a teenage girl waking up in her car, as her aunt drives her away from New York, where she’s lived her whole life. Why? Something about her aunt being able to finally open her bakery in her hometown of Carrefour. Right away, something isn’t right, and, as readers, we know it. Even though, I was eager to carry on, and I was right to. Arriving in a city surrounded by a closed gate, ruled by girls called “The Dolls”, where mystery occurs, a lot….Well, I’m not going to spoil you more of it. I just hope I made you want to check it out a little bit. During this whole story, I was on the edge, wondering what would happen next, guessing who’s telling the truth, who’s not, and what secrets is holding this town, these people. A little warning, though : this book relies on mystery, and there’s a part of, magic, so if you’re not so much into that kind of thing, maybe look somewhere else. Honestly, I’m not that big of a fan of magic stories. The Dolls, though, is different. I found that the plot was very well crafted, and thought in details. It wasn’t cliché, at all, or looked like any kind of remake I’d have already read, or heard, before. I enjoyed the fact that this story relies a lot on the folklore of the environment (the south of the United States, New Orleans). It made things maybe realistic, even though I’m not from there and haven’t have the chance to visit yet.
What made The Dolls such a great book, was the fact that all the characters seemed relatable, to me. I have to admit, at first, I found that there were a lot of characters, and names coming in at the first time : I had a hard time following everything. But I did eventually, and I enjoyed what I read. I really liked Eveny, the main character in this story : she’s asking herself questions and not being too naive about her surroundings, and she’s not a weak character (well, not most of the times). She has her wants and needs and she stays with them all through the end of the book. That was a really good point. A relatable character, with a strong mind, always makes me appreciate a book more. The Dolls in this book, Peregrine and Chloe, are kind of shallow and the princesses in this story, but it comes with the title, I guess. I thought I would have a hard time liking them, but I was surprised when Chloe’s character grew on me: we get to see her issues in her relationship. I liked seeing the not-so-perfect part of one of the dolls. However, I couldn’t find myself liking Peregrine, at all, all through the book. I have to say, though, she brought an interesting touch in this story, being kind of the mean girl, at all times. To sum it up, there was a whole interesting panel of characters, with their own personnalities and layers, and I found it very appealing in this story. The relationships between them were believable, too : I found that nothing was happening too fast, or too soon. I have to say something about the romance in this book, though: it was a little bit cliché, there, like every major love story that can’t really happen. Despite that, I found them cute, and the cliché side of this bothered me, sure, but not too much.
Overall, The Dolls was a really good book, fast-paced, with interesting characters and an original plot. The ending brought a kind of conclusion, so you’re not forced to read the next book. I enjoyed the revelations at the end of the story, especially one surrounding Arelia’s character: it surprised me, and brought an interesting twist to this story. The Dolls is not only a magic story : it’s filled with mystery, folklore, and doesn’t leave the characters away, even though it’s mostly plot-driven. I don’t know yet if I’m going to check out the next installment, but I had a great time reading the first, so, why not ?
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.