Author: Ruth Frances Long
Date of Publication: August 16, 2012
Formats Available: Hardcover, Paperback, E-Boo
Buy This Book: Amazon
Synopsis: The trees swallowed her brother whole, and Jenny was there to see it. Now seventeen, she revisits the woods where Tom was taken, resolving to say good-bye at last. Instead, she's lured into the trees, where she finds strange and dangerous creatures who seem to consider her the threat. Among them is Jack, mercurial and magnetic, with secrets of his own. Determined to find her brother, with or without Jack's help, Jenny struggles to navigate a faerie world where stunning beauty masks some of the most treacherous evils, and she's faced with a choice between salvation or sacrifice--and not just her own.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things is one of those books that I enjoyed while I was reading but I turned the last page not really knowing what the whole point of the novel was. Beautifully written with a cast of intriguing characters this novel had all the parts to be good but it just didn't quite click with me. Perhaps it was the confusing plot or the distant characters but I just didn't get into this novel the way I thought I would.
I liked both Jenny and Jack but they felt a little flat. I never understood Jack and his motives and frankly their romance moved a little too fast for my taste. Jenny was driven by the need to find her brother but that was about all of her personality that I ever saw. She didn't have anything that made her unique, anything that made her into more than words on a page. Jack would have been a more interesting character if I had understood what was going on with him. He definitely had the potential to be a really interesting character but the lack of back story made it hard to understand him.
Long did do a wonderful job portraying how terrifying faerie is. There were no good guys in this book and every single person had an ulterior motive or a hidden agenda that made me wonder what was going to happen next. I loved the way Long introduced such horrifying characters under friendly pretenses and the way she made even the most unsuspecting of characters into something different. I will say that there was a lack of world building, which made the novel difficult to understand at times, but overall I really did like the idea of the plot.
However, there were just as many aspects of the plot that I never quite understood as there were parts I liked. Throughout the novel it's said that Jenny is the May Queen, but I had no idea what a May Queen was. Likewise Long had combined the characters of Mab and Titania and I never quite understood how that happened or what was the purpose. It seemed that everywhere I turned there was a new world or character that just appeared but was never explained.
The Treachery of Beautiful Things was by no means a bad book it was just a confusing one. Even though it was written beautifully that didn't quite make up for the level of confusion I had throughout the bulk of the novel, making this one a hard book for me to pin down my feelings on. Not bad, but not really good either.