“The Deathless Girls” by Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Thanks to Hachette Children’s Group and NetGalley for the Advance Review Copy in exchange for an honest review.

So I was really pumped to read this, I really like Hargrave’s writing and I’m also really excited to read The Mercies when it’s released. Plus, a feminist Brides of Dracula retelling? Yeah, I’m here for that.

There’s not really any spoilers to be had with this book. The two main characters, Kizzy and Lil, are two young Traveller twins whose fate is to become ‘The Deathless Girls’ – two of the Brides of Dracula.

The author does justice to her Traveller heritage and highlights the discrimination and hostility that sadly still continues to this day. I really liked both of the main characters, fiery Kizzy and thoughtful Lil. The supporting characters felt a little flat, particularly Mira considering the importance she plays in the story.

My main issue was the pacing. I got to 60% and wondered when something was going to happen. It is very much a character driven novel which is absolutely fine but given the subject matter I guess I was looking for a bit more sexy, dark angst and a bit less…kitchen duties.

When I was reading it I found myself checking whether or not it was a standalone. It all ties up nicely at the end, but it sometimes felt like the first in a series rather than a complete book. Sekifishly, I would have liked to spend some more time with these characters.

The central romance is fine, it didn’t set my world on fire but the main focus was on the relationship between the sisters rather than the romance so I was fine with how the love story played out. There’s some good LGBT representation and it definitely gets the feminist stamp of approval.

The last 10% of the book left me conflicted because the story ended so perfectly with a bittersweet gut punch left me wanting more.

Overall a solid enough YA story that didn’t quite live up to the expectations I had of it.

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