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Thursday, June 18, 2015

[ARC REVIEW] Tangled Webs by Lee Bross

Tangled Webs

Author: Lee Bross
Genre: YA Historical Fiction, Romance
Expected Publication: June 23rd 2015 by Disney Hyperion
ARC Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Pre-order from: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble
London, 1725. Everybody has a secret. Lady A will keep yours—for a price. This sumptuous, scandalous YA novel is wickedly addictive.

Lady A is the most notorious blackmailer in the city. With just a mask and a gown to disguise her, she sweeps into lavish balls and exclusive events collecting the most valuable currency in 1725 London—secrets.

But leading a double life isn't easy. By day Lady A is just a sixteen-year-old girl named Arista who lives in fear of her abusive master, Bones, and passes herself off as a boy to move safely through the squalor of London's slums. When Bones attempts to dispose of his pawn forever, Arista is rescued by the last person she expects: Jonathan Wild, the infamous Thief Taker General who moves seamlessly between the city's criminal underworld and its most elite upper circles. Arista partners with Wild on her own terms in the hopes of saving enough money to buy passage out of London.

Everything changes when she meets Graeden Sinclair, the son of a wealthy merchant. Grae has traveled the world, has seen the exotic lands Arista has longed to escape to her whole life, and he loves Arista for who she is—not for what she can do for him. Being with Grae gives something Arista something precious that she swore off long ago: hope. He has promised to help Arista escape the life of crime that has claimed her since she was a child. But can you ever truly escape the past? 

Rating

My thoughts

*I received an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Thanks to Disney-Hyperion and Netgalley.*

Tangled Webs has a really interesting blurb that promises secrets, deceit and betrayal. I got all that and more but in the end, I was mildly underwhelmed. I mean, yeah I liked it, but I was kinda expecting more.

A lot of readers got the impression that this book contains a love triangle. Look at that blurb! I would have probably thought so too if I read the entire blurb. But I just skimmed the book description before hitting the request button in Netgalley. I'd still say it was a lucky shot, though. (Also, the cover's pretty.)

I liked Tangled Webs okay, but it could have been more interesting, more dynamic, more intense, darker, grittier because that's what the blurb suggests. It's London in 1725, people! You can do a lot more than this half-baked story.

I admired the main character's sense of loyalty and protective instinct. Arista's got this mother hen vibe with her friend Becky and even with Sophia, who she tries so hard not to get attached to. She's also one kick-ass and determined chick. But I would have wanted more depth to her character as Lady A. I wasn't convinced that she's a "notorious blackmailer". All I saw was how Arista's life had been. I was like, "Give me more bad-ass blackmailing power-tripping Lady A!"

Grae, as a secondary character and a love interest, was plainly boring. He got attracted to Arista, stalked her (kinda), got mad, then kissed and made up. Very. Predictable. He's also too good to be true. Nic was waaaay more complex and interesting than him.

The story started off quite strong, with Lady A already in action, but it slowly went downhill from there. It kinda dragged in the middle but picked up a bit towards the end. I didn't expect the ending so maybe bonus points for that.

The romance was an insta-love, which I ABSOLUTELY DESPISE. There's no foundation to Arista and Grae's relationship (if you can even call it that). So, no. Not impressed with the romance.

I'm not sure if this is a series, but frankly, Tangled Webs is okay as it is and I prefer it more as a standalone. I'm not sure if I'd still pick up the sequel, if there ever will be one. There are still loose ends I'd like to see resolved so who knows?
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Julie @ Books and Insomnia

Julie is a Filipina blogger who pretends she has insomnia so she can stay up late reading. When she's not buried in books, she can be found watching anime, drinking chocolate-flavored instant coffee, lurking on the internet, daydreaming and talking about herself in third person. She loves purple and anything sweet!

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