Series: Tangled Webs #1
Author: Lee Bross
Published: June 23, 2015 by Disney Hyperion
(Amazon / Goodreads)
Synopsis: 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?
**** I received an ARC from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact has not changed my opinion. ****
How many times do you see those Buzzfeed or other website doing these expectations vs. reality posts where you see something pretty and shiny but then you attempt it yourself and it's not as easy as it looks. I feel like reading Tangled Webs was like the book equivelant of expectations versus reality. Now before we go any further I'm not saying that it was bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting. In fact, there was a lot to really like about Tangled Webs, from the complex characters to the mystery and action, it was definitely an interesting read.
I was expecting Arista to have a dubious moral character but that part was played by everyone else in the book. That was the first thing that really struck me about Tangled Webs, and what kept me reading. I honestly didn't trust anyone. I knew that Arista's vulnerabilities and the fact that everyone was using her to their advantage would blow up in her face because all the secondary characters were so complex and down right devious. Each one of them was odious at best and while Arista was concerned about taking care of the people around her, they were concerned about taking care of themselves. It really made for a lot of conflict and endeared me to Arista even more.
Despite the fact that Tangled Webs was not what I was expecting, and with a few bumps along the way, I enjoyed reading it. It's an engaging book with a character that you can empathize with and lots of mystery that will keep you reading until the very end.
Buy/Borrow/Bypass: Borrow. There was a lot to like about this book including the characters and the fact that it's so readable but there is just as much that didn't work for me. I would recommend this book to fans of dystopia who prefer plot driven stories and like characters on the vulnerable side. That's my kind of thing and if it's your then pick this up.
Read this if you liked:
Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
The Witch Hunter by Virginia Boecker
The Kiss of Deception by Mary Pearson
The Young Elites by Marie Lu (Arista reminded me a bit of Adelina but she doesn't have the villainous turn, she stays pretty demure)