ARC Review: The Dolls by Kiki Sullivan

The dolls kiki sullivan

Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Mystery
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Number of Pages: 384
Source: ARC from Edelweiss
Check out on GOODREADS

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.

Long story short: this book is awful.

I don’t even know why I read it in the first place. I was searching through my books on my Kindle, bored out of my skull, when I decided to just fuck it and click a title randomly. I think the Fates hate me because it had to be this book. I’ve never been so frustrated and annoyed and wrathful as I have been with this novel. Throughout reading it, I couldn’t help but stop every few pages to rage about something. I think the last time I went on such Hulk-like rampage was when I was reading Amanda Sun’s Ink. I’m not sure what to feel, seeing as Ink finally has its own contender. I don’t like reading books that enrage me, and more than that, I don’t like friends and family suffering through the same experience.

With that said, I’ll give you a guys a pretty good dissection what I found awful about this book, by going back in time and showing you my status updates. They will say it best.

Beware, there WILL be some spoilers, so if you plan to read this book in the future, I recommend leaving now.

7% in: A picture perfect town surrounded by big walls? Weird suicides going on? CREEPY GALORE

As you can see, the first 7% wasn’t that bad at all. We’re introduced to Eveny who’s moving into some supposedly rich town in Louisiana with her Aunt. She’s bitter and mad about it, because she lived and loved New York, and she hasn’t been back in Carrefour for fourteen years, ever since her mother committed suicide. Okay, that’s pretty understandable, right? If I were her, I’d be pretty pissed, too. She then notices a few things: the town is surrounded by big walls that isolate it from the rest of the world. It is also divided into two areas: the area of the rich, and the area of the “poor”. Later on, we see that she lives in the fricking biggest mansion in town! Okay, my bullshit senses were alert at this point, but I wasn’t going to put the book down yet.

Then, she meets Cute Guy who claims to be her childhood friend. She remembers and they share stuff, and when he’s about to leave to attend a funeral, she asks to go with him.

To a funeral. A funeral of someone she doesn’t know. I could dwell on this but there are worse parts in this tale.

10% in: The hottest guy in town has entered the fray, folks. The MC is absolutely smitten! Woohoo… NOT!

This is where things started to get a bit shaky. I should’ve seen this coming. I should’ve expected it. It was naive for me to have thought otherwise because hello! Paranormal YA! This shit is so commonplace I’d be surprised if the opposite happens. We’re then introduced to brooding Hot Guy, who says nothing to her, who gives her the cold shoulder. I am appalled that anyone can be smitten by douchebags like that. I mean, okay, you find him attractive, but when you have this…

11% in: According to the MC, hot guy who didn’t do say anything to her, who didn’t even introduce himself to her, is INTRIGUING, for the simple fact that he’s HOT. Okay.

…I’ll really have to question your preferences, because dude. You don’t even know the guy. Heck, how can you even know of his personality or intentions or anything at all? Hot Guy was in a group of pretty girls (one carrying a live snake around) who gave Eveny dirty looks. He didn’t even do anything, not even defend her from unwanted attention, aside from looking pretty. How can someone like that be found intriguing?!

14% in: Despite the insta-attraction, I can’t deny that Carrefour gives me the freaking creeps. It’s downright suspicious when everyone else is brushing off a death like it was nothing. THERE ARE SECRETS HERE. I JUST KNOW IT!

And it’s true. Someone has died, and people are putting it under the rug like it wasn’t there. If there’s one thing the story got right, it’s at least the creepy atmosphere. Unfortunately, that’s greatly overshadowed by other, more ridiculous aspects. Because a few pages after I felt something positive from this book, this had to happen:

15% in: This heroine is getting on my damn nerves. I give zero shits about her daydreaming being pressed up against the hot guy’s chest, a guy who she doesn’t even really know, a suspicious guy who acts all shady around her. WHAT THE FLYING FUCK DUDE. You already have another VERY CUTE guy vying for your attention, but you don’t wanna cause the popular kids don’t like him that much? I WANNA PUNCH YOU RIGHT NOW

Hooooold it! Say what?! Let me get this straight. You just met Hot Guy, in a funeral of all places, thought he was intriguing, and now you’re daydreaming about being pressed up against him?! This part was so fucking silly I think I ranted about it on Twitter for a good, long while. It’s pretty obvious these two will end up together, but at least make the beginning of their “romance” a bit more believable, and I don’t know, less childish? Eveny haven’t even talked to him yet at this point.

This is creepy behavior, guys.

23% in: Really? REALLY? You’d rather hang out with a bunch of spoiled brats who shun everyone else because you think they’re the key to what you were supposed to be? What are you implying? That you were supposed to be like them, a bunch of individuals whose worlds don’t go beyond themselves?

What is this heroine smoking.

Basically, there’s some sort of Dolls group in the town. They’re considered the elite. They have their own luncheon – complete with picnic baskets and wine, and they always get what they want. This is spear-headed by two beautiful girls and followed around by a bunch of guys and girls who tend to their needs left and right. Eveny knows this. The two girls were her best friends before, and now, she sees how they treat everyone else. So it really pissed me off when she said they’re the key to what she was supposed  to be. I would have appreciated it if she meant they were they key to knowing her past, but that? I don’t know. It rubbed me the wrong way.

And at the same page:

23% in: Wow. This book really want to shove down our throats that Caleb’s Le One. You bump into someone, it’s Caleb! You’re walking and it suddenly rains, guess who comes to the rescue, Caleb! All supposedly coincidental! How about contrived, instead?!?! I mean, come on. I get that he’s the Love Interest but at least make it convincing. No build-up at all and forcing them together is counterproductive.

Hot guy is everywhere. It kind of makes sense later on as he was supposed to be her guardian, but good lord, you can stalk and follow someone without making it too fucking obvious, y’know. When I was reading it, I just wanted him to disappear. Heck, I wanted them both to dissolve to oblivion so the book will end already.

24% in: Continued where I left off and then BOOM heroine keeps fawning over the hot guy again, lol, whining how if she doesn’t eat with him, she’ll be out of his life. LOL WHAT WHAT WHAAAT. SOMEBODY GIVE THIS GIRL A REALITY CHECK

Why. Why is it always like this? A fair amount of the paranormal books I read have heroines like Eveny who are absolutely clingy to their love interests. He didn’t even interact with you that well, girlie, so why is it such a big deal if you DON’T EAT WITH HIM?! I don’t eat with my boyfriend all the time, but you don’t see me crying about it being the end of the world. And seriously, how ridiculous it sounds…

Come on, guys. Say it with me:

“If I don’t eat with him, I’ll be out of his life.”

“If I don’t eat with him, I’ll be out of his life.”

“If. I. Don’t. Eat. With. Him. I’ll. Be. Out. Of. His. Life.”

See how ridiculous it sounds? :|

34% in: So. This is basically the movie Mean Girls where the MC doesn’t really like the cool kids but joins anyway because there are awesome benefits, leaving a bunch of disappointed normal people behind. There’s just some voodoo, a suspicious walled town, and a bunch of nutjobs who wants revenge for a more-than-a-century-old cause. Hm.

On a normal case scenario, I would have loved to read about voodoo in a suspicious walled town, with a bunch of nutjobs who’re out to get some teenagers because of an outdated cause. But of course, the insanely annoying heroine has to ruin it all.

48% in: Sweet lord jesus. The girl is practicing magic and trying to channel her power through memories of people she love and who love her. She thinks of her mom, a bush of roses grow live. She thinks of this guy who she doesn’t really know (you know… the HOT dude) and EVERY bush is glowing. /facepalm

Seriously? This book is really pushing it. T_T

And when I thought it couldn’t get any more crappier, this book just had to plummet down the gutter hole. I’m trying my hardest here, but I cannot – I just cannot – believe that a guy you haven’t even had a decent conversation with, a guy who haven’t even tried to be friendly with you, a guy you’ve barely met, will have this much effect. How can some hot dude have more impact than your very own mother? How? HOW? This is beyond the realm of realistic already, and I just feel sorry for the mom.

51% in: So hot dude saves MC from a sneering idiot by telling she was his girlfriend. 

MC: *blush* You said I was your girlfriend.
HD: I didn’t mean it.
MC: *goes mad* Oh because I’m so repulsive huh?! Then why drag me away from a guy hitting on me?
HD: I was saving you from him.
MC: I don’t need your help!
HD: But you’re not repulsive.
MC: BYE! *stalks off*

… all this drama. FOR WHAT EXACTLY

This. And this:


HD: “I wanted to explain what I meant on Saturday night.”
MC: “Let me recap: You could never imagine dating me, even though you don’t find me entirely repulsive. That about the gist of it?”


And this:


“I know I’m an outcast here. I know I don’t really belong with the Dolls. But if you’re not interested in me, why do you keep lurking being all sexy and intriguing?”





Yeah, because his appearance is SO for you huh. Fuck you, girl. FUCK YOU VERY MUCH

And fucking this:

52% in: I know Hot Dude admits he likes her. A LOT, he says. And here I am, scratching my head, wondering HOW THE HELL CAN HE LIKE HER WHEN SHE HASN’T DONE ANYTHING AT ALL OTHER THAN BEING ABSOLUTELY SHALLOW AND SUPERFICIAL?? They don’t even interact that much that could justify such emotions! Yeah, whatever. To the gutter you go, you piece of junk T_T

You know what? I rest my case here. I think you’ve all seen what my problem was with this book.

The heroine = no. She’s shallow, she’s ridiculous, she’s annoying, she ruins everything in this book.
The instalove = no.. You haven’t even talked to the guy yet and you’re daydreaming about him. You feel like your world will end if he doesn’t eat with you. I’m sorry, but this is not only absolutely laughably silly, but it’s creepy to boot.
The dialogue = no. It really could use some more work. The one I just put above is cringe-inducing enough. But if you’re not interested in me, why do you keep lurking being all sexy and intriguing?”??? Really? Is this supposed to be considered romantic? Am I supposed to blush at this? Is this supposed to be sexy? Ummm…

It’s really too bad because this book could have been good. I liked the premise. I liked the atmosphere. But at this point, with these three factors, I’m going to have to avoid all succeeding books.

Also, the climax was god-awful. Why do villains keep on sprouting these nonsense speeches before they do what they were set to do? What’s the point of doing all these theatrics? It’s such an obvious attempt to stall the hero/heroine some time to get away or turn the tables around that it’s become exhausting to read at this point.


Rating Report
Overall: 1.6
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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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  1. says

    Ahaahahahahah this is hilarious! I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that’s made me rage as much as you do. And also, I don’t understand exactly what the plot was in this book. Like wut. I don’t think I’ll be picking this up.

    Great, hilarious review by the way! I’m sorry you’re disappointment and rage was used for my entertainment!!!
    Valerie recently posted…Review: LiraelMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      And I pray you never get to experience such a thing! Rage is a very tiring feeling. It drains you of all energy and leaves you pessimistic of succeeding books :P

      Yeah, the plot didn’t really make that much sense, and sometimes it felt contrived and all over the place. It wasn’t very focused, IMO.

    • FayeFaye says

      I am terribly sorry, too! The three sisters have hell to pay for this misdeed they have bestowed upon me ;)

      I know, right?! It sounds so clingy and desperate. I’ve heard similar lines from girls my age who are too attached to their boyfriends (beyond what is considered acceptable) and it looks really pathetic in my opinion… like girl, have some self-respect! Love yourself more!

  2. says

    it’s sad.. when you know the story could’ve been great if it wasn’t for the MC and Romance.

    Love your honest and hilarious review!!! <3

    • FayeFaye says

      Hah, I have been spoiled with Allegiant, so I think I know the root of your anger! I applaud the author’s bravery for pushing that one, though. The route she took is so unpopular with YA authors nowadays, but there are some storylines whose impact become heavier when such plot devices are used. When the times comes I read it, I hope I’ll be able to appreciate it.

      In any case, Ink by Amanda Sun was another rage-filled review for me. LOL. I suggest not going through that one…

    • FayeFaye says

      Yeah, it really was, Mel. If the quotes I put sound cringe-inducing to you, you’ll be grimacing internally A LOT if you plow through this one.

  3. says

    Hot guys hot clones everywhere
    saving the day
    douchebaggering, intriguing
    hot guys hot clones everywhere

    (this sounds better with the tune in my head, I swear(no just kidding, it doesn’t. this is crap that I just came up with))
    Stuti recently posted…Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga #1)My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Haha, if you plan to read this in the future, then you’ve made a fine choice by not reading the rest of it :D I am excited to read what you think.

    • FayeFaye says

      I know that feels! I was very excited for this one as well. Alas this book and I just weren’t meant to be in the end

  4. says

    “But if you’re not interested in me, why do you keep lurking being all sexy and intriguing?”

    This girl has a talent for multitasking Faye. Flirting and asking in one. Oh and acting stupid too. So should I be happy I didn’t get approved for this book? HAHA! I think I had more fun reading your review than reading the blurb HAHAHAHA! This one just surpassed every instalove and whiny female mc I have ever read. BUT, is it crazy that I am still thinking of giving this one a try just for fun’s sake? :P
    Ella recently posted…Blog Tag: The Blogger TestMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Hah, it definitely has a hard and arduous journey, getting to the end, but I persevered! You should be proud of me! Haha!

  5. says

    Faye, your review is making me both disappointed and really really happy. Disappointed because this was supposed to be a badass book with that awesome cover, but it looks like it’s pure crap, but really happy because thank goodness, I can skip it now. You’ve mentioned so many things in your review that would drive me crazy. The main character sounds so freaking annoying and I honestly already hate her and do not want to meet her. She sounds like she might have borderline personality disorder.
    I’m sick of this trend of falling for creeper guy instead of the sweet one. I do not get the obsession with bad boys who are clearly jerks and are disturbing! Ugh.
    I’m sorry this book was such a disaster, Faye, but great review as always!
    Nick @ Nick’s Book Blog recently posted…Mini-Review : Fall With Me by Julie PatrickaMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I know, Nick! When I randomly clicked on its title, I was kind of relieved because I had hopes it would be a good one. I mean the plot later on redeems itself, but it was too late at that point. This is migraine-inducing, at best.

    • FayeFaye says

      Haha, it fell apart and it never found its way to repair itself, definitely. Knowing your tastes, Kimba, I doubt you’ll find her endearing as well. She’s insipid.

  6. says

    Sigh. I can definitely see where you’re coming from Faye. :( The heroine sounds absolutely annoying, and I bet she’d get on my nerves as well. And the insta-love? No. Just no. I thought we were done with that authors! *rage* And the dialogue? *frowns* I think I’m going to give this one a miss because I know we usually agree on most books. Sorry this wasn’t the read for you Faye – hopefully your next book will be better! Thanks for sharing, and, as always, FABULOUS review! <3
    Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf recently posted…We Were LiarsMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Yes, she really is quite annoying. Although you have to take note that I have lesser patience and tolerance for kinds like her, so you might find her less annoying… haha. I did just read an awesome book, so there is that!

    • FayeFaye says

      Yeah, I can say that Katie Bell and Eveny here are of the same blood in that respect… they’re so much alike, this one just a bit more annoying. At least we got to see more of the love interest in Ink. This one? Not so much.

  7. says

    Ok, so… all the rest of the review making me not wanting to touch this bloody book with a 10-feet pole… the name of the town?? Carrefour??? *snorts* *has a fit of the giggles* Why you might ask? Because here in Europe (and other places too, like Dubai) is a supermaket chain…
    Thanks for the very honest review and all the warnings about this one, Faye!
    Pili recently posted…Friday Reads: ARC Review of A Time To Dance by Padma Venkatraman!!My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Haha, I know what you mean. I lived in Oman for a while, and there are Carrefours EVERYWHERE. From what I know, it’s a French supermarket chain, is it not? Hmmm!

  8. says

    Awww shit :s I was actually excited for this one. Mainly because of the cover, that shoe is killer and I want it.

    I do like the hulk comparison (hulk is awesome), however it’s not a good sign for a book when you feel like that throughout. At 7% the book sounds fine. I know it totally goes downhill for you from there though. I hate when books have the potential to be good but don’t, it just makes the fact that they’re disappointing sting even more. Aaaaand we got the brooding moody and totally intriguing male love interest~ How original. It seems very Bella Swan and Edward Cullen to me. The romance seems so cringe-worthy and contrived omg. I don’t know how you managed to continue reading and remain sane.

    “If I don’t eat with him, I’ll be out of his life.”

    AHAHAHAHAH. I’m laughing so hard at this quote just because it’s so fucking ridiculous. Also very much relevant in my life right now. My friend seems to believe that if she doesn’t spend all the time possible with her bf then the same thing will happen. Like no girl, get a reality check. There’s this thing called space.

    “I know I’m an outcast here. I know I don’t really belong with the Dolls. But if you’re not interested in me, why do you keep lurking being all sexy and intriguing?”

    OKAY THAT LINE IS JUST TOO MUCH. bahahahahaha. Yes. Obviously the love interest is purposefully lurking around and being sexy. That’s something he can control, along with himself being intriguing. This heroine sounds just awful.

    A horribly contrived and lame villain speech too!? noooo. Probably full of info dumping too? About their ridiculous plan and how it’ll totally come to fruition??


    This book seems completely awful and there's no way I'm going to read it now, quite frankly. Thank you so much for managing to plough through this ridiculous book for the benefit of saving us from it.

    Amazing review!
    Larissa recently posted…Review: To All of the Boys I’ve Ever Loved Before by Jenny HanMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you so much for this wonderful comment, Larissa <3 <3 All your insights are deeply appreciated!

      But yeah, the quotes here were awful. They just sounded silly and unrealistic, something I doubt a sane person would say if they were in the heroine's shoes. But who knows? Haha.

      Happy to take a bullet!

  9. says

    Wow Faye, I’m surprised it even managed a 1.6 stars, I was expecting a lot lower! Your review was SO hilarious, I was laughing my ass off the entire time. Eveny sounds so psychotic, and what kind of relationship is the author really trying to sell?! I love the fact that you don’t refer to Hot Dude by name, it really shows just how much of a lack of impact these characters have had on you. The premise is definitely interesting, but once again, a novel is ruined by the poor execution. Sigh.
    Joy @ Thoughts By J recently posted…Mini Book Review: Red at Night (Harlequin More Than Words) by Katie McGarryMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Awww, I’m happy to hear that I made you laugh. That’s always a plus! I’m quite surprised myself that it got a 1.6. On Goodreads though, I rated it accordingly: a 1 star. 2 stars is just too high for it, I’m afraid. In any case, I’ve already forgotten Hot Dude’s name by now, lol. He was that unmemorable. Maybe if I were younger I would have been able to appreciate this, but alas, having read too many books, my standards have dramatically risen…

  10. says

    *snort* That’s what you get for playing Russian Roulette on the kindle. lol! Seriously, I don’t mind if there is some intsa-attraction going on, but it’s annoying when they claim to be all into someone when nothing has even happened. Hope you read a good one next.
    Christy recently posted…Twisted by Emma ChaseMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Hahaha! Russian Roulette on the Kindle! Nice one, Christy *cackles with laughter*

      I know, insta-attraction isn’t really all that bad if you think about it. How many times have I felt attracted to an actor after seeing him on screen for the first time? Too many times. But I don’t cling on to him every chance I get. That’s just weird… and unrealistic.

  11. says

    Now I’m actually happy that I skipped this one based on the cover alone. It’s weird and I really don’t like snakes. But boy it’s not even the best part. I love (note the irony) girls who think that guys are perfect just based on their hotness. I have a really hot neighbor so I think we are a thing now. Gah. But the best part is that little girl. Oh dove, you still have a lot of growing up to do. Anyhow great review, Faye. :)
    Tanja recently posted…ARC Review – Life by Committee by Corey Ann HayduMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Hah, I actually took this because of the cover :P Now I wish I hadn’t >_< Shoes with snakes now are a bad combination for me (I now have a trauma...) I know what you mean about those girls! Just because someone is hot doesn't make them a good guy. I mean of course the love interest is one here, but in real life, a bit of reservedness at the first meeting is warranted, don't you think so too?

    • FayeFaye says

      Ah, if you’re going to read it, I bid you good luck for your own wellbeing. But seriously, kidding aside, I hope you like it way more than me. I’m less forgiving than most…

  12. says

    OMG this review is awesome! I mean, I’m really sorry you had to go through this…I’m really sorry for your pain but man, I’m also glad cause I’m staying far, FAR away from this one!

    I love paranormal romance, I do, but I hate heroines who gets infatuated by a hot jerk just because of his looks. He all but ignores you and you’re in like with him?! What?!

    And she sounds totally shallow who makes excuses for secretly wanting to be in the popular crowd. Shit like she will know more about herself if she’s part of the in group. What a crockfull of shit!

    This sounds like a horrible book but awesome review Faye! Too bad, the premise sounds great but the book focused on things that will make me want to hit my eReader, which will not be good for NY wallet, LOL.
    Amir recently posted…Mini Review: The Duke’s Obsession by Frances FowlkesMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I KNOW! If I fawn over a guy and he doesn’t reply back, and he’s mean to me even, then I will take the goddamn hint. I love myself too much to embarrass myself and go through something like that. Thanks, Amir, I worry for your eReader so better not ;P

  13. says

    I wouldn’t pick this up just by reading the blurb and the title. This MC sounds incredibly young and boy crazy. I have low tolerance or patience for immature characters and she sounds pretty bad. Sorry this didn’t work out for you, Faye. I have to give you credit for actually finishing this. I would’ve never stuck it out. Great honest review. :)
    Rachel recently posted…Showcase Sunday #52My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Yeah, she definitely sounds young. When I was her age, I wouldn’t be dreaming to be pressed up against a guy that I don’t even know (okay, maybe I do that for actors and singers BUT COME ON they’re the exemption haha). In any case, thanks. Thankfully, the books I read after this one were better.

    • FayeFaye says

      Thanks, Jessica. I’ll take intellectual guys over hawt guys any day (plus brownie points if they are intellectual AND hawt)!

  14. says

    Oh Faye…this sounds so terrible and I’m sorry you had to suffer through that one. UGH!!! And once a book goes down the gutter hole…there’s no turning back! Gutter hole…OHMAGAD…I love that line and frankly, I may use it in the work place. ;) I hope your next read is mind blowing! ♥ Brilliant review Faye! :)
    Cristina recently posted…Book Blogger TestMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you, Cristina. I’m kind of sorry, too >.> I don’t like writing negative reviews, but this needed to be said. I’ve been bottling it up for a while now :P And please, go ahead and use it hahahaha