Review: The League of Beastly Dreadfuls by Holly Grant

the league of beastly dreadfuls by holly grant

A creepy Victorian house, secretive aunties, and a great escape combine in this debut that is part Mysterious Benedict Society, part Roald Dahl. Join the League. . . .

Anastasia is a completely average almost-eleven-year-old. That is, UNTIL her parents die in a tragic vacuum-cleaner accident. UNTIL she’s rescued by two long-lost great-aunties. And UNTIL she’s taken to their delightful and, er, “authentic” Victorian home, St. Agony’s Asylum for the Criminally Insane.

But something strange is going on at the asylum. Anastasia soon begins to suspect that her aunties are not who they say they are. So when she meets Ollie and Quentin, two mysterious brothers, the three join together to plot their great escape!

Description taken from Goodreads.


THE LEAGUE OF BEASTLY DREADFULS was fun to read and a book that I would recommend, but I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for Lemony Snicket fans. THE LEAGUE OF BEASTLY DREADFULS is one of those funny, whimsical reads, but not really Lemony Snicket like.

This story is something entirely its own. I think that if I hadn’t thought of it in the Roald Dahl sense, I would’ve appreciated it more, but all in all, its a great read. The story is reminiscent of THE MYSTERIOUS BENEDICT SOCIETY, if anything, and I know a lot of kids who really enjoyed that series (including myself). I loved getting to know the characters and their situations, even if they were a little far-fetched sometimes. The first half of this story is great, the middle a little bit more boring, but it ended well.

The one foible I would point out about THE LEAGUE OF BEASTLY DREADFULS is that it tries too hard to imitate the Lemony Snicket style. The story is well-written, but there were moments when I thought the writing was trying too hard, especially when I was addressed. And I don’t mean in that affectionate THE TALE OF DESPERAUX style; I mean in an obnoxious way.

Other than that, I will be recommending this book, and I’m interested to see where things will go later on in the series. 3.5 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 320

Series: The League of Beastly Dreadfuls #1

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