I'm blaming Alyssa for my need to read this book. She read and reviewed it, talking about how awful and great it was. I knew I had to read it right away. And I did. And it was so worth it. Alyssa is awesome. She had some issues with the heartbreaking parts, and I understand that, but they did not bother me much. Ack.
I don't think I have ever read a book like this one. I was a bit nervous when I started it, because I wanted to love it so badly. But I shouldn't have been nervous. It was such a beautiful book. I mean, it is all kinds of heartbreaking and mean and awful yet I loved every moment of it. Because not everything is all bad. There are many beautiful moments, a lot of growing friendships. There is hope, sometimes. Many get killed. And tortured. And raped. But that last part is never in details, because it never happens to Delilah. And I was so thankful for that. But she does get abused. And hurt. But I didn't think it was awful to read about, and so I didn't dislike it, okay, I hated that it happened to her, yet it was written very well. I enjoyed reading about it.
I have no idea how to even begin describing this book. It is so different. And so good. And I need you all to read it. But yes, a lot of people might be horribly affected by the awful things that happen in this book, but many will not. Like me. It was awful, yes, but it was not that awful. Could have been so much worse. And I did like reading about it all. So yeah. I do think everyone will love this book. Because I did. And I need others to read it too. Because it was beautiful. And evil. And at the same time so much fun.
The world in this book is different. And so interesting and horrifying and I loved every moment of getting to know it more. Though I still don't know enough about the Reaping. I need to know more. It sounded so awful. So many died all those years ago. I'm all kinds of curious. But anyway. The world. Much like ours, yet some differences. There are monsters in this book. People who are not human. They used to live free, but then the Reaping happened, and they were all killed or taken captive. So horrible.
Which is where the menagerie comes in. It is like a circus, except everything they show are kept in cages and chains. The monsters are not free. They do not get enough to eat. They get abused. Beaten and raped for more food. It is so heartbreaking to read about. Yet so interesting too. Not all of them are true monsters. They are only different. Like the werewolves. Like the were-cheetah. And the oracles. I adored getting to know them all so much. They were treated so badly. Yet they were not true monsters.
I don't know what else to say about the menagerie. So I'm not going to mention it much. It is an awful place. They treat those in cages so badly. Though not all the handlers are bad. But they can't do anything about it either. And then there is Delilah. The main character of this book. A twenty five year old human woman. I adored her. She has a normal life. Even a boyfriend of four years. Then on her twenty fifth birthday, they go to see the menagerie. And something happens. Delilah turns out not do be human.
And then it all goes downhill from there. Because these so-called monsters do not have any rights. Delilah goes to jail. Which was awful to read about. Sigh. Yet not that bad at all. She has lost her home and all her things. Even her clothes. No one believes her; that she did not know she was human. Even her boyfriend did not believe her. And that is the last we see of him, thank god. I did not like him, hah. But yeah. Things are not going good for Delilah. And then she gets sold to the menagerie. Shudders.
And this is where the story truly begins. I don't think I will say that much more about the plot, but ugh, I have so many feelings about it. I'm giving this book five stars. Because I loved all of it. Even the mean parts. I loved the writing. I loved the story, heartbreaking as it was. I adored the characters. I hated the bad ones. This book was just so brilliant. So glad I read it. Anyway. Delilah gets thrown in her own cage. And it is pretty awful to read about. And I'm not going to say more than that. But yeah. So depressing.
Yet not everything is bad. No one knows what type of monster Delilah is. But then it is figured out. And oh my gosh, I loved it. Her type of monster was stunning. And awesome. And so fun to read about. Yet a bit disturbing too. So good. I loved the friendships she made with the other prisoners. Like Genni and Claudio. Sniffs. And Eryx too. And so many of the others. My heart ached for them. They had it so bad. But yeah. I loved how Delilah tried to fix it. She was so fierce and brave and amazing. I adored her.
But I especially loved Gallagher. Whom is one of the handlers. As in, Delilah is in a cage, he is not. Yet he is not cruel like the other handlers. And he takes care of Delilah. And ugh. I grew to love him very much. But do keep in mind that there is no romance in this book. But there could be. There are hints. And I want it. But I don't know how old Gallagher is. That bothers me. But yeah. He is an awesome person. And I loved him so much. I especially loved his secret. It was so amazing. And very different.
There are a lot of bad characters in this book. And I'm not going to mention them all. But I must mention Clyde. Because I could not stand that man. He tortured and abused so many people. Including Delilah. And it hurt my heart so much. It was so mean. Yet written so brilliantly. I couldn't help but like reading about it, despite despising this man. And I must say that a scene with him near the end was my very favorite. So brutal. So bloody. Yet very amazing to read about. But yeah. I really, truly hated Clyde.
I have already said so much about this book. But yeah. I loved it. It was depressing and hopeful and I loved the story so much. I cannot wait to read the sequel. I must know more about it. And hoping it will be out very soon. I can't wait. Now go pre-order this one. Menagerie is a stunning book. It is evil yet perfect. The story is amazing. The characters are incredible. I loved every moment of this book. And I cannot wait to read it again. This is a book that I will remember for a very, very long time, I'm sure. Thank you so much to Harlequin on Netgalley for accepting my request to read and review this book :)