Jump to ratings and reviews
Rate this book

The Dead Queens Club

Rate this book
Mean Girls meets The Tudors in Hannah Capin’s The Dead Queens Club, a clever contemporary YA retelling of Henry VIII and his wives (or, in this case, his high school girlfriends). Told from the perspective of Annie Marck (“Cleves”), a 17-year-old aspiring journalist from Cleveland who meets Henry at summer camp, The Dead Queens Club is a fun, snarky read that provides great historical detail in an accessible way for teens while giving the infamous tale of Henry VIII its own unique spin.

What do a future ambassador, an overly ambitious Francophile, a hospital-volunteering Girl Scout, the new girl from Cleveland, the junior cheer captain, and the vice president of the debate club have in common? It sounds like the ridiculously long lead-up to an astoundingly absurd punchline, right? Except it’s not. Well, unless my life is the joke, which is kind of starting to look like a possibility given how beyond soap opera it’s been since I moved to Lancaster. But anyway, here’s your answer: we’ve all had the questionable privilege of going out with Lancaster High School’s de facto king. Otherwise known as my best friend. Otherwise known as the reason I’ve already helped steal a car, a jet ski, and one hundred spray-painted water bottles when it’s not even Christmas break yet. Otherwise known as Henry. Jersey number 8.

Meet Cleves. Girlfriend number four and the narrator of The Dead Queens Club, a young adult retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives. Cleves is the only girlfriend to come out of her relationship with Henry unscathed—but most breakups are messy, right? And sometimes tragic accidents happen…twice…

464 pages, Hardcover

First published January 29, 2019

Loading interface...
Loading interface...

About the author

Hannah Capin

4 books373 followers
Hannah Capin lives in Tidewater Virginia. She is the author of I AM MARGARET MOORE, GOLDEN BOYS BEWARE (also published as FOUL IS FAIR), and THE DEAD QUEENS CLUB.

Ratings & Reviews

What do you think?
Rate this book

Friends & Following

Create a free account to discover what your friends think of this book!

Community Reviews

5 stars
532 (22%)
4 stars
774 (32%)
3 stars
715 (29%)
2 stars
276 (11%)
1 star
96 (4%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 638 reviews
Profile Image for chai ♡.
322 reviews156k followers
August 18, 2022
When I say “I don’t like drama”, what I really mean is “I don’t want to be involved in any drama of my own.” Reading a contemporary reclaiming of the story of Henry VIII and his wives (in this case, his high school girlfriends), on the other hand, seemed firmly inside my circles of interests.

I just wish The Dead Queens Club lived up to the self-indulgent version of it that I wrote in my head before it began to disappoint me.

My first complaint about this book is how the plot takes so long before it catches flight. My eyes glazed over while waiting for the story’s momentum to build, and I'll confess to wondering in the early going whether it might have been better to bail halfway through. When the plot finally comes, all its climaxes peak at once, in an explosion of tension and revelation. The ending is satisfying but quite frankly, soon the satisfaction fades away in a haze of indifference.

I think whether or not you will enjoy The Dead Queens Club will depend in large part on whether or not you enjoy spending time in Cleve’s head. The Dead Queens Club propels us through the story by the sheer force of its narrator's personality. It started off fiercely, spikily hilarious. It was just fun—ridiculous, marvelous fun—but the humor quickly turned leaden and insufferable. The author crafted a story that was in love with its own zaniness. She doesn’t so much lean into the comedy of the novel as she does invite it out to dinner, offer it drinks, and studiously record every bit of banter that ensues. It was all just too-over-the-top. Crucially, my reading experience was also colored by a wincing revulsion for the way the novel blithely kills off teenage girls to echo history—brushing aside their deaths as if it had not been a matter of any urgency that required addressing.

The reason I’m giving this book an extra star is because I really liked how it gives voice to Henry’s girlfriends as multifaceted and evolving characters, beholden to no one’s perspective but their own. At first, I was quite disgruntled by the stark dissonance between Cleves’s words and actions. Mainly, how she claims to be a good feminist and diminishes every other female character in the same breath—always siding with Henry and emptying her mind of all thoughts but what he put into it. Thankfully, Cleves gets it right at the end. The truths that she has avoided looking directly in the eyes wrought an undue transformation, replacing her dreamy naivety with a hunting determination. And whatever connection there was between her and Henry, Cleves was setting it aside in favor of her allegiance to these women who did not relish the idea of their lives following a similar pattern to Henry’s ex-girlfriends and whom Henry had seriously underestimated.

A lot of people seem to have enjoyed this book, so don't let this review discourage you from giving it a chance. It was sadly just not my cup of tea.
Profile Image for Emily May.
1,993 reviews298k followers
January 29, 2019
I really did my best to like this but it was just not my thing.

Starred reviews from Kirkus usually prompt me to take a second look at books I was about to pass by. Then when I read that this one was a high school comedy retelling of history - specifically that of Henry VIII and his six wives - I thought it sounded like a lot of fun. But I struggled just to make it through.

The book is narrated by Annie of Cleveland, or "Cleves". She befriends Henry at Overachievers Camp, dates him for 15 days, and lives to tell the tale. Which is more than can be said for some of this player's other girlfriends. Now Cleves and Henry are best friends. But after two of Henry's exes die, the evidence begins to pile up-- could Henry be a murderer?

To be honest, I thought the murder aspect of the plot leaned more toward ludicrous than the hilarious/meaningful it was shooting for. Maybe because the plot - and its timeline - were so messy that the whole thing left me scratching my head.

My problem with this book all comes down to two main things:

» It's not my brand of humour.
Humour is so subjective, and this one just did nothing for me. I generally prefer it when funny things and situations occur as the story unfolds. I laugh more when the author sets the scene and builds up to the punchline. I’m less of a fan when the characters just constantly talk in jokes, as they do here. It felt forced. And kind of annoying.

Don’t get me wrong, occasional jokes in the dialogue can be very funny, but Annie's constant need to be quirky and snarky left me feeling exhausted. I enjoyed last year's Nice Try, Jane Sinner much more, for example. On a side note,

» The convoluted, messy, confusing plot.
The chronology of events in this book is very confusing. Cleves zips around from past to present without any warning, making it difficult for me to follow. There are some chapters that feel so messy and random that they read almost like stream-of-consciousness. We are constantly bombarded with jokes and sarcasm, and it takes forever to get to the actual meat of the story.

One thing I will say in the novel's favour is that the ending is quite satisfying if you manage to enjoy the book up until that point. I've seen some other DNF reviews complaining about an issue - an issue I might have complained about had I not finished it - but it is actually resolved well. The issue being

Some readers are going to love this book. It just didn't work for me.

Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Youtube
Profile Image for Jessica (Odd and Bookish).
581 reviews787 followers
June 24, 2019
I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Inkyard Press) in exchange for an honest review.

Initially, I was super excited to read this book. The Tudors meets Mean Girls? Yes please! However, this book ended up being pretty messy.

My main issue is that the book is way too long. The book is about 450 pages and could have easily been just over 300. The whole first half is is slow and confusing. The book starts off at girlfriend number 5 and then kind of goes back and forth into the backstory. And there was so much backstory. It could have been summarized significantly and in a more chronological manner. Part of the issue was that the backstory jumped around a lot so it was sometimes hard to get a bearing as to what point in time it was.


Once the book got to girlfriend number 6 (about halfway through), it picked up. It was so much more exciting and The Dead Queens Club finally came into fruition. The book was enjoyable from the halfway point onwards.

There were some things I did like. The premise was genius. Taking Henry and his 6 wives and setting it in a high school was so appropriate. I liked how Henry and the wives were all translated. I also liked the themes the book handled like slut shaming for example.

Overall, this book could have been really amazing had it been edited more for clarity and length.
Profile Image for Kat.
Author 9 books408 followers
December 19, 2022
Hilarious and quirky. Hannah Capin has a fun, snarky writing voice and this play off Henry the 8th and his wives gets fresh life in the form of Henry, high school guy, and his drama with all his girlfriends. Told from the perspective of “Cleves” or Annie, the fourth girlfriend, current BFF of Henry and ex, when she discovers two of his other exes have suffered mysterious demises, she and the rest of the girlfriend gang band together to figure out what’s going on. Awesome girl power. Great themes about toxic masculinity and the voice is SO. MUCH. FUN.
Profile Image for Vicky Again.
602 reviews811 followers
February 3, 2019
5 stars

I unfortunately do not get to say 5 stars a lot, but I am SO EXCITED to say that I AM USING IT TODAY LOOK AT IT. What does this mean? The Dead Queens Club was freaking amazing, that's what it means!!!

Severly underhyped but severly deserving of hype, please add it to goodreads RIGHT NOW before you even continue reading. Even if it's on a shelf that's called "wtf-is-this-premise-rofl."

Did you do it? Great. High five for you.

But seriously, this book is amazing and it was LITERAL DEATH holding back from just marathoning the whole thing. (I ended up marathoning everything after page 100 sorry Becca.)

I mean, let's just talk about this. Is it insanely awesome? Yes. Did I love it? Yes. Do you need to know more? No.

But since there's a bunch of you who are probably doubting the validity of my screaming, let me elaborate.


I mean--CLEVES I LOVE YOU. I would give my left kidney to Cleves even if she didn't need my left kidney.

She's the Chinese (yes u heard that it is not popularly advertised but Cleves was adopted from China) heroine who is oh-so-chill and a very refreshing opposite to Stressed Me and Stressed Everyone I Know.

Not only is she chill and fresh (you will be hearing "fresh" a lot in this review) protagonist you want, but she's also SO HILARIOUS.

And it's not in a just-for-laughs way, it's from a dry-humor-oh-my-god-this-girl-kills-me sort of way. AKA, Cleves is amazing.

Besides her awesome voice that is just *chef's kiss*, she is just an awesome person in general??? I checked my DMs for the exact quote of what I said when I was on pg. 2, and it is "why is she so dryly relatable" and THIS is what this book is.

It's like your cooler best friend who you just want to leech yourself to. Okay, maybe not in such a graphic blood-sucking way. In a good I LOVE YOU STAY WITH ME FOREVER way.

Even from page 1, you'll discover how fresh and relatable this book is. I might not know anyone as cool and interesting yet simultaneously laid-back and not-stressed as Cleves, but I also found her genuinely relatable in the way that you know you're never going to be that cool but you still try.

Because as chill as she is, she still ~thinks~ about her future and worries, she's just a lot better at disguising it than the rest of us on-the-verge-of-a-meltdown common people.

But yeah. In short, Cleves is an amazing protagonist with an amazing voice.


This is piggybacking off of the last section, but even though Cleves is chill and laid-back, she's passionate about what matters (vs. stuff that would stress me out. i am passionate about stress.) and she unflinchingly sticks by her girl friends and defends them and I love that about her.

I know sometimes ~character growth~ would mean her evolving to that point, but honestly? That's not what this book is about and I wouldn't change that. I LOVE how Cleves is supportive and "woke" (or, almost woke, except for matters of the Henry, which is the area where she grows) from the start and it made The Dead Queens Club a really refreshing read as I didn't have to sit through BS.

I could just read the smackdowns Cleves gave out that people deserved. (Mostly.)


Okay, so this book starts off fairly innocent--Henry, Cleves, backstory, friends forever! But then it gets seriously spicy.

Like, someone dumped 5 ghost peppers in the soup spicy.

I mean, NO SPOILERS but the drama is intense and deadly (this is why it is called The Dead Queens Club do not be deceived by the innocent cover PEOPLE DIE OKAY). It's sooo spicy and I was left guessing until the very end.

So even though it doesn't *look* like a mystery--oh, it so is. I guessed literally every character under the sun. Hannah is SO GREAT at instilling doubt in our minds and I just cry why was this so good.

Also I should have guessed it BUT I DIDN'T BECAUSE HANNAH WAS DOING HER JOB RIGHT. The twists are top notch and I just WOW. That ending scene was soooo tense and I nearly screamed (in shock, not fear) at [redacted].

So yes. If you think this will be dull, IT IS NOT. It is so spicy and entertaining and I 100% wish you to read it.


Okay, I am tired and it is late but I SWEAR THIS IS A GOOD THING.

I admit that I know nothing about Henry VIII. I did not take European history--

ASIDE: Honestly, this is probably why I didn't guess the ending? But I assume if you *know* the tale, you'll be able to draw connections and that's just as exciting as guessing the twists.

--but I know that in short, Henry = bad, wives = poor souls. Yet, with The Dead Queens Club, Capin empowers the queens (YES YOU GO GLEN COCO) and also just puts a nicely modern twist on it.

I mean, who expected old-timey English history to be as spicy as high school drama? There is NOTHING in the world spicier than high school drama, but aparently the Tudors come close.

So it's inventive and FRESH and still modern and applicable and not stuffy old dead white guys telling everyone else what to do. Yay!



I mentioned how I marathoned the last 300 pages, and it is true. I had such a blast and totally didn't realize I was wasting away my homework time BUT WHO CARES?

It's senior year, y'all. I have a negative motivation level. But yes! This book is awesome and really entertaining and the drama keeps things spicy and the voice keeps you hooked so you should 100% pick it up please please please do it for me.

Also, confession time: I wanted to read this over The Wicked King but buddy read prevented me. Know though, that this was my first choice and I would have picked this over The Wicked King any day #sorrynotsorry.

In the end, PLEASE READ THE DEAD QUEENS CLUB it is one of my favorite reads of the year and I want to scream about it with everyone!!!

Thank you so much to Hannah Capin for sending this ARC to me in exchange for an honest review! TBH I did not expect to like this so much.

Blog | Instagram | Twitter
Vicky Who Reads
Profile Image for Claude's Bookzone.
1,535 reviews215 followers
January 24, 2021

Well Henry VIII gets a high school makeover in this fun, 'scorned lovers', high school murder mystery.

Whilst the dialogue was witty, the telling of the story felt a bit disjointed. There were some flashbacks designed to give clarity to current relationships that were a bit clumsy and in some instances, unnecessary. This meant it got a bit confusing at times as there was a massive cast, each with their own backstory and role to play in driving the plot forward. Some Readers will enjoy spotting the clever references throughout, but don't expect too many surprises as it stays fairly true to its source of inspiration. Entertaining but in my opinion, needed a good edit.

Profile Image for Madalyn (Novel Ink).
499 reviews825 followers
January 25, 2019
This review originally appeared on Novel Ink.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Okay, I’m gonna be up front with y’all: my experience reading The Dead Queens Club was, hands-down, one of the STRANGEST reading experiences I’ve ever had. I literally can’t make up my mind as to whether I actively hated this book, or whether I’m just apathetic toward it.

Let me preface my review with the fact that I was so excited to read DQC. I’ve been obsessed with Tudor England since I was in elementary school, and this was pitched as “Mean Girls x The Tudors,” which, like, SIGN ME UP. However, I was left feeling more frustrated and confused than anything else after finishing this book.

The Dead Queens Club retells the history of Henry VIII and his six wives, but in a modern American high school setting– which is such a cool concept. Our main character is Cleves (short for “Cleveland,” the city she hails from), who gets caught up in the charismatic Henry’s world after meeting at summer camp and instantly clicking. Cleves also holds the title of Girlfriend Number Four, a fact both she and Henry try to ignore, as they long ago decided they work better as best friends than romantic partners. When two of Henry’s girlfriends turn up dead after mysterious “accidents,” Cleves and her fellow surviving girlfriends start to get a little suspicious, and hatch a plot to catch Henry in his lies.

Friends, I don’t say this often, so take note when I say it now: this book was so damn confusing. And I don’t mean that in the sense that the themes went over my head; no, I mean that in the most elementary sense– disjointed plot threads are thrown in seemingly at random, only to be haphazardly hacked together much later in the story. It didn’t feel like a continuous story because we jumped around so much, with very little connection.

Another thing I absolutely could not stand about this was the writing. Again, this isn’t something I say lightly, but Capin’s writing style screamed “trying too hard.” Cleves’s *~quirkiness~* is pushed on the reader at every turn. I don’t even know how to describe this, but the author strings together words/phrases that would normally be hyphenated into continuous strings of words that are really difficult to read– each time, it took me out of the story. This happened *at least* once per page of the e-ARC, usually more like two-four times per page. It was endlessly frustrating, and after about 20 pages, this grammatical choice alone had me ready to call it quits. I think lots of readers will take issue with the writing here. It’s one of those things that’s unquestionably polarizing. On the surface, Cleves is exactly the kind of “unlikeable female protagonist” I usually love (even when other readers don’t), but in this particular case, she felt like a cardboard cutout with no backstory or development. Like, I never got a sense of her as a person, outside of her acerbic wit, which is an issue in a book that’s told in a first-person POV.

I will applaud Hannah Capin on the brilliant idea to retell this segment of history in a modern high school, because wow, the level of drama is 100% conducive to that kind of setting. And, for the most part, I think the way Capin adapted these historical figures to the setting was pretty brilliant. Like, I definitely laughed every time Cleves said, “ugh, Jane Seymour,” because, yeah, I think everyone familiar with the original history feels that way. That being said, I just needed more development for all of them. Like Cleves, all the other characters in this book felt very superficial and surface-level. Also, the fact that every character in this book is, at least to the reader’s knowledge, straight and cis, is kind of a disservice to the messages Capin was trying to articulate with this book. Like, the fact that there were SO MANY CHARACTERS and none of them were canonically queer was… very strange.

Going off of this, I do appreciate the themes Capin addressed in DQC– toxic masculinity, gaslighting, slut shaming, etc.– but I honestly don’t feel like she went far enough with any of them. The scene where Cleves realizes the ways in which Henry has been manipulating her was one of the (few) highlights of the book for me. Like the rest of the story, though, these explorations felt very surface-level.

I contemplated DNFing this infinite times, and on one hand, I’m glad I didn’t, because it did get better as the story went on. On the other hand, though, I don’t feel like I got anything out of reading this. I don’t need to have a deep, meaningful experience with every book or anything, but I do expect to at least enjoy or be interested in the book if I don’t get anything else out of it… and with DQC, not so. The last third of the book was the only time I was even marginally interested in any of the events of the story.

Overall, The Dead Queens Club boasts an excellent premise, but subpar execution, and I will not be recommending it.
Profile Image for Carrie.
3,230 reviews1,549 followers
January 23, 2019
The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin is a young adult contemporary story that is a retelling of Henry VIII and his wives. In this case however the “wives” are all high school girlfriends of Henry, the charming homecoming king.

The story is told from the point of view of Annie Marck or “Cleves” as Henry likes to call her who is the high school equivalent of Anne of Cleves, Henry’s 4th wife. Cleves in this story met Henry at camp and became really good friends with Henry often getting talked into his mischievous adventures.

Cleves gets transferred to Lancaster High with Henry and already being the best of friends she finds herself diving right into his world. There’s some mystery to the previous girlfriends and drama with the current but what else can one expect from high school relationships?

Being well beyond the intended audience for this one I will admit that it took a little getting used to the high school world and thought maybe it would be one that would feel too young. However, once getting going and really noticing the real life Henry’s story being played out in this young adult environment I really began to enjoy it. I don’t think it’s necessary to know all the details of Henry VIII to enjoy and maybe this one might even make it easier to do so if you know nothing beforehand. I do think it’s worth giving it a try though if you enjoy real life retellings.

I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley.

For more reviews please visit https://carriesbookreviews.com/
Profile Image for laurel [the suspected bibliophile].
1,506 reviews450 followers
December 30, 2018
3.5 stars

Divorced, beheaded, died. Divorced, beheaded, survived.

Annie Marck aka Cleveland aka Cleves is certain of one thing—Henry is her best friend and she's his right hand man. No matter what girl he's dating. And he's dated quite a few.

But strange things keep happening to Henry's girlfriends, and Cleves might be at the center of it all...
Okay, so lemme tell you what I loved.

I absolutely adored the Henry VIII parallel into modern day high school.

It works so damn well.

Granted, there are a couple of tweaks (compressing the timeline, girlfriends instead of wives, how Anna Boleyn and Katie Howard die, what happened to Jane), but so much 16th century gossipy goodness is packed into this story and there's a healthy dose of Shakespeare that I was in historical hog heaven the entire time.

There are just so many easter eggs planted throughout the story!

The Tower Anna Boleyn dies in. Henry's fitness and then his horrible, never-ending leg injury that he got doing a stupid stunt that Anna and co. goaded him into trying. Catalina Tortuga of Archibald-Callaway. That so many of the place names in Lancaster, Indiana, correspond to actual locations in Henry VIII's England. Cleves being Henry's bestie/sister and pretending like the marriage/relationship never happened. Many of the secondary and tertiary characters named like members of Henry's court. And on and on and on. None of these goodies are spoilers, btw.

I loved Cleves' snark and her voice. She's smart, but unfocused (more to that later) and has no freaking clue what the hell she's going to do after high school, and is low-key freaking out about it since all her friends have high flying plans and she's got nothing (sooooo relatable) besides tagging along with whatever Henry does (not so relatable but I can see it). She's also definitely got a heavy streak of sarcasm and a very interesting sense of fashion, so even if you have literally no clue why the God King himself would want her as a bestie, you're entertained by her zippy remarks.

And I really liked the climatic last portion of the story. It was tense, thrilling and as much chaotic as you would expect given what happened.

So what I wasn't so thrilled about:

Like Hamlet, Cleves might be smart, but she is indecisive as fuck. She takes her sweet time making her decisions, and she jumps about here and there with her actions and thoughts and comments, making her one hell of an unreliable narrator because you're never exactly sure what side she's really on. She whines about not being editor and hating Cat Parr who is editor, but makes a gajillion crappy editorial decisions, undermines Cat's authority at every turn and exhibits very few qualities that would make me feel like she could even have gotten into Overachiever's Camp in the first place.

In short, you want to smack her across the face and yell at her to focus and actually be the objective investigative reporter she claims to be.

Plus, aside from the thrilling last 10%, the entire last half of the story bogs down with the weight of Cleves' indecision and waffling. I really feel like a solid 100 pages could have been snipped away as cleanly as Ann Boleyn's head and nothing would have been lost from the book.

So reasons to read this book:

1. A creative historical Henry VIII gossip fest in a high school setting and it works
2. Feminist history that puts things into perspective
4. Snarky heroine and found-friends girl gang.
5. Fluff with a nice dose of teen craziness and gore.

I received this ARC from NetGalley for an honest review.
Profile Image for - ̗̀  jess  ̖́-.
600 reviews281 followers
November 9, 2019

The Tudors are my favourite English dynasty to read about. Everything from the outbreak of the War of the Roses through James I dynasty is just Juicy Gossip. It's just fun, and Henry VIII is the most fun. The Dead Queens Club turns all the drama surrounding Henry VIII and the English Reformation into, essentially, a high school AU. It works surprisingly well. 

You may have heard the words "divorced, beheaded, and died; divorced, beheaded, and survived" when it comes to Henry VIII's six wives. For a recap, or a soundtrack to this book, I highly recommend listening to "Ex-Wives" from Six: The Musical. The Dead Queens Club is narrated by Number Four, Anne of Cleves. Here, she's Annie Marck, nicknamed "Cleves," Henry's best friend and Girlfriend Number Four. I honestly found her such a delightful narrator: she's sarcastic and genuinely funny. I may or may not have been reading this in an Early Modern English history class and having to smother laughter.

It was fun spotting all the easter eggs to history, and so much of it has to do with the huge cast of characters. There are the girlfriends: Catherine of Aragon becomes Catalina, or Lina, Henry's first long-term girlfriend. Anne (Anna) Boleyn and her family shows up, including George and Mary, the story of whom Philippa Gregory fans may know from The Other Boleyn Girl. Jane Seymour doesn't get a name change, but she's presented as the most boring of the six, which I feel is kind of unfair? Fifth is Katie Howard, it-girl and cheerleader. Lastly, we have Cat Parr, a stuck-up newspaper editor. There's also Parker Rochfort and several Thomases (which was a common gripe when I was first learning about the English Reformation.)

One thing that frustrated me throughout most of the book, though, was the sheer amount of girl hate there was, despite Cleves constantly trying to point characters away from arbitrary girl hate. I felt like she didn't follow her own principles; I feel like the only girlfriends she didn't hate was Katie and maybe Lina. Yes, the wives of Henry VIII constantly undermined each other, but reading a contemporary version it all felt very unnecessary about how much hate there was between all the girls. I also feel like this book, despite trying to subvert it, takes the story of Anne Boleyn as a seductress at face value, and definitely puts her up on a pedestal, which is fairly common in narratives about her but still frustrating. We're all fascinated by Anne, yes, but I'm tired of all the focus always being on her.

If you know the story of Henry VIII and his six wives, the plot is fairly predictable and goes more or less as it did in history, or as much as it can when the main players are teenagers in high school. There were times when I couldn't figure out what kind of book this wanted to be: a comedic retelling or a dramatic retelling? It mostly feels like the former because of Cleves' sense of humor, which can definitely be a bit immature at times, but the overwhelming comedy makes the real dramatic moments seem too dramatic.

I also wish that this book wasn't so overwhelmingly white--just because it's based off of English royal history doesn't mean it needs to star only white people. I do believe Cleves is Chinese, or at least the book briefly mentions she was adopted from China, but it's honestly such a blink-and-you-miss-it moment, and nothing else in the story indicates it, which makes the representation feel half-hearted.

The Dead Queens Club is definitely a fun retelling of the Henry VIII story, but the lack of real character depth made a lot of the book feel shallower than I wanted it to be. It is a quick and fun read, and for English history enthusiasts there are a lot of fun easter eggs. If you're interested in the concept of The Dead Queens Club, definitely check out Six: The Musical, a modern-day pop concert retelling.

content warnings |

representation | chinese adopted main character
Profile Image for Katie Gallagher.
Author 5 books217 followers
February 7, 2019
Click here to read this review and others on my blog!
Thank you to NetGalley and Inkyard Press for sending me a free advanced reader copy of this book for an honest review.

As soon as I read Vicky’s review of this book, I knew it needed to be placed front row center on my TBR. I’m no Tudors historian, but I love me some Henry VIII, from Showtime’s The Tudors to Margaret George’s tome The Autobiography of Henry VIII: With Notes by His Fool, Will Somers.

The premise is simple: Henry VIII drama transported to a modern high school setting. These high schoolers are the cool you can only dream of—oodles of money, absent parents, an arsenal of witty one-liners on their lips. We’re treated to first person narration by the MC, Cleves, who is no-holds-barred hilarious. Let’s get real: nobody talks like this in real life, but it doesn’t really matter, since you just want Cleves to keep on spitting jokes. Also be prepared that there are some near break-the-fourth-wall moments; for some readers this will be all in good fun and for others this might get annoying.

“I don’t give a flying fuck whether or not you slept with him.”
“Really. We’re done talking about guys, okay? Let’s pass the damn Bechdel test.”

If you’re looking for a standard whodunnit, this isn’t it. Really this book is all about character development, voice, and teen drama. Yeah, there are some dead queens and a finger-pointing blame game, but the sleuthing is kept pretty minimal until the end… This being said, I will say that the end does get intense, in an awesome way. I got actual chills. Yet the multidimensional characters and rock-solid voice are the real reason to open this book. I’m very curious to read the author’s future works; will we see a modern adaptation featuring some other infamous historical figures? Julius Caesar, perhaps? The Medicis? I’m game if Capin is.
Profile Image for Olivia | heyoliviareads.
38 reviews50 followers
December 24, 2018
This book was a party that I was way too excited to go to, and then once I got there it wasn't as great as I'd hoped, but, I still had fun?

As someone who was far too obsessed with all things Tudor back in high school, all you have to say to me is "King Henry and all his wives, but set it in high school" and I'm sold. The story follows Anne, aka Cleves, the new girl at Lancaster High, and her best friend, Henry, football star and notorious serial dater. Even with minimal knowledge of King Henry VIII, you know how the rest of the story goes. But, what would've happened if all of his wives banded together to enact their revenge? The book reads as The Tudors meets John Tucker Must Die, and was a wild ride from start to finish.

The characters in this book are beautifully fleshed out and vivid, and are what truly carried the story for me. Each one of them had unique personalities and I never had trouble telling them apart, which is important when you've got such a big cast. I especially loved Parker, she was complex and layered and had such a unique perspective, interesting backstory, and crucial part of the plot. Truthfully, I would read just an entire book about her.

I also loved how well the little historical details were weaved throughout. From Henry's leg injury, to Anna's necklace, and how each girlfriend's backstory tied into one another. Condensing a large chunk of a country's history into one small town and a high school is a difficult task, but, the author made it seem easy and fairly seamless. The plot really didn't kick in until about the halfway point of the book, the first half reading as extensive backstory and exposition. But, once the action (and heads) finally started rolling, I went from struggling to get through it to finishing the the book in a matter of hours.

Unfortunately, I did have some issues with the writing and the narrator's voice. It often felt like the writing was working too hard to be quirky and overtly snarky or sarcastic, full of hyphenated, conglomerate words and improbable dialogue. It pulled me out of the book constantly and kept me from really getting invested until the action became more intense.

If the narration had been toned down I feel this book would have completely knocked me out of the park. It was still a fun read, but it didn't quite live up to all my expectations, which could easily have been my own fault. If you love well-done characters, murder mysteries, and high school antics, definitely check this book out!

Thank you to NetGalley for sending me an e-book arc in exchange for an honest review!
Profile Image for Sarah.
351 reviews162 followers
February 18, 2019
I had such a good time with this! It’s a funny, satisfying send-up of patriarchy/slut shaming/the bullshit that has allowed yet more men into the highest offices of the United States despite credible evidence that they’re gross predators, all for the disregard of women.

I’m not that big on Tudor history and probably missed a bunch of the Easter eggs but I really enjoyed the meta-ness. Prom king and aspiring politician Henry’s survivors aim to rewrite the narrative around their dead friends, now notorious victims of typical “she had it coming” character assassinations. Even the luckiest/most alive of them suffer from gendered stereotyping about their attractiveness, shallowness, shrillness, etc., in such a recognizable way that it’s easy to forget this is historical satire; the characters take on a life of their own and mostly have updated or commonplace names (Lina, Cat, Parker, Katie). Whenever Anna Boleyn or Jane Seymour show up though, it’s a good reminder that women are still maligned after centuries have passed, which makes me ashamed that I totally snickered every time someone said, “Ugh, Jane Seymour.”

A lot of the criticism of the book is fair. Narrator Cleves is indecisive, occasionally a hot mess, and would be exhausting to talk to in real life. But for me, her inability to square her gut reactions (jealousy, self-doubt, helpless love for Henry) with what she knows intellectually makes her a realistic, relatable teen. Casting Cleves as an aspiring investigative journalist is a smart medium for some of that tension – for the sake of her craft, she keeps an open mind – and ultimately helps her deepen her values and sense of self.

My actual criticism is that this could have been at least 100 pages shorter. There are tons of small scenes to wade through, some of which don’t come to fruition, but getting to the denouement is entirely worth it.
Profile Image for Megan.
1,225 reviews71 followers
May 14, 2019

the speed at which i just added this book to my 'favourites' shelf literally just broke the sound barrier

Okay, so I know there's a lot of mixed reviews about this book, and a lot of people disappointed by how it didn't fit their expectations, but you know what? I actually really loved this one.

I loved the characters (Parker Rochford is the absolute best, and everybody else can just go home), I loved the feminism, and I loved the humour (I know others didn't, but Cleves' humour is my kind of humour, and while constant jokes and humour don't always translate on the page for me as well as they would off the page, I thought it was brilliant here).

I will say though that this book is quite long (which I didn't have a problem with) and because of that, Cleves' main investigation into Henry's past girlfriends (or rather, the story of Anna Boleyn that nobody wants to talk about) does take a little while to get going. It's a minor quibble that, in the long run, didn't really matter too much for me, but I think that it was possibly an issue for other reviewers.

This is one book that I would definitely recommend picking up. Even if you don't know the history behind the inspiration, even if all the mixed reviews have made you uncertain, please. Just pick it up and give it a chance. Who knows? You might even love it as much as I did.
Profile Image for Jessica.
21 reviews42 followers
December 3, 2018
I fucking LOVE this book. I feel like I've taken an andrenaline shot of supreme female empowerment, have taken down the pariachy & laughed my ass off while doing it.

Our narrator--Cleeves--is whip-smart funny, always speaks her mind, is an anti-slutshaming rant queen and I absolutely adore her. Teenage-me would have KILLED for this book.

Read it, or perish.

(my liveread, if that's your jam: https://twitter.com/JessicaBCooper/st...)
Profile Image for Meaghan.
570 reviews74 followers
January 31, 2019
First off I would like to thank the author, the publisher, and NetGalley for giving me the chance to read and review this ARC. While the copy was provided for free, all opinions are honest and my own.

The Dead Queens Club is a modern high school retelling of Henry VIII and his wives. It’s got drama, romance, and strong female friendships, narrated by Annie “Cleves” Marck, Henry’s fourth girlfriend. She’s the only one that’s managed to survive dating Henry so far, and she’s starting to wonder why…

The first quarter of 2019 seemed to be ripe for a lot of Henry VIII retellings, and this novel was one of a few that caught my eye. I’ve been especially into murder mystery novels lately, trying to find more YA ones as the genre keeps growing, so this book was an instant add to my tbr. When I was accepted to review it before release, I was even more excited, and couldn’t wait to get started.

While in the end, I didn’t rate The Dead Queens Club all that highly, I did thoroughly enjoy the first half of the book. Cleves was a narrator that truly stuck out, whether it be due to her characterization as well as how the story itself was written, and I found myself speeding through the first half of the book. The insane amount of drama the book involves was also hilarious to read, and while some of it was a bit ridiculous, I can definitely see some people I was in high school with acting this exact way. Additionally, even though the book dealt with a decent amount of death for your average high school story, it still managed to be pretty lighthearted and funny, for the most part. Unfortunately, that latter trait had consequences later on.

I wish I could say I liked where the story ended up going, and went into the ending with the same zeal I had started with, I can’t. Somewhere along the line the book just lost me, and I blame that on a few reasons.

1. The book keeps switching who Cleves/we are supposed to trust. While this is common in mystery novels, the sheer amount and speed at which we are thrown back and forth between characters made me feel like a ping pong ball. I’ve never had a book give me quite this much whiplash, and honestly, I really hope I never do again.

2. We are given way too many different stories on what happened “that night.” I felt like I should’ve been taking notes on all these stories since the beginning since by the time everything started going down, so many different tales with so many different intricacies had been spelled out that I couldn’t even keep them straight anymore. I normally still think for myself as I’m reading, not necessarily taking everything the main character thinks as the truth, but in this case, I just had to trust Cleves because I couldn’t even remember everything anymore.

3. The writing style ends up adding to the confusion. I mentioned the writing style above, and while I did like it then, it’s lack of directness and it’s wishy-washy way of spelling things out just added to the confusion the first two points gave me. I had to reread a few parts to get what was really going on, and even then I’m still not sure if I interpreted the scene properly. While I almost always love unique writing styles, this one just ended up hurting the ending even more.

4. At some point, Cleves stops being suspicious of others. There were tons of moments later on where Cleves just kept on believing what her friends said, even after being shown multiple times that they’ve very frequently not been entirely honest with her. Normally this isn’t so annoying, but if I’m relying on Cleves as much as I mentioned above, and suddenly I feel I can’t trust her, I feel even more lost in the book.

5. In the end, I wasn’t able to actually like anyone. Now I get the point of the book wasn’t to make people likable, but the way this book went made it hard to actually enjoy and go along with some scenes and events in the final 20% of the book. I was at the point where I literally didn’t like nor trust anyone, but I had to go along with how it ended up being tied up anyways. I just wasn’t into it anymore.

I’m sure there are more little things that started bugging me the further along I got in the story, but these are the main issues that switched me from loving the book to just being annoyed by it. I feel like it has a lot of potential, and some of these issues may have been fixed enough for the final copy, so I do recommend just trying it. And I’ll definitely see what other books this author will release! However, The Dead Queens Club just wasn’t for me.
Profile Image for Sonia Hartl.
Author 11 books310 followers
September 14, 2018
Where do I begin with my love for this book? Everything about it speaks to my heart, Cleves is probably one of my favorite characters of all time, smart, hilarious, saracastic with flaws and vulnerabilities that make her so incredibly relatable. The queens absolutely draw from their historical counterparts and they all gave me a new appreciation for their lives and an extreme amount of anger for the way history has condemned them in ways they never deserved. These girls are amazing. I want to be BFFs with every single one of them. And Henry was so well-written, very much how I’d imagine a modern teenage version of who’d he’d actually be. I won’t spoil anything, but wow, did I loooooove how it ended. So perfect. Hilarious and feminist and everything I love about girls getting stuff done, this is one story that’s going to stick with me for years. LONG LIVE THE QUEENS!
Profile Image for Amber.
2,424 reviews321 followers
March 22, 2021
Listen. I was dedicated. The events of the dust jacket take half the book to come to fruition. Obviously, at that point I was too far in. That was helped by impulsively readable this book turned out to be. Unfortunately, it was not as realistic as I was hoping.

I'm interested in works by this author in the future; however, this one missed the mark for me.

Edit: I am a bad egg who didn't appreciate this story and am bumping my rating up to a four because I'm still thinking about it 9 months later.
Profile Image for Katie.
516 reviews221 followers
February 18, 2019
I was determined to break up my seriously depressing nonfiction reading with something completely ridiculous and fun. The Dead Queens Club was the perfect choice.

I’ve been a Tudor addict for over 20 years now, but you don’t have to be to read this. Capin’s re-imagining of Henry VIII and his six wives as a fictional high school drama honestly does not feel like too much of a stretch. Many of her characterizations and asides felt completely accurate--of course Katherine of Aragon would be an all-star student, Katherine Howard would be Prom Queen, and Eustace Chapuys would be publishing gossip in the school paper. I snort-laughed at the tv show Keeping up with the Lancastrians (which I would watch the hell out of), and the notion that Henry would want to date Anne of Cleves because “Cromwell told him to”... followed by the nod that Cromwell is “one of the Thomases”, because anyone who has read just a little about Henry knows he was SURROUNDED by counselors named Thomas (More, Wolsey, Cromwell, Cranmer).

But nerdy moments aside, Capin obviously loved writing this. There’s a strong feminist theme throughout the book which gives each of these women a little retribution 400+ years after their deaths (as Capin states in the acknowledgements, they all deserved better); Cleves is used specifically for this purpose, calling out Henry VII at one point for allowing his son to get away with the double standard of being a player, while he labels her as “easy.”

The places the story fell short for me were in its length, and in Cleves’ characterization. This book is LONG for how little actually happens. Much of this is due to Cleves’ internal narration (which, frankly, can be incredibly annoying), or when she’s giving backstory that is sometimes unnecessary. I was irritated by how many times she mentioned a “potential day job” or felt the need to pad every conversation with a zinger. If this had been dialed back, I think she would have been a more relatable and enjoyable narrator. Likewise, I think a huge opportunity was missed by completely excluding Henry VIII’s sisters!!! COME ON. Charles Brandon and Mary Tudor drama?? How could you pass that up?

See more of my reviews: Blog // Instagram
Profile Image for Lia.
340 reviews94 followers
October 2, 2019
this book was wild y'all. I was constantly switching between thinking he was guilty or he was innocent I COULD NOT FIGURE IT OUT
also, so much drama. So much.
Profile Image for Nemo (The ☾Moonlight☾ Library).
642 reviews301 followers
July 30, 2021
This review was originally posted on The Moonlight Library
See original review for gifs and a video!

In a world where I rarely pick up books for my own reading pleasure - and by that I mean I'm usually so guilt-wracked over my unread ARCs that I have 600 books on my TBR (at least!), I just could not stop thinking about this book. I knew I wanted to read it from the very first time I saw the description of high school Henry VIII's wives told from the point of view of Wife #4, Annie 'Cleves' Marck (because she's from Cleveland, get it?!).

I couldn't stop thinking about this book all through even when I was forced into hiatus due to my university workload suddenly getting much more intense. If you can pine for a book you haven't read yet, that was me.

When I was really struggling mentally, I just thought, Fuck it! Imma read this bitch.

I instantly fell in love from the very first page. Just a personal note - I tend to like books Harlequin Australia/Inkyard Press publishes, so I'm really not surprised.

The narrator Cleves has the most hilarious voice. Not only is she witty and sarcastic, but she's genuinely funny in a way that doesn't try too hard. It's really easy to like her, even though she remains best friends with Henry as he runs around fucking with the hearts of too many teen girls to name.

Henry is basically the walking epitome of trash, which, if you know anything about Tudor history isn't a surprise (and I confess here I do have a deep fascination with the Six Wives). This is a guy (the actual king, not the teen heartthrob in the book) who tore apart his country for a girl only to literally rip her reputation to shreds and have her murdered. What a prick! But Cleves is able to justify her ongoing friendship with him, even when her close friends and even enemies fall into his predatory search for the perfect girlfriend.

There's so many clever reinterpretations in this book. I went in to it with probably a better knowledge of the Six Wives than most people (not bragging, just truth - I was actually surprised to find out how little people know or care about what I consider to be one of the most important kings in British history - if only because he was Elizabeth I's father). I loved how the author shaped the retelling versions: for example, Katherine Howard is Katie, a popular sweetheart party girl with a troubled history and literally the victim of assholes guys. Katelyn 'Cat' Parr is the uptight editor-in-chief of the school newspaper, which is run pretty much like a real newspaper. Anna Boleyn is dead and gone by the time we join the story, but Cleves is on the never-ending search for the truth when it comes to the horrible rumours surrounding her.

I did sometimes think that this book was acting way too grown up. Parents in this book are basically non-existent, as are teachers. All the drama and action is based around the teens. Henry acts in bizarrely adult ways: hell-bent on 'saving' the town's economy through business acumen (you're in high school kid, chill!), worried about depreciation on a car, searching for the perfect life partner when he's all of seventeen or eighteen. Anna Boleyn basically matches with him 'for tax reasons' and acts far too mature as well. Similarly, Cat Parr runs a very tight journalism ship and acts like she's about 40 years old, even dressing in power blazers. Everyone is too old to be a teen, basically, except for Cleves. It's like they went ahead and cast 30-somethings to play teenagers, you know, like they used to do in 90s TV shows.

"But in your life you'll do things greater than
Dating the boy on the football team
But I didn't know it at fifteen"

- Taylor Swift, Fifteen

The plot is pretty solid: Cleves, even though she is in denial about Henry, is determined to uncover the truth about Anna's death, which happened under bizarre circumstances. The book flashes back a lot since Cleves wasn't around when Lina (Katharine of Aragon), Anna, and Jane Seymour (ugh, Jane Seymour!) were, so she has a lot to discover about these girls too, and talks to a lot of different characters to build up the story for us. It was super easy to follow the flashbacks and they were seamlessly integrated. To make matters a little more complicated, Cleves and Henry go way back from summer camp, where they became best friends, only to later try dating as Henry slingshots from one girlfriend to another.

Despite Henry being the character that all the girls connect to, it's largely a feminist book. As I said earlier, Cleves is pretty much the only one acting like a teenager, so her ongoing defence of Henry even as she's investigating the death of his ex is understandable, as is his manipulation of her and why she can't reconcile those feminist thoughts and the nonsense noise in her head when he looks at her the right way. I think choosing these certain portrayals of not only the queens but Henry and his court of cronies is creative and even a little risk-taking, certainly at risk of people jumping on this book as being inspired by real-life history then not telling it the 'right' way (you really want us to believe Anne Boleyn was ugly and slept with her brother? Please!) - but remember, history is written by the victor, and as literally the king, Henry VIII wrote exactly what he wanted to about his wives. Which is maybe why early feminist Katelyn Parr is the one to outlive him, the wily wench.

I just loved hanging out with Cleves and seeing all the relationships between her and the queens and Parker Rochford (a re-imagined Jane Parker/Boleyn/Rochford), and her ongoing internal battle with Henry, who on the surface seemed like quite a cool, popular guy. I loved seeing them gossip and seek truth and plot and work together. There was surprisingly little slut shaming, at least from the other girls - mostly from the guys to be honest. At least, Cleves seemed always up to defend allegations of slut shaming - possibly because Henry was actually screwing around while in committed relationships, and she even confronted him about it a few times. There was so much drama! Which, to be honest, is exactly what I like in YA, and even in places it seemed over the top, just think of the source material!

Don't you just want to be part of this girl gang? I know I do!
Profile Image for Macy.
142 reviews
June 4, 2022
oh this book fucks. occasionally a little ya (derogatory) but so readable it's insane. love the female solidarity and the exploration of the fucked up situations the girls (especially katie) are in. but i will admit my favourite part by far was henry, because i go insane for characters who are TERRIBLE but remain human and complex and somewhat sympathetic until the end. he felt so painfully complicated and realistic it went off.
Profile Image for Dara.
216 reviews50 followers
August 16, 2019
I really wanted to like this book. The premise is so intriguing. Henry VIII and his six wives but in modern day high school? Yes please. What a cool idea. Unfortunately that's really the only good part about this book.

The story is told in first person from Cleves's perspective. She's the new girl in town and best friends with the quarterback/sportsball star/king of Lancaster High, Henry (his football number is 8. VIII. Geddit?). Cleves is not a great character. Her flaws feel less like character flaws and more like lack of clarity on the part of the author, Hannah Capin. Cleves claims to be a card-carrying feminist but her internalized misogyny runs deep. She's Not Like Other Girls™ because she wears pajama pants with rockets on them and she isn't a cheerleader and her bestie is a guy. She likes pranks and doesn't spend an hour doing her hair. Blagh. Gag me.

The characters surrounding Cleves aren't all that compelling. The story would have been a lot more interesting if it were told from Parker Rochford's perspective. It would have been very Buffy-esque to have the hero be the peppy yet tragic cheerleader instead of the horrendous Not Like Other Girls™ trope. Since we spend the novel in Cleves's head, we spend a lot of time with Henry. He is a gaslighting, manipulative asshole and it takes our wannabe-intrepid heroine entirely too long to figure that out.

The actual writing style is typical YA. Capin doesn't bring much flair or personality to her story. The plotting is a mess, particularly the first 25%. There's so much timeline switching with no warning that I got literary whiplash. Capin's use of multiple choice in Cleves's narration is beyond aggravating. Any good editor would have cut that usage down by at least half. Instead we get about 30 instances of Cleves saying that she could do (a), (b), (c), or a witty (d). I wanted to rip the book in half by the time I got to the end.

All that said, I hope someone options this book for TV because it would make an excellent series in the hands of capable writers.

Profile Image for Carol.
210 reviews5 followers
June 10, 2019
I want to say, 'for lovers of Riverdale and Mean Girls,' but let's face it, Henry VIII's court was Riverdale IRL. Wild, unsubstantiated gossip that, quite literally, ended lives. After reading this I'm mad I didn't think to adapt the events of Henry's reign into a teen book, because this is a badass read.

Full disclosure: I have a slight obsession with the lives of Henry VIII's wives and his court, however this is not my fault, a wonderful friend started me down this path. :) That being said there are tons of small historical reference to the real court; Henry VIII's gout was changed to a bike injury for teenage Henry, Anne Boleyn's famous necklace makes an appearance with her teen counterpart, and Eustace Chapuys. I also love that this story tackles modern issues that blend perfectly with it's historical counterpart (slut shaming, feminism, and toxic masculinity).

Profile Image for Emily.
706 reviews2,042 followers
Shelved as 'abandoned'
July 8, 2019
Abandoned around 31%, mostly through inertia (my Kindle library loan expired and I never bothered to download the book again when my second hold came through). I really, really liked the voice in this book - I immediately went to the author's page to see what else she had written - but I found the Tudor plotline overlaid on contemporary high school to be too convoluted and fantastical. The timeline is hard to grasp, there's a lot going on, and it's difficult to center yourself in the story.

On one hand, I really liked that Anne ("Cleves" - because she's from Cleveland) is good friends with Henry and it's a fun friendship to read about. On the other, I don't believe that she could show up for her senior year and immediately become friends with every single major personality at her new high school. The relationships didn't feel real, which is too bad because I enjoyed Anne's narrative voice so much.

It's unfortunate that the author's next book is an adaptation of Macbeth. I would love to read a contemporary without the baggage. The retelling aspect really overtakes the book.
Profile Image for Jypsy .
1,524 reviews57 followers
Want to read
February 13, 2019
The Dead Queens Club is truly unique. Henry VIII goes to high school. Still tyrannical and crazy with the added bonus of being a teenager. Girls, run!! Seriously, though, this is a high school fiction story based on Henry VIII and his six wives. Just to recap them: Katherine, exiled and died; Anne Boleyn, beheaded; Jane Seymour, died in childbirth; Anne of Cleves, annulled and actually came out quite nicely; Katherine Howard, beheaded; Kathryn Parr, outlived him. These were not happy women. Now, high school Henry VIII has his six girlfriends. Granted, a certain suspension of disbelief is needed because it's far fetched. It's still an entertaining read. It's helpful to know anything about the time period when he lived, 1509-1547, because historical references are thrown out here and there. It's not necessary to read the story though. Overall it's a good read. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Elena.
1,046 reviews80 followers
September 18, 2020
As soon as I heard about this modern high-school retelling of the Tudors, I knew I had to get my hands on it. I'm so obsessed about Henry VIII and his wives, I couldn't miss it! And yet, I went into it a little worried because the overall reviews weren't so great. Luckily for me, The Dead Queens Club worked for me.

What I appreciated the most was, without a doubt, the modern retelling. I think Hannah Capin did a terrific job with it. It is clear she knows a lot about the time period and the historical figures, and she is fantastic at translating not only the people, but also the events into modern times. The wives are all drawn in a respectful and pretty badass way . I was cheering so hard for them.

As for the less successful aspect, I did find Cleves a little annoying. As some reviewers said, she speaks like she is a feminist but she is often blinded by Henry and is not respectful of other girls; and her humour is a little over the top. She is witty and snarky, and I liked that, but it was too much. She replied to almost everything with a witty comeback, and her narration was full of jokes. Like, five or six for page. At least.

But apart from that, I am glad the retelling aspect, which is the thing I came for, was done so wonderfully, and I would definitely recommend the book if you are a hardcore Tudors fan.
Profile Image for DJ .
1,042 reviews9 followers
January 11, 2019
Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Dead Queens Club was on my list for most anticipated book for 2019. However, this was really kind of a mess. The plot was SO hard to follow. I had to keep re-reading to figure out what was going on. I really struggled to finish this book, which rarely happens to me. It was just almost impossible to figure out what was happening and to whom. If you can make it to the ending, then you'll appreciate it. The humor was good at points but sometimes it just felt forced. I normally love snark but this didn't feel natural. Overall, this book is okay, if you can make it the end you'll probably enjoy it.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 638 reviews

Can't find what you're looking for?

Get help and learn more about the design.