Title: The Dead Queens Club
Author: Hannah Capin
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: January 29, 2019
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…
I saw a review for this book on Vicky Who Reads blog a couple of weeks ago and I knew I had to read it! This book is a mix of the Tudors of England meets Mean Girls. It’s amazing!
I love the combination of historical figures and modern teens. My own manuscript is an adaptation of Wuthering Heights in a modern high school, so I especially love these kinds of adaptations.
There were also some thriller aspects to the story. Henry’s girlfriends either disappear or die after they break up. It ends up becoming a mystery of what really happened to Anna Boleyn. She apparently set a tower on fire, leading to the deaths of her and her brother. The real Henry VIII murdered his wives when they weren’t pleasing him anymore. The question in this story is did Anna actually set the fire or was she innocent?
I loved this story so much! I can’t wait to see what Hannah Capin writes next!
What to read next:
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, Jodi Meadows
Eliza Rose by Lucy Worsley
Have you read The Dead Queens Club? What did you think of it?