Thursday, September 17, 2015

ARC Review: A Madness So Discreet

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Publication Date: October 6, 2015

Grace Mae knows madness.

She keeps it locked away, along with her voice, trapped deep inside a brilliant mind that cannot forget horrific family secrets. Those secrets, along with the bulge in her belly, land her in a Boston insane asylum.

When her voice returns in a burst of violence, Grace is banished to the dark cellars, where her mind is discovered by a visiting doctor who dabbles in the new study of criminal psychology. With her keen eyes and sharp memory, Grace will make the perfect assistant at crime scenes. Escaping from Boston to the safety of an ethical Ohio asylum, Grace finds friendship and hope, hints of a life she should have had. But gruesome nights bring Grace and the doctor into the circle of a killer who stalks young women. Grace, continuing to operate under the cloak of madness, must hunt a murderer while she confronts the demons in her own past.

First, let me say...I LOVE THIS COVER!


It captures the book so perfectly!  Moving on...

While this book wasn't exactly what I expected, it still was a very good novel that will be definitely be a hit among many people. There were some ups and downs with this book, but overall I did greatly enjoy the story and its characters. The writing was amazing in my opinion. I immediately fell in love with the beautiful quality of the words, and you can easily tell that Mindy McGinnis truly has a gift. I did love the unique and creative nature of the story as well. Ms. McGinnis transports you back to the Victorian era. You are immersed in this setting so deeply that you feel as if you are actually there. Anyone who knows me, knows that I adore the Victorian era, so this was just a major win all around for me. I do applaud Ms. McGinnis for giving an accurate portrayal (or seemingly accurate portrayal) of what it was like to be a woman in this era. Whereas many authors don't fully show how objectified women were, Ms. McGinnis makes it part of the story.

Grace was an utterly fantastic main character, and I loved every single thing about her. She was strong, relatable, quick-witted, and tough. Grace has been through unspeakable things, things no woman (or man for that matter) should ever have to go through. Although she is fueled by her hate by her family, and is seeking revenge, she never actually lets her past define her. While you only find out the truth surrounding Grace's hate toward the middle of the book, you do have your suspicions along the way. You truly feel for her, and you understand why she is the way she is. I also loved her development and growth over the course of the novel. Finally, as I said, Grace was extremely relatable. No matter what she was going through internally, she always made sure to be there for others when they needed her. Oh and the best part? NO INSTA-LOVE!!!! WOO-HOOO!!!

There were a couple reasons I decided to give this book 3.5 stars instead of 4 (regardless of what the rating says above...darn you Goodreads for not letting me do half stars!). First, as I said, this book wasn't exactly what I expected going in. In that way, it was a bit of a let down. There seemed a mismatch in what the author wanted to do, and what the author actually set up in the story. I was expecting dark, gritty, a bit gruesome, and thrilling. While it had it's gruesome and dark parts, it's just wasn't enough for what the summary of the book expressed. Additionally, the first part of this book is very slow. It picks up, which I was extremely grateful for as this would have been a very different review otherwise, but I feel like there needed to be some editing in the first part of this book. Finally, Dr. Thornhollow was a bit of an oddball. I liked him, but didn't love him. Compared to Grace, he just couldn't compete. I never was fully able to get a good read on him, and still I feel like I don't really know him all that well.

Overall, I did very much enjoy this book, but there was some aspects that could have been fixed/edited. I would recommend checking this book out, but keep in mind that the description is a bit misleading. I do think this is worth checking out though, and I will be interested to see what Ms. McGinnis writes in the future!

I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Happy reading :)  



  1. Oh nice! I have been meaning to read Mindy's books and do have her first duology in my TBR trunk. This one sounded pretty good too! And that cover! Though I am quickly learning my expectations of this book will not be met. Unless I'm wrong which is maybe slightly possible. Regardless it does still sound like an intriguing read! Glad to hear you enjoyed it despite a few letdown points. Very nice review!

    1. Thank you :) And yeah, it definitely wasn't exactly what I thought it was going to be, but it was still a good read. I think it's worth checking out! The cover is perfect for this book though, it really captures the essence of the story.