by Bridget Collins
Published by William Morrow
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Format Read: ARC, eBook
If everything in your life was based on a lie
Would you risk it all to tell the truth?
At Montverre, an exclusive academy tucked away in the mountains, the best and brightest are trained for excellence in the grand jeu: an arcane and mysterious contest. Léo Martin was once a student there, but lost his passion for the grand jeu following a violent tragedy. Now he returns in disgrace, exiled to his old place of learning with his political career in tatters.
Montverre has changed since he studied there, even allowing a woman, Claire Dryden, to serve in the grand jeu’s highest office of Magister Ludi. When Léo first sees Claire he senses an odd connection with her, though he’s sure they have never met before.
Both Léo and Claire have built their lives on lies. And as the legendary Midsummer Game, the climax of the year, draws closer, secrets are whispering in the walls…
I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
So I’ve been sitting on The Betrayals by Bridget Collins for a while. Honestly, I have been conflicted about what to say. But if I had written this review immediately after reading, it would be a completely different review. But having spent some time ruminating on everything I read, I have a greater appreciation for Collins’ work.
When I started the book, I swore up and down that it was going to end up being a DNF, which NEVER happens for me. But I was just disconnected from the characters and the story was confusing and it was stressing me out to try and read it. But I’m a stubborn mf, so I kept pushing through, and while I never loved the book, I am glad I read it because it was a mind trip.
Collins wove together this world that made absolutely no sense to me. And bear with me when I say that. The world of the grand jeu is one that is never fully explained and that leads to a constant state of confusion, but also one of understanding. It was such a strange reading experience and once I got into it, I kept reading in hopes of some explanation. I was sadly disappointed, as you as the reader are left 100% in the dark of what the grand jeu is other than that it is a mix of math and english and music. It literally makes no sense. But I have to give Collins a pat on the back. Never once in my 21 years of living have I gone through a mind trip like that. And I kinda loved that.
The story is told from four characters points of view. I had my favorites and I had the ones I could live without. I’ll let you read it to try and figure out which is which because its impossible for me to try to explain the mind bending story and my reasons behind what I did and did not enjoy without dropping major spoilers.
While the book left me reeling, and not 100% in love, I think Bridget did a wonderful job of building her world, making you question where and when it is taking place and never really telling you who the good guys are. It was truly a unique experience that I think people should give a try if you want something truly and utterly unique.
Some of my thoughts (mainly spoiler free) from while I was reading, in no particular order:
- “Oooh potential unexpected gayness, I like it”
- “Why is she so obsessed with him?”
- “Oh shit my guess was close, but still..unexpected”
Hey everyone! I’m Gabrielle, a full time college student that tries to make sure I get reading time every day (even when I should be studying). I’m currently studying biochemistry and molecular biology, but am about to graduate so hopefully my days will soon be free for all the books I can dream of.
When I’m not reading or studying, I am usually binging a TV series and cross stitching, or playing video games (right now I’m on a Minecraft and Stardew Valley kick).
I hope my reviews help you find your next favorite book, and maybe even better, your next book boyfriend!