Reminder: This review is of a series and not an individual book. While I will write a synopsis for each book, I will do my best to not give away blatant spoilers. With that being said, the end of one book more or less is the start of another, so information from the end of the previous book may play a role in the plot of the next book, thus I have to give away the spoiler. Read the synopsis at your own discretion.
When Cruella is growing up, she wants nothing more than to be someone her mom is proud of. However, her mom is Awful (capital A worthy). On the other hand, her father was a gem. He tried to encourage Cruella to not become like her mother and become a kind and welcoming person. When her father passed, he chose to give Cruella his entire estate rather than giving it to Cruella’s mother, with the only condition that she keep the De Vil name. Her mother tried to actively come up with ways to regain control of the money, mainly by manipulating Cruella’s emotions. During this time, Cruella found comfort in her friend, Anita, as well as her staff. When Cruella’s mother finds her a husband, Cruella can’t believe how lucky she was to find her match. But when things take a turn in her life, she begins to slowly fall apart more and more until she eventually reaches the point we see her in 101 Dalmations.
If you look at any other reviews of this book (which why would you when mine is so good?), you will probably see that this book is really a stand-alone one in the series. I’m going to go farther than that, I think that this book, while under the same initial concept as the other books, is really its own completely separate entity. There is a very vague connection to the other books, mainly through the “fairytale” of Tulip and Poppinjay, but Valentino was unable to bring Cruella into the same universe as the Odd Sisters (which can you imagine how chaotic that would be?).
In a lot of ways, this book reminds me of The Series of Unfortunate Events series. Especially the author’s note where she talks about writing the book based off of interviews and stuff. While a really cool idea, it completely changes the pattern of the series. This isn’t a bad thing, it feels very jarring after 6 books in a different template.
If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at email@example.com. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!