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The Marvelous

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From the author of Let’s Talk About Love and If It Makes You Happy, this exuberant YA Novel follows six teens locked together in a mansion, contending for a life-changing cash prize in a competition run by a reclusive heiress. Everyone thinks they know Jewel Van Hanen. Heiress turned actress turned social media darling who created the massively popular video-sharing app, Go From the author of Let’s Talk About Love and If It Makes You Happy, this exuberant YA Novel follows six teens locked together in a mansion, contending for a life-changing cash prize in a competition run by a reclusive heiress. Everyone thinks they know Jewel Van Hanen. Heiress turned actress turned social media darling who created the massively popular video-sharing app, Golden Rule. After mysteriously disappearing for a year, Jewel makes her dramatic return with an announcement: she has chosen a few lucky Golden Rule users to spend an unforgettable weekend at her private estate. But once they arrive, Jewel ingeniously flips the script: the guests are now players in an elaborate estate-wide game. And she’s tailored every challenge and obstacle to test whether they have what it takes to win--at any cost. Told from the perspective of three dazzling players--Nicole: the new queen of Golden Rule; Luna: Jewel’s biggest fan; and Stella: a brilliant outsider--this novel will charm its way into your heart and keep you guessing how it all ends because money isn’t the only thing at stake.


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From the author of Let’s Talk About Love and If It Makes You Happy, this exuberant YA Novel follows six teens locked together in a mansion, contending for a life-changing cash prize in a competition run by a reclusive heiress. Everyone thinks they know Jewel Van Hanen. Heiress turned actress turned social media darling who created the massively popular video-sharing app, Go From the author of Let’s Talk About Love and If It Makes You Happy, this exuberant YA Novel follows six teens locked together in a mansion, contending for a life-changing cash prize in a competition run by a reclusive heiress. Everyone thinks they know Jewel Van Hanen. Heiress turned actress turned social media darling who created the massively popular video-sharing app, Golden Rule. After mysteriously disappearing for a year, Jewel makes her dramatic return with an announcement: she has chosen a few lucky Golden Rule users to spend an unforgettable weekend at her private estate. But once they arrive, Jewel ingeniously flips the script: the guests are now players in an elaborate estate-wide game. And she’s tailored every challenge and obstacle to test whether they have what it takes to win--at any cost. Told from the perspective of three dazzling players--Nicole: the new queen of Golden Rule; Luna: Jewel’s biggest fan; and Stella: a brilliant outsider--this novel will charm its way into your heart and keep you guessing how it all ends because money isn’t the only thing at stake.

30 review for The Marvelous

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mash

    Honestly, my small little brain is still confused because of that ending but oh my god, this book was quite the adventure. The first half was not the best but the second half was soo good. Review to come.. ————————————————— I’m participating in a blog tour for this book and I literally cannot wait to read it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    anika

    the dialogue in this book, and the way characters interacted, were so fast paced and fun. i loved all the puzzles and riddles. reading as the characters figured them out was amazing. was my biggest issue is that the first 40% or so of the book was kinda confusing, and i didn’t fully understand what was going on until towards the end. but the ending was great, and i would really recommend this!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Vee

    Wordpress Blog | Twitter Oh, I really wanted this one to be as good as The Inheritance Games and it really was not, to be frank it was a confusing mess that I had to keep re-reading back on to work out what was happening. There's 4-5 characters and yet only 3 POVs and even then I got confused as to who was who. The idea is that these competitors are all using the same website, and the website's owner Jewel has set up an elaborate game at her home. For various reasons, they all join. I always felt Wordpress Blog | Twitter Oh, I really wanted this one to be as good as The Inheritance Games and it really was not, to be frank it was a confusing mess that I had to keep re-reading back on to work out what was happening. There's 4-5 characters and yet only 3 POVs and even then I got confused as to who was who. The idea is that these competitors are all using the same website, and the website's owner Jewel has set up an elaborate game at her home. For various reasons, they all join. I always felt like an outsider that was being told who Jewel was and was the website did, instead of feeling like part of the story. The puzzles and challengers were impossible for a reader to solve, because they all related to the fictional character Jewel who we don't know. This made reading the challenges incredibly boring, and the ending was such a mess that I can't even remember who won.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Fanna

    March 11, 2021: When the author said this story has witty banter, puzzles, and Black, queer, and fat kids being kids...my immediate instinct was to hype it up.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Oyinda

    Book 192 of 2021 3.5 ✨

  6. 5 out of 5

    Toya (the reading chemist)

    Trigger Warnings: Confinement, panic attacks, death of a parent, emotional abuse, manipulation, fatphobia, food insecurity, grief, gun violence, kidnapping I swear, Claire Kann can do no wrong. I’ve read and loved her previous two books (Let’s Talk About Love and If It Makes You Happy), so when The Marvelous was first announced, I already knew that I just had to get my hands on this book! And spoiler alert, I loved this one too, so here we go! Jewel Van Hanen, heiress and creator of the video shar Trigger Warnings: Confinement, panic attacks, death of a parent, emotional abuse, manipulation, fatphobia, food insecurity, grief, gun violence, kidnapping I swear, Claire Kann can do no wrong. I’ve read and loved her previous two books (Let’s Talk About Love and If It Makes You Happy), so when The Marvelous was first announced, I already knew that I just had to get my hands on this book! And spoiler alert, I loved this one too, so here we go! Jewel Van Hanen, heiress and creator of the video sharing app Golden Rule, has been MIA for the last year. Now Jewel’s had returned with an exclusive offer: four users will be invited to Golden Weekend, an all expenses paid trip to her private estate. Little do the users know that this isn’t a lavish party weekend, instead Jewel has created a series of puzzles and obstacles that aren’t just mentally grueling. The guests quickly learn that the cash prize isn’t the only thing that they are fighting for. I’m going to be real honest, for the majority of this book, I oscillated between a constant state of anger and confusion. I am a person who STRUGGLES with riddles and wordplay thanks to the way that I process things, so the majority of this book made zero sense. It was infuriating. That being said, I still found myself tearing through the pages. I was addicted to the games, the stakes, and all of the terrible decisions in between. That’s all I will say about the plot because y’all really need to experience this WTF scenario for yourselves. Now let’s talk about characters. There’s a full cast of characters here, so it takes several chapters to catch up to speed. However, once you do, each of the characters are fully developed and have their own personality and characteristics that really sets them apart. My favorite characters were Nicole and Stella. I said what I said. Nicole made me want to jump through the page and protect her in warmth and love. The majority of the characters are Black. The only character’s ethnicity that is ambiguous is Harrow’s, which is never confirmed. Back to Nicole. She’s tall, Black, fat, and suffers from food insecurity. As a person who also suffered from food security when I was younger, the scenes when she breaks down the biases of food insecurity were some of the most difficult to read. Back to Stella. Stella is incredibly intelligent. That is obvious from when she sets foot on the private estate. That being said, what comes out of Stella’s mouth is definitely not what anyone wants to hear and those who write her off do a disservice for the book. I will continue to sing her high praises and after everything, maybe you will too. I’ve read so many locked room mysteries and Clue like books, but I promise you that this one puts a fresh spin on those formulaic stories that you grew up with. It’s about time that we get an author like Kann who truly breathes a fresh air into this type of trope and gives me characters that I can actually see myself in. Furthermore, it’s about time that this isn’t only done in the context of white people. This isn’t a Get Out situation. Bravo Kann. This book is so clever. Your move. Thank you to Swoon Reads for providing a review copy. This did not influence my review. All opinions are my own.

  7. 4 out of 5

    CW (The Quiet Pond) ✨

    The Marvelous sweeps you away in this intoxicating story about influencer culture and fame, parasocial relationships and a wild mystery, all in the context of a competition/game show. And yet. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Some things didn't land for me. - Follows three Black girls: Nicole, Stella, and Luna, who are invited to a weekend away at a filthy rich social media darling and video-sharing app owner's estate. However, the girls later discover that it isn't just a weekend away, but they are now part of a The Marvelous sweeps you away in this intoxicating story about influencer culture and fame, parasocial relationships and a wild mystery, all in the context of a competition/game show. And yet. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm. Some things didn't land for me. - Follows three Black girls: Nicole, Stella, and Luna, who are invited to a weekend away at a filthy rich social media darling and video-sharing app owner's estate. However, the girls later discover that it isn't just a weekend away, but they are now part of a competition in which they can win a massive cash prize -- though things are not what they seem. - Go into this book without looking anything up! That's what I did and I really enjoyed the twists and turns. - This book is quite unlike anything I've read; it's character-driven and has mystery elements. The atmosphere is drawn taut and there's so much delicious suspense. - I really enjoyed the thematic elements of the story, like how it explores influencer culture, social media, boundaries, how authenticity is a performance, and the implications of parasocial relationships. - While I liked the book well enough and enjoyed my time reading it, I'm not quite sure if some of the moments landed for me. I think this is a good book, but felt the ending a little underwhelming? Parts of the book felt a little incohesive, and Stella and Luna's character arcs unfortunately didn't quite satisfy me. Content warning: mentions of death of parents, parental emotional abuse, anti-fat microaggressions (challenged in-text), kidnapping

  8. 4 out of 5

    ⛅ Saniya (sunnysidereviews) ⛅

    I'm unfortunately going to be dnfing this one at the 20% mark. This book is a bit too confusing for my taste. However, the characterization, witty banter, and atmosphere are top notch. So I still recommend The Marvelous to all the mystery fans out there! (Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.) I'm unfortunately going to be dnfing this one at the 20% mark. This book is a bit too confusing for my taste. However, the characterization, witty banter, and atmosphere are top notch. So I still recommend The Marvelous to all the mystery fans out there! (Thank you Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group for an eARC in exchange for an honest review.)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    3.5 stars. Claire Kann's The Marvelous shows what happens when four followers of a popular social media app get invited to the founder’s house for a weekend, and discover they’re in for more than they could ever imagine. Jewel Van Hanen has always been in the public eye. As an heiress and actress her every move was captured, so it seemed only natural that she’d create a video-sharing app. Golden Rule becomes extremely popular—and then Jewel disappeared for a year. No one knows where she went. B 3.5 stars. Claire Kann's The Marvelous shows what happens when four followers of a popular social media app get invited to the founder’s house for a weekend, and discover they’re in for more than they could ever imagine. Jewel Van Hanen has always been in the public eye. As an heiress and actress her every move was captured, so it seemed only natural that she’d create a video-sharing app. Golden Rule becomes extremely popular—and then Jewel disappeared for a year. No one knows where she went. But now she’s back and has decided to make a splash by inviting four of Golden Rule’s followers to her private estate for the weekend. And when they arrive, they realize it’s not quite the weekend they imagined—Jewel has planned for a series of challenges and puzzles and obstacles that will require every last ounce of cunning and intelligence they have. But is money the only thing at stake? The Marvelous was a really interesting story told from the perspective of three of the followers. (Why not all four followers I'll never understand.) The concept of the book reminded me a little of the idea behind Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in that an eccentric person lets people into their world. But no Oompa Loompas here, lol. My challenge with the story is that there were a lot of unanswered questions. Many plot points were introduced or mentioned and then never touched on again. But at its core, the book was an interesting exploration of the ever-changing world of social media as well as a fun challenge for those who love puzzles and riddles. My thanks to Storygram Tours, Swoon Reads, and Fierce Reads for allowing me to be part of the tour for The Marvelous , and for sending me a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review! The book publishes 6/8. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  10. 4 out of 5

    rachel ☾

    When Jewel inherits a not-so-small fortune, she decides to throw a bash with an exclusive guest list of her most loyal "friends" and a life-changing cash prize awarded at midnight. Once the party begins, her friends embark on an unforgettable game solving cryptic clues, confessing their darkest secrets, and conquering fear-based dares. But as the game grows tougher and intensely more personal, they all begin to wonder: Who exactly is Jewel Van Hanen and why would she put them through this? qu When Jewel inherits a not-so-small fortune, she decides to throw a bash with an exclusive guest list of her most loyal "friends" and a life-changing cash prize awarded at midnight. Once the party begins, her friends embark on an unforgettable game solving cryptic clues, confessing their darkest secrets, and conquering fear-based dares. But as the game grows tougher and intensely more personal, they all begin to wonder: Who exactly is Jewel Van Hanen and why would she put them through this? queer ya mystery with a deadly game? EXCUSE ME! Blog • Trigger Warning Database • Twitter • Instagram

  11. 4 out of 5

    The Candid Cover (Olivia & Lori)

    Full Review on The Candid Cover The Marvelous by Claire Kann is mystifying story about a game that does not go as expected. Set during a competition in its reclusive creator’s mansion, this one is filled with puzzles and unique challenges. I enjoyed all three narrators, and the eerie atmosphere the author has created makes the story jump off the page. This is a great read for those looking for a contemporary with an exciting twist. ❀ HIGH-STAKES GAME After Jewel, the creator of a popular video-sha Full Review on The Candid Cover The Marvelous by Claire Kann is mystifying story about a game that does not go as expected. Set during a competition in its reclusive creator’s mansion, this one is filled with puzzles and unique challenges. I enjoyed all three narrators, and the eerie atmosphere the author has created makes the story jump off the page. This is a great read for those looking for a contemporary with an exciting twist. ❀ HIGH-STAKES GAME After Jewel, the creator of a popular video-sharing app, suddenly disappears, she returns to the platform to announce that she has selected a group of users to come to her mansion for the weekend. However, when the guests arrive at Golden Weekend, Jewel reveals that they must play her elaborate game, promising cryptic puzzles, two winners, and one million dollars. Nothing in the game is as it seems, and the players find the stakes slowly getting higher. ❀ THREE NARRATORS This book contains three narrators, and I enjoyed each of them. Luna is Jewel’s biggest fan, and she has experience cracking her codes. Nicole is one of the app’s most popular creators, and she has a big heart. The third is not as obvious a choice: Stella a mysterious new user. She was my favourite to follow because of her sense of humour. The multiple narrators are effective because they provide each of the players’ perspectives of the game, and of each other. All three players have their own reasons for competing, and their voices are distinct, which I appreciated. ❀ MYSTERIOUS ATMOSPHERE What makes the book compelling is its mysterious atmosphere. Claire Kann has done an outstanding job setting the tone of Jewel’s mansion with her elaborate puzzles and themed rooms, and there is always the feeling that something is off. Something about this book gave me Charlie and the Chocolate Factory vibes, so I’m sure fans of this story will enjoy reading about Golden Weekend and its mysterious creator. ❀ A UNIQUE STORY The Marvelous by Claire Kann is a unique story about an eerie competition. I loved the cryptic puzzles throughout the book, and all three main characters are well-developed. What I especially enjoyed is the atmosphere the author creates, making for an immersive reading experience. Those looking for a thrilling contemporary will not want to miss this one.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa Mandina

    So I enjoyed the book I’ve read by this author before, If It Makes You Happy, and when I heard about this one, I signed up right away! This one was a little different from the one I’d already read, and from what I know of her books so far. While it was a contemporary and definitely fits into a #ownvoices category, it had a bit of a mystery to it as well. But in a really fun way. It was almost like a horror movie, except it wasn’t filled with murder or anything. Just some dangerous or scary situa So I enjoyed the book I’ve read by this author before, If It Makes You Happy, and when I heard about this one, I signed up right away! This one was a little different from the one I’d already read, and from what I know of her books so far. While it was a contemporary and definitely fits into a #ownvoices category, it had a bit of a mystery to it as well. But in a really fun way. It was almost like a horror movie, except it wasn’t filled with murder or anything. Just some dangerous or scary situations, missing people, a big prize at the end, and lots of secrets and intrigue. And honestly, that was right up my alley! It kept me guessing though, the whole way through, not knowing just how far the game might really end up going. And the little bits we knew about each of the characters made it definitely even more edge of your seat as you read. I loved that all of the characters were diverse. Even the rich/famous person wasn’t just a Paris Hilton wannabe. Now I kind of thought maybe there was more to Jewel’s story than we got, and even though we did get more, it didn’t quite go down one of the paths I thought it might. Although I kind of thought it might be what happened though. I don’t want to say anymore because the mystery in this is definitely part of why you should read it. As I mentioned, all the characters had really unique personalities, some that came off as abrupt and totally different than what I would have expected based on their background. But I also liked the way they may have grown as the weekend went on, and the connections they all made with each other. Another great story from Claire Kann! Review first posted on Lisa Loves Literature.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Ruei (Ruei's Reading Corner)

    Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... 3.5/5 Jewel Van Hanen has always been in the eye of the public whether it's as an actress, heiress, or creator of a famous app, Golden Rule. After suddenly disappearing for a year, she returns to the public with unexpected news. Four of Golden Rule's users will be invited to Jewel's private house (mansion) for a weekend of excitement. But when the four lucky people arrive, they realize that it's not quite how they would have imagined Full Review & Blog Tour: https://rueisreadingcorner.blogspot.c... 3.5/5 Jewel Van Hanen has always been in the eye of the public whether it's as an actress, heiress, or creator of a famous app, Golden Rule. After suddenly disappearing for a year, she returns to the public with unexpected news. Four of Golden Rule's users will be invited to Jewel's private house (mansion) for a weekend of excitement. But when the four lucky people arrive, they realize that it's not quite how they would have imagined. Instead of a chill weekend hanging out, the contestants are now thrown into a wild game that brings out unexpected talents from each person. To beat the mastermind of the game, Jewel, they must all work together to win the prize of one million dollars. The first I'd say 70% of the story was slow and I was a little confused on some of the plot and characters but the last part was SO exciting and I was hooked. I absolutely couldn't put the last part down. What I was a little confused about was that the story was told from only three out of the four contestant's perspectives. I thought it may have been fun to see the fourth contestant's point of view during the weekend. Overall, The Marvelous was a book that had many twists and riddles to solve from the beginning of the weekend. I enjoyed seeing time pass and would say to try it if you can hold out the first half of the book. **Thank you so much to NetGalley and Xpresso Book Tours for sending me an Advanced Reader's Copy in exchange for an honest review!**

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ariel

    This book was THE INHERITANCE GAMES meets WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. It had riddles, dangerous adventures, and lots of money on the line. I think I expected more from this book which is why I was so unsatisfied by the ending. It was not a bad book; I just thought things were going to go differently than they did. The beginning was fun because I was trying to figure out what was happening and who of the participants I could trust. It felt like each character had something to hide and I This book was THE INHERITANCE GAMES meets WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. It had riddles, dangerous adventures, and lots of money on the line. I think I expected more from this book which is why I was so unsatisfied by the ending. It was not a bad book; I just thought things were going to go differently than they did. The beginning was fun because I was trying to figure out what was happening and who of the participants I could trust. It felt like each character had something to hide and I was convinced something sinister was going to happen. The real reasons behind each character's actions and thoughts turned out to be much less exciting. However, I did enjoy trying to solve the riddle. It was twisty and fun and Kann did a great job of weaving all the clues together. Also, she threw in plenty of curveballs to keep me on my toes. I know I wouldn't have lasted as a participant in this game so props to these characters. Overall, I expected more from this book, but it still had many positives to it. I just wish things could have played out a little differently. Disclaimer: I voluntarily read and reviewed a gifted and advanced copy of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own. Blog • Instagram • Twitter

  15. 4 out of 5

    Starr ❇✌❇

    I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: bad parents, child abandonment, burying alive 4.5 Golden Weekend is as famous as it is mysterious- a weekend in the famous Jewel, actor and developer of the Golden Rule app, that always ends with the lucky invites leaving with everything they need. But this Golden Weekend is meant to be the last one, as Jewel decides to step away from the app all together. Most of the invitees are famous on the app, but the addition of Stella, with only one video to her name I received an ARC from Edelweiss TW: bad parents, child abandonment, burying alive 4.5 Golden Weekend is as famous as it is mysterious- a weekend in the famous Jewel, actor and developer of the Golden Rule app, that always ends with the lucky invites leaving with everything they need. But this Golden Weekend is meant to be the last one, as Jewel decides to step away from the app all together. Most of the invitees are famous on the app, but the addition of Stella, with only one video to her name, and the mysterious final invitee, things may be more than what they see. And that's without the game itself- The Cruelest Jewel. It isn't long before they start to question what is the game and what isn't, and why Jewel invited them to play it. This is my first Claire Kann book and, man, it was so much fun! The mystery of the game, wrapped up with the weird escape the room, puzzle game feeling of the game itself, was impossible to tear myself away from. A lot of the time this book felt like I was watching a movie or playing a game myself, in a way that really, really worked. I got pulled into the clues and ominous hints immediately, as if I had to be the one to figure them out, and the way Kann writes makes the whole thing so easy to picture. Honestly, I would love if this book actually did become a movie- a teen, Black Knives Out is exactly what we need. Part of the reason the vibe of this book works so well is because the pacing is perfect. You get a real sense of dread because of the way things are laid out, the feeling that you're missing things without the hole being large enough to slow everything down, the tension mixes with the more light hearted bits to craft this into the perfect non-over the top sort of story. The characters always make the book, so I have to talk about them. I will say, I 100% hated Stella when I started this book, because she was written so awkwardly, and she felt forced. But as the book continues I think her quirks got a little less forced and she did grow on me. The choice to let her have small sections of narration via video worked really well for that as well. You don't spent equal time with each person, but they still have distinct personalities and voices, and I loved getting to jump from POV to POV and spend time with each. The only character I feel absolutely nothing for is Francis. Other than being a mystery guest and saying cryptic things I don't feel like he had any personality, and so the romance involving him felt bland and started making it feel as if he was just there for that angle instead of being a character in his own right. Romance in general is not really on the menu in this book, sometimes in good ways and sometimes bad. I didn't care for the romance that did actually rise to the top, as I said, but there was also a possible romance near the beginning that I was uncertain about but grew on me, only to not be taken in that direction. I was a little disappointed because that option could have been really nice, but I do super appreciate friendship never being looked at as a downgrade, and two people with the ability to be attracted to each other not getting together by default. I have some questions about some of the things that happen in this book, and while it was a unique read it wasn't completely a unique premise or one not easy to guess the ending of, but over all I really enjoyed this book and I'm certain a lot of other readers are going to fall for it too.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Randi (Rampant Reading Reviews)

    I received an advanced copy of The Marvelous through NetGalley so I could share my review with you! Stella, Lucy, Nicole, Harlowe, Alex, and Francis were all invited to Golden Weekend X, an extremely exclusive retreat hosted by one of the biggest celebrities of their generation. Jewel Van Hanen, eccentric heiress and founder of the ridiculously popular social media app, “Golden Rule,” has selected the six of them to come play an elaborate game on her estate, with the potential to win a million-do I received an advanced copy of The Marvelous through NetGalley so I could share my review with you! Stella, Lucy, Nicole, Harlowe, Alex, and Francis were all invited to Golden Weekend X, an extremely exclusive retreat hosted by one of the biggest celebrities of their generation. Jewel Van Hanen, eccentric heiress and founder of the ridiculously popular social media app, “Golden Rule,” has selected the six of them to come play an elaborate game on her estate, with the potential to win a million-dollar cash prize. Jewel created Golden Rule as a place for people to share their stories and truths in a video format that demands accountability and honesty from her users. But, honesty is far from guaranteed at Golden Weekend X, and the puzzles are more dangerous than anyone would’ve expected. If the six competitors want to win, they will have to work together to solve riddles, and piece together the story that Jewel wants them each to tell. You can get your copy of The Marvelous today from Swoon Reads! Authenticity, public/private lives, and influencer culture collide in this thrilling new novel! I’ve read both of Claire Kann’s previous works, so when I saw that she would be releasing something so different from her other novels, I had to pick up a copy. I adored both of Kann’s contemporary novels, and was delighted by how well her writing translated into a thriller! Her integration of social media into the story was quite skillful, and Golden Rule felt like it could be an actual app on my phone today. While reading The Marvelous, I felt like I was trying to solve the puzzles right along with the characters. Each riddle and hint pulled me deeper into the story, keeping me guessing until the very last page! My Recommendation- If you love mystery stories jam-packed with puzzles to solve, you need to pick up a copy of The Marvelous! I would especially recommend this book to fans of One of Us is Lying and Ace of Spades!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    3.5* The Marvelous reminded me of a modern-day Willy Wonka with teens competing for a grand prize, puzzles galore, and a reclusive celebrity mastermind. There were a lot of pieces that I enjoyed, but there were some parts that felt too manipulative and/or unrealistic that threw me out of the story. I do think teens who grew up on stories like the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and other puzzle heavy stories will like this grown up version featuring a diverse ca 3.5* The Marvelous reminded me of a modern-day Willy Wonka with teens competing for a grand prize, puzzles galore, and a reclusive celebrity mastermind. There were a lot of pieces that I enjoyed, but there were some parts that felt too manipulative and/or unrealistic that threw me out of the story. I do think teens who grew up on stories like the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series, The Mysterious Benedict Society, and other puzzle heavy stories will like this grown up version featuring a diverse cast and celebrity connection. Jewel Van Hanen is a celebrity that created a popular social media platform called the Golden Rule before disappearing for a year. Now she's back and inviting a select group of Golden Rule users to her home for one special weekend. Once the teens arrive, they quickly learn that they are now the participants in a game Jewel created, and only two of them can win the grand prize. The teens will have to solve puzzles, collect clues, and decide who to trust in this weekend away turned high-stakes contest. The narrative is split among three players- Nicole who has meticulously established herself as the new queen of Golden Rule with her video skits, Luna who is Jewel's biggest fan and runs a conspiracy group devoted to solving Jewel's online puzzles, and Stella who is a total unknown in the Golden Rule world. Each of them plays a main role in the weekend's adventures, and it was great to see how their relationship progressed throughout the book. I liked having the narrative split between Nicole, Luna, and Stella, but it totally threw me off that Harlow, the other Golden Rule user invited to participate, didn't narrate any of the story. The plot is set up to be about the four Golden Rule users, but the story is really just about Nicole, Luna and Stella with Harlow as a very minor character. They could have easily changed the plot to be about 3 users and then added Harlow in as a late player like Francis which would have kept the storyline the same and made more sense considering her role in the story. I'm still very unsure how I feel about Jewel. She's either a normal person playing a game, which doesn't play out based on how intense some of the challenges get and how she acted toward Nicole at the beginning, or she's slightly deranged, which doesn't seem to fit the individual conversations she has with the girls during the weekend and how the story wraps up. She tries to explain herself at the end, but it still felt very weird to me. Maybe it just to goes to show that Willy Wonka doesn't really play out well in modern times.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Elyse (ElyseReadsandSpeaks)

    Wow. I could not get into this at all. I tried so hard and even went back and read certain paragraphs several times, but I just wasn't the least bit interested. Surprising because the plot sounds like a modern day Willy Wonka and the game aspect gave me Caraval & Inheritance Games vibes. Unfortunately, this was just not a hit for me and I spent the last half of the book waiting for it to be over. My biggest problem with this book is that I had a lot of difficulty telling the characters apart. Ste Wow. I could not get into this at all. I tried so hard and even went back and read certain paragraphs several times, but I just wasn't the least bit interested. Surprising because the plot sounds like a modern day Willy Wonka and the game aspect gave me Caraval & Inheritance Games vibes. Unfortunately, this was just not a hit for me and I spent the last half of the book waiting for it to be over. My biggest problem with this book is that I had a lot of difficulty telling the characters apart. Stella, Luna, and the other one whose name I now forget seemed too similar in my brain and I constantly had to go back to remember who was who. There were no distinct voices. Maybe Jewel was distinct enough, but even the game runner herself seemed similar to the players. Another big problem is that I just didn't get it. I didn't even understand what game they were playing, how to decipher clues, and what role the Golden Rule had in all of this. It was just really confusing. I tried, guys. I tried. I wanted to like this since Let's Talk About Love was a pleasant surprise for me, but this was just not for me.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Marie

    Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)[confinement, panic attacks, emotional abuse, death of parents (in the past), kidnapping, gun violence, buried alive, controlling parents. (hide spoiler)] I really don't know how to feel about this book. I thought the premise had so much potential, but it didn't meet all of my expectations. It took me a long time to get into the story and to really feel compelled by it all. It may be a case of "it's not you, it's me", though? Still need to think about that one. Ful Trigger warnings: (view spoiler)[confinement, panic attacks, emotional abuse, death of parents (in the past), kidnapping, gun violence, buried alive, controlling parents. (hide spoiler)] I really don't know how to feel about this book. I thought the premise had so much potential, but it didn't meet all of my expectations. It took me a long time to get into the story and to really feel compelled by it all. It may be a case of "it's not you, it's me", though? Still need to think about that one. Full review coming soon :) A million thanks to the publisher for sending me an e-ARC through Edelweiss. This did not, in any way, influence my thoughts and rating. My Blog - Drizzle & Hurricane Books - Twitter - Bookstagram - Bloglovin'

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alicia

    https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2021/0... I seriously just read this all in one sitting because it was SO FUN. I rarely read YA anymore and haven’t read much contemporary stuff recently either, but I enjoyed a previous book by Kann and it sounded cool. It’s about a group of six teens/college students (varying ages but pretty much all PoC and several are queer) who are invited to a mysterious weekend at the mysterious house of a woman who is a famous heiress/actress/social media maven, and there’s https://wordnerdy.blogspot.com/2021/0... I seriously just read this all in one sitting because it was SO FUN. I rarely read YA anymore and haven’t read much contemporary stuff recently either, but I enjoyed a previous book by Kann and it sounded cool. It’s about a group of six teens/college students (varying ages but pretty much all PoC and several are queer) who are invited to a mysterious weekend at the mysterious house of a woman who is a famous heiress/actress/social media maven, and there’s a game to be played with a million dollars at stake. I loved all these kids and just really enjoyed the heck out of this book. I am definitely going to make my book club read it. A. __ A review copy was provided by the publisher. This book will be released on June 8th.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Laura (crofteereader)

    I really enjoyed the puzzle aspect - the riddles were clever and unusual and just fun. I did think we lacked a solid introduction to some characters (namely Stella and Harlowe), which made pinning down their motivations rather difficult - particularly when their behavior was wildly inconsistent (because they were performing or lying but we didn't have a solid foundation to really grasp their truths) I really enjoyed the puzzle aspect - the riddles were clever and unusual and just fun. I did think we lacked a solid introduction to some characters (namely Stella and Harlowe), which made pinning down their motivations rather difficult - particularly when their behavior was wildly inconsistent (because they were performing or lying but we didn't have a solid foundation to really grasp their truths)

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mia

    It took me a while to get into this book, it has The Inheritance Game vibes and I did like rep and riddles. I enjoyed this book even that beginning was rough.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Diane O'Brien

    Audiobook by Libby; a fun book about teens participating in challengers within a social media world. Told from multiple perspectives, I enjoyed each character and the overall book was a fun ride.

  24. 5 out of 5

    mesrakreads

    maybe i’m rating this too high, idc.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

    I discussed my thoughts on this book in this BookTube wrap up video. I discussed my thoughts on this book in this BookTube wrap up video.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    3.5, rounding up for overall enjoyment of the ride. I didn't love the ending; I wanted something slightly more sinister, even though I knew it wasn't that type of book. Stella is an icon and a legend. Really enjoyed the inclusion of transcripts to break up the prose. Great premise! 3.5, rounding up for overall enjoyment of the ride. I didn't love the ending; I wanted something slightly more sinister, even though I knew it wasn't that type of book. Stella is an icon and a legend. Really enjoyed the inclusion of transcripts to break up the prose. Great premise!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    Jewel Van Hanen created a video diary app several years ago called Golden Rule. Since then, she's held 9 weekend retreats on her estate for a very select few group of users. But a year ago, she dropped out of the public eye. Now she's back with a new weekend, but this one's different. It will be a weekend filled with puzzles and games and at the end, two winners will receive a big cash prize. Told through the POV of three of the six competitors, The Marvelous will keep you on your toes with nons Jewel Van Hanen created a video diary app several years ago called Golden Rule. Since then, she's held 9 weekend retreats on her estate for a very select few group of users. But a year ago, she dropped out of the public eye. Now she's back with a new weekend, but this one's different. It will be a weekend filled with puzzles and games and at the end, two winners will receive a big cash prize. Told through the POV of three of the six competitors, The Marvelous will keep you on your toes with nonstop riddles and action. I didn't enjoy it. First, the name doesn't make a lot of sense...unless I missed something, which is entirely likely considering just how many rhyming riddles were in this book. The beginning is set up with Jewel taking this mysterious hiatus, but there's no real reason given for it. Nicole's parents died and it's set up to be kind of mysterious (or, at least, the info is hidden), but never revealed. Luna lives with her sister, but her mom is still alive, but no background is given. Plus she has Alex with some kind of weird relationship that's never really explained. Stella is a prisoner in her own home where she's homeschooled and her parents won't let her out of the house. A reason is given, but it's flimsy. The book starts with 4 users selected to play, but the story is only told through 3 of them and the other one is...just there. The Willy Wonka house of horrors was dumb and unbelievable. Finally, the ending, the reason behind all of this just...makes zero sense. Do not recommend.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Manon the Malicious

    I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I won't even try to summarize this book because, in my opinion, it's just so much better to know next to nothing about it and just jump in. This was a true roller-coaster of so many things. I really loved everything about it. It read a bit like a thriller at times but it very much isn't one. It's a great puzzle book with amazing characters and lovely storytelling. It was such an eclectic group of characters that came together so I was provided an ARC via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. I won't even try to summarize this book because, in my opinion, it's just so much better to know next to nothing about it and just jump in. This was a true roller-coaster of so many things. I really loved everything about it. It read a bit like a thriller at times but it very much isn't one. It's a great puzzle book with amazing characters and lovely storytelling. It was such an eclectic group of characters that came together so beautifully in this very atmospheric house. I honestly don't really know what to say. I don't want to reveal too much and I have zero criticism to make. I simply loved it. Everything about it. I finished it over a month ago and it's still with me and my thoughts...

  29. 5 out of 5

    Haley Campbell

    Plot: The Marvelous follows three of the six contestants participating in the competition of a lifetime, hosted by Jewel Van Hanen, the creator of Golden Rule (a popular video sharing app). I am not the best at riddles and solving word puzzles. I could probably figure them out if given enough time, but certainly not in a competition setting – which is exactly what our contestants are expected to do. At the beginning of the weekend they are given a nonsense recipe and told to solve it. The two wi Plot: The Marvelous follows three of the six contestants participating in the competition of a lifetime, hosted by Jewel Van Hanen, the creator of Golden Rule (a popular video sharing app). I am not the best at riddles and solving word puzzles. I could probably figure them out if given enough time, but certainly not in a competition setting – which is exactly what our contestants are expected to do. At the beginning of the weekend they are given a nonsense recipe and told to solve it. The two winners will receive $500,000 each. Honestly I spent the majority of the book in a state of confusion. I had vague idea of what was going on, but absolutely no idea how the characters were actually solving the riddle. Which left me open for a big surprise at the end when all is finally revealed. I did enjoy the overall storyline. It felt Alice in Wonderland meets Willy Wonka. Characters: There are a handful of important characters in this one, but the story is told through the perspectives of just three: Luna, Stella, and Nicole. Nicole was my favorite of the three – famous for her skit style videos and just so caring and like a mama hen with the younger contestants. She isn’t afraid to stand up for herself or the others and has no hesitation putting the competition aside to ensure the wellbeing of the others. Stella is a bit – intense? She’s been essentially locked up inside her house her entire life and this is her big weekend out. A chance to socialize and make friends. I’ll be honest, I struggled with Stella in the beginning. She just didn’t seem to care about anything other than seeing what kind of reactions she could get out of people. I found her personality to be a bit grating. But about halfway through, I started to warm up to her, and I was loving her by the end. She’s hard to put into words (without a whole book to do so) and there’s a lot to her character. But don’t write her off, because she’s a freaking genius and deserves all the love. Luna is only 15. She’s one of OG members of Golden Rule and also happens to be absolutely adorable. She’s fearless and kind and her energy just vibrates through the pages. Being under age, she’s there with her best friend Alex. I loved their dynamic and thought it wasn’t too much (except one scene towards the end that seemed a bit out of place). The scene itself was fine, the timing just seemed a bit off. Writing: Did I mention I spent most of the book confused? I’m absolutely sure that was the point of this story, but it made it difficult for me to want to keep reading. I wish there had been more obvious hints because I definitely needed the help! But I liked the use of multiple POVs, video transcripts and riddles to add variety to the reading experience. It really helped to keep things interesting and moving along. Overall: The Marvelous was an intense, confusing, and fun read that did a really excellent job of exploring the ins and outs of the characters and their personalities. I wish it had been a little easier to understand, just so I could have felt like I was participating in the adventure a bit more. But overall, it was enjoyable.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tina

    What a wild ride. It took me a bit to get into the story, mostly because as we are introduced to the 3 narrators it was hard to keep track of who was who. It eventually gets better as the characters specific personalities come out and the whole experience was a fun puzzle of riddles and wondering what will happen next. The second half of the book flew by as I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. First off, I absolutely loved Stella All The Time. She was flawed, sarcastic, awkward, and outspoken. He What a wild ride. It took me a bit to get into the story, mostly because as we are introduced to the 3 narrators it was hard to keep track of who was who. It eventually gets better as the characters specific personalities come out and the whole experience was a fun puzzle of riddles and wondering what will happen next. The second half of the book flew by as I couldn’t wait to see how it ended. First off, I absolutely loved Stella All The Time. She was flawed, sarcastic, awkward, and outspoken. Her constant need to be the smartest person in the room was an easy deflection of her insecurities about not having social skills. Growing up in a very small bubble with overprotective parents that expected only the best did not coincide with a normal childhood. Stella was the wildcard character as she had just joined the social media app when Jewel made her cryptic announcement inviting her to participate in Golden Weekend X. Her character was front and center in this story. I really loved the idea of the safe space app. No bullying, only videos that show your face, and the ability to share your ideas/life with the world. Nicole’s internal reflections and awareness of the character she had created on Golden Rule was a breath of fresh air. I often talk about how social media isn’t an accurate portrayal of people’s lives. We choose what to share, who to share it with, and how we want to be perceived. It’s a carefully curated picture of our lives which leaves a lot of information out. Nicole was well aware of that and used the app to create content that she wanted in the world and that character didn’t represent who she really was. Tragedy, food insecurity, and isolation were a big part of her story and it was both heartbreaking and refreshing to see this topics addressed and handled with grace and confidence. I also have to applaud Kann for all the inclusiveness in this book. From LGBTQ characters, to family abandonment, to being a prisoner in your own home, it was in here. It is easy to apply a heavy hand to these topics in a story, but these very serious topics were addressed in a matter of fact way. The characters history of experiences influenced their decisions, like they would in real life, but didn’t feel like that was the focus of the story. Inclusiveness without that being the focus of the story is always a refreshing take. I don’t want to give anything away because the riddles and outcome are great fun, I will just say that you will enjoy it. Think Willy Wonka-esque shenanigans with a mysterious twist. In the end, great characters, fantastic plot, and lots of mystery leave you with a wonderful story that you may want to read again in case you missed something. 5/5 would recommend.

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