The Dead Queens Club

The Dead Queens Club

by Hannah Capin


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If your school’s homecoming king had a little too much in common with Henry VIII, would you survive with your head still attached?

You’d think being the new girl in a tiny town would equal one very boring senior year. But if you’re me—Annie Marck, alias Cleves—and you accidentally transform into teenage royalty by entering Lancaster High on the arm of the king himself? Life becomes the exact opposite of boring.

Henry has it all: he’s the jock, the genius and the brooding bad boy all in one. Which sort of explains why he’s on his sixth girlfriend in two years.

What it doesn’t explain is why two of them—two of us—are dead.

My best friend thinks it’s Henry’s fault, which is obviously ridiculous. My nemesis says we shouldn’t talk about it, which is straight-up sketchy. But as the resident nosy new girl, I’m determined to find out what really happened to Lancaster’s dead queens…ideally before history repeats itself.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781335542236
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Publication date: 01/29/2019
Edition description: Original
Pages: 464
Sales rank: 144,843
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.60(d)
Age Range: 13 - 18 Years

About the Author

Hannah Capin lives in Tidewater Virginia. When she isn't writing, you'll find her sailing, singing or getting entirely too invested in the lives of historical women. The Dead Queens Club is her first novel.

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The Dead Queens Club 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
TheNatureofPages More than 1 year ago
The narrator of this book, Cleves, had one of the best and well-formed personalities I've ever read for first person POV! The author Hannah Capin clearly remembers what it was like to be in high school because these characters definitely acted like it! It was refreshing to have a high school setting with regular teenagers actually acting like...well, regular teenagers (besides the murder). Wow. I read this book for two reasons: one, because I am a huge British history nerd (thank youuu, junior year Brit Lit teacher) and two, NetGalley said I could read The Dead Queen's Club and what kind of book nerd would I be if I turned down this book?? I was expecting a cute story - I'm not sure why I expected "cute" when it's a Henry VIII retelling but nonetheless - about royalty at a school and popular drama. Imagine my (delighted) surprise when the plot takes a sharp turn at the first murder. Don't worry kiddos, this isn't a spoiler. It's history (and it's in the author's synopsis)! The exposition of the book took a bit to get into but the plot soon became mesmerizing. A few chapters in, boom, it's off to the races! I couldn't put down this book once the action ramped up - I HAD to know what happened. The characters were well thought out and loveable. Even a character I thought I wouldn't like ended up becoming a favorite. Each of them had, well, CHARACTER, and I love them for it. The different personalities all play off each other and you finish the book with a sense of pride in these teenagers you have grown to hold dear. If this book doesn't hit the bestseller list as soon as it releases, I for one am going to be very upset. It deserves a standing ovation from all history nerds everywhere.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It is no perfect by any means but I loved its message and how things play out. This is such a great novel about perils of toxic masculinity. It also explores important feminist themes, including girl-on-girl hate and girl friendship. It lacked a bit on the intersectional front, though. I assume those who are into history and know of Henry VIII and his wives will be intrigued and yes, there are many references to historical figures, events and details. I loved most of them, although I admit it felt jarring when it comes to names. Some of the names are taken directly from history and it took me a bit away from the story. All in all, a really relevant story and a great exploration of toxic masculinity. What I liked is that we experience many of those things from the MC's eyes; she grows throughout the novel so much. And the ending is perfect.
JillJemmett More than 1 year ago
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! I received a copy of this book from the publisher on NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
ruthsic More than 1 year ago
A modern historical retelling of Henry VIII and his six wives, The Dead Queens Club feels like a cathartic answer to one wondering what would happen if Henry got what he deserved. Relevant even in a contemporary context, the novel is told from the point of Henry's best friend (as well as girlfriend #4) Annie, as in Anne of Cleves, who takes way too long to realize that her womanizing best friend may also be a literal ladykiller. Occasionally jumping back and forth on a two-year timeline, the story comes during the time of #5 and continues into #6, merging a murder mystery-ish plot with a girl-squad-seeks-justice plot. Annie, aka Cleves, has known Henry for a couple of years from summer camp, and when she moves to Lancaster, Indiana from Cleveland, she is readily accepted by the popular kids (mostly because Henry rules the school), and finds an easy friendship with Parker and Katie, the latter being #5. Her friendship with Henry is formed on a mutual love for pranks, and doing daredevil things. She has been with him through all of his breakups and though she calls herself a feminist, she has a glaring blindspot when it comes to him, and is much more ready to accept that Anna Boleyn may have accidentally caused her own and her brother's death. She finds it unfair, though, that the general consensus in the school is vitriol towards Anna, (even though she herself calls her a boyfriend-stealer) and tries to mend the dead girl's reputation through her position as a correspondent on the school newspaper (also, BTW, I loved how the chapter titles are framed like headlines). When Katie, too, dies 'accidentally', Cleves is devastated and is frustrated over how the school once again tarnishes Katie's image and thinks she had it coming. As the novel progresses, she is roped into Parker's scheme to get justice for Katie, and eventually has to contend with the fact that Henry is shady AF. Bonus: they make a girl squad out of the living 'queens' + Parker in order to get the truth. As a retelling, it works really well to translate the story from its historical context to a modern one - there are plenty of references that tie it back, as well as little nods to the fates of the original people. The names being similar, or in some cases, same as historical figures warranted at least one joke about history repeating itself, but maybe that's just me. Annie is a wonderful narrator with some quippy lines, and the best part about the book - she keeps the book lively with her sarcastic and dry humor, and is human in that she finds it difficult to believe her best friend could be a killer (still, shouldn't have taken her 400 pages to open her eyes!) and struggles with her feminism (a lot) but grows through the book. The other girls in her squad, though archetypes in some ways, are well-fleshed out characters, and the friendship and solidarity between them is played so well. It also touches upon consent and slut-shaming, in a topical manner. With regards to the murder aspect, I still feel it wasn't as clean as it made it out to be. For a supposed 'crime of passion' it was too easily dismissed as accidental, and I don't think Henry was charming enough to make even investigators not suspect him (especially not a second time). It would have probably made more sense if his father was bribing officials or something, to be honest. The drama may have been a bit exaggerated for a high school setting, even if it was entertaining. The ending, though, is satisfactory en
lostinmegalpolis More than 1 year ago
received a copy of the Dead Queens Club from Netgalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. You know what. I really enjoyed this book. I really, really enjoyed it. The book was pitched as Mean Girls meets The Tudors. I didn't get that "Mean Girls" feel, but it did remind me of John Tucker Must Die, which is less popular, but I sure do love that movie. So think more like John Tucker Must Die/The Heathers meets 10 Things I Hate About You. This is a retelling of Henry VIII in present day high school drama with a lot of fun subtle historical reference. Some made me roll my eyes, others I just laughed and like, dang Anne Boleyn's mottos were expertly used throughout. If you're the type that love a good old fashioned teen movie and history, check this book out. There was something "iconic" in the way high school was presented as the main character, "Anne of Cleves" slowly realizes something is very, very wrong with her friend Henry after not one, but two of his recent girlfriends dies. It's history, teen drama, mystery, and a little intense at moments because let's be real. Men are terrifying.
thereadingchick More than 1 year ago
The Dead Queens Club takes the historical facts of King Henry VIII and his six wives and translates it into a Contemporary Young Adult novel set in a high school. No, high school Henry is not married to six girls, but he has had six girlfriends in the last two years. Including our main protagonist, Annie Marck “Cleves”, girlfriend number four, and best friend to Henry. When she hears a rumor that Henry is possibly responsible for the deaths of two of his ex-girlfriends, Cleves investigates to help clear his name. Is the most popular boy in school the funny partner in crime she knows? Or is he a guy with anger management issues who takes revenge on his cheating girlfriends? The Dead Queens Club cleverly names all of it’s characters after their true life namesakes and incorporates familiar places from Tudor history into this small town. I’ll admit to once again using Wikipedia to give myself a quick history lesson on each wife (and if they kept their head or not) and found that I relished watching the mystery unfold more because of that knowledge. Setting Henry VIII’s relationships in a high school certainly had it’s challenges but I thought Hannah Capin did a GREAT job at intertwining and creating original scenarios while still maintaining their historical references. It wasn’t just the names and places that were similar, but each person’s relationship with Henry, down to his advisors who fed him false information to turn him against his wives, were represented in this book. Once you know the history (as I did with my quick Wikipedia exploration) you have a few aha! moments where you stop and admire the machinations and manipulations the author took to make that reference happen. Lancaster High had all of the drama and gossip you’d imagine from a high school setting and even though the pace was kind of slow I was surprised at how well the political intrigue of the Tudor court translated into the cliques and capers of high school life. Cleves rides on the edge of any clique although her friendship with Henry puts her in the elite circle. She is blinded for a long while by that friendship, his magnetic personality, and his lies, but the other girls, even though catty and mean, help her see the truth. Even though The Dead Queen’s Club had a contemporary setting I found myself enjoying it like I do historical fiction, yet it was easy to read and didn’t bog down as some historical fiction does. Cleves was probably one of Henry’s least impressive wives, yet in this novel she was the catalyst for the readers emotions to dip and surge. She was so torn between her “best friend” Henry and this other Henry that her friends were trying to make her see. Who was the real boy? Well, if you know your history you know the answer to that question. But there is so much more to this novel than the historical facts. There are emotions, discoveries, and the realization that people just sometimes suck. The story, however, didn’t. ❤️❤️❤️❤️ I received a free copy of this ARC for my honest review and it was honest!
KaileyReadsYA More than 1 year ago
Let me start by saying I would (and no doubt will) read it again a dozen times. I’ve been looking for some really good contemps to get me out of this weird struggle I’ve had getting into them lately. NO TROUBLE GETTING INTO THIS ONE. Just enough touches of humor balanced with the murder-y vibes to make it impossible to put down. Some of the moments felt like they were trying a tad too hard but I overall really enjoyed where this story went. And, I mean, you can’t go wrong with a main character like Cleves. You just can’t.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
WOW. The Dead Queens Club by Hannah Capin was everything. Take all your expectations and amplify them. King VIII meets JOHN TUCKER MUST DIE in this hilarious, heartfelt, and shocking "retelling." You will love every single character, but Cleves—CLEVES!!!—is, without a doubt, a break-out YA star. It’s funny, dark, unapologetically feminist, and the characters are complex, shady, and lovable. The voice is phenomenal and I will consider Capin my newest auto-buy author after this.
thegeekishbrunette More than 1 year ago
eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley The Dead Queens Club is a retelling of Henry VIII with high school girlfriends instead of wives. It is told in the PoV of his close friend Annie Marck aka Cleve who is a school journalist. She tries to find out the truth of what happened to his exes before another one bites the dust. When I started this I didn't know what to expect. Sometimes retellings are great while others fall short. With this one, the high school setting really fits because sometimes high school can feel like a royal court. There is always drama no matter what. I also liked it being about girlfriends because it makes it more relatable. Now a days, there has been a lot of talk about women empowerment and women coming together  to support one another. The author does a great job building up the relationships between the girls all the way up until the end. The titles for the chapters were interesting because they were meant to be like news headlines. The reason I'm  not sure about it is because there was a lot going on. It was like the movie Mean Girls but on steroids and it was just a little too much for me at times. I also wasn't a fan of the writing style. I did end up reading it in one sitting because I just wanted to know where it was going so obviously it wasn't all bad! If you want to go on a crazy ride of high school drama, mean girls, and deadly relationships this book is for you!
tpolen More than 1 year ago
I'm not a big history buff, but I watched The Tudors series on Netflix several years ago and was hooked. Given, it was highly dramatized, but you can't tell me there weren't clandestine meetings, backstabbings, political maneuverings, and power plays during that time. And then, of course, there was Henry and his wives. When I saw this book, I was instantly curious about a modern day retelling - in high school, no less. The author is very clever in how she created her characters based on the historical figures, bringing the queens, Henry, and some of their acquaintances into modern day. Cleves, based on Anne of Cleves, who was queen for a few short months, is Henry's best friend. Like Henry VIII, this Henry has a wandering eye and a long string of girlfriends. Loosely paralleling their historical relationship, Cleves and Henry date for an awkward couple of weeks, but decide they're better as friends. Cleves is blindly loyal, awkward, and her snark had me chuckling several times. Make no mistake - this high school is just as socially treacherous as Henry the VIII's court, with suspicious deaths and characters falling out of favor. Scheming, plotting, and gossip abound, making up a large portion of the book, but occasionally don't do much to advance the story. All the back and forth is difficult to follow at times, but once the book hits the 75% mark, things move along quickly. I didn't enjoy this read as much as I'd hoped, but that's more me than the book. I'm not a big fan of Mean Girls and erratic high school drama, but judging by other reviews, many readers thought The Dead Queens Club was fabulous. Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.