Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 435
intriguing backstory for Cruella De Vil
Overall rating
Writing Style
EVIL THING is a book that takes us into the mind of Cruella De Vil. The book is set up as if it is her memoir, remembering her childhood and life that took her to the place where she was going to steal those puppies for a fur coat. I imagine that this villain was particularly difficult to write, as her character on screen was larger than life.

We begin when Cruella is young and wishing for the love of her mother- a love that could never come for the materialistic woman. Cruella learns to view things as love and believes that her mother is the ideal, not realizing the other things in life that could make you happy. Still, she forges a life for herself with her BFF Anita and later, the man she falls madly in love with.

When her life begins to spiral out of her control, we bear witness to the events that lead to that fateful conversation with Anita and Perdita.

What I loved: Cruella is likely a hard character to create a convincing backstory for, and I did find it quite convincing. We see the steps that led to her demise, her wild hair, and her peculiar style. Fans of the movie and villain backstories more broadly will definitely be intrigued by this book.

What left me wanting more: The book is a very slow build, and I found that it really dragged in the middle where it seems to reiterate certain points quite a bit. I think I would have liked a faster pace for this one. Even when she is young, it is difficult to empathize with her, which would have made it, in my mind, a really great villain backstory read, but I think the reader comes to understand her a little better through the book.

Final verdict: EVIL THING is an intriguing backstory for the notorious Cruella De Vil. Fans of 101 DALMATIONS and alternate retellings should consider picking this one up!
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