Monday, November 5, 2012

Review: Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffen

Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publishing Date: April 24th, 2012
Genre: YA, retelling
Pages: 319 pgs
ISBN: 9780062107794
Source: bought

Summary from Goodreads:
Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.So what does Araby Worth have to live for?Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.But in the depths of the club--in the depths of her own despair--Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for--no matter what it costs her.

My Review:

I have to say that the cover of this book did it in for me.  I knew that I had to have it based solely on the cover and then I found out it was a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe's more famous story and I knew I was in for it.  I know that Poe is dark and twisted and who doesn't love a dark and twisted story.  I was hoping for the same feel when I picked this book up and I wasn't disappointed.  The book focuses on Araby and her world that has been taken over by the Plague.  Her and her best friend frequent a club called the Debauchery Club and the name pretty much says it all.  While there they get themselves into all kinds of trouble and it is during this time where we meet the two boys in Araby's life.  Will is the bouncer at the club and Elliot is a mysterious, upper class gentleman.  Both boys have a bit of an edge but they both have really endearing qualities.  That being said, I couldn't really choose which boy I wanted Araby to be with.  One minute I thought Will was a little sketchy but then he'd show his sensitive side.  Then I'd think Elliot was great but he'd show another side to himself too.  I kept going back and forth between the two and I think it's because I always suspected them of not having Araby's best intentions in mind. 
I also like how each of the characters is flawed in some way.  They are not all good or all bad but a mixture of both which is a little more realistic for me.  The world in which they live in is so dark and it would be difficult to live there without having some sort of flaw.  They are desperate to live and this plays well in the book. 
Griffin's writing style is great too.  I felt like once I started reading I was transported to a place and time much different from my own.  You get sucked in and you can't help but read through this at a very quick pace.  Overall, it was a great book and I give it 4 stars. 

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