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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
ISBN: 9780062107794
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Released: April 24, 2012
Series: Masque of the Red Death #1
Page #: 319
Source: My public library

"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."
First Lines:

"The charcoal sky spits cold rain as we rumble to a stop at a crossroad. A black cart blocks the road, and even in an armored carriage we know better than to force our way past. 
Burly men stagger to the cart, carrying something between them. Someone."
Page 1

Originally, I thought this cover was very interesting - enough that it drew me to the book. But after reading it, I kinda wish it was different. But it served it's purpose... to bring me to this mesmerizing story.

Araby lives in a world where the plague is running rampant. She is the daughter of a scientist/inventor - who created the masks that keep the plague away. But they are only available to the rich and powerful. After losing her twin brother to the plague, she has nothing left to live for - so she spends her time at a club using various ways to forget about her life.  Until one night when Will - the handsome door guy - saves her from herself and she learns about other ways of life. Enough that it changes her own in unimaginable ways.

Okay, so my little overview of the story doesn't give you a full picture of what this book is really about. But there's only so much I can tell you! Let me just put it this way, I loved it. There are so many story lines and crazy things going on - it keeps you on your toes.

On one hand, you have the story of Will and his little brother and sister. The plague has completely ravaged every family - and it has taken his parents from them. Wen Araby learns about their life and how she can help out, they become a big focus for her. She sees them as people she can use her status to help - not just another poor family. Not to mention that she has a thing for Will - the tattooed, mysterious guy from the club.

On the other hand, you have Elliott. He's the brother of her best friend - and, in turn, the nephew of the Prince. He's focused on revolution and fixing the city the way it was always meant to be. In order to do that, he needs Araby. Her father is powerful enough that he could help change things. And Elliott sees her as a means to his ends. But then, of course, he starts to fall for her.

Sigh. Love triangles. I really had a hard time putting this book down. I just had to know what happened next! For me, that's the sign of a great story. I understand that this book is based on a short story written by Poe - which I haven't read. I believe she has really expanded the story to become this amazing steampunk historical thriller adventure. Doesn't that sound insane?! It is :). Though - nowhere does it say this is set in historical times. But there are some hints. I also think it's interesting that there is no designation of place.

Can I just say... darn cliffhangers! There is a ton of action at the end of this book - who betrays her, what happens to them, where they end up... it's amazingly crazy! And luckily, you can sort of see where the story is heading. You've got all of your main characters on their way to an unknown location... and that's all I'm going to give you. I'm hoping that means we will have all of them back in the next one! 

I do take one issue with the book. Because of the heavy drug use, I can only really recommend this book to older high school students. I think many teens could love this one, but that sort of takes it out of the younger set. I'm sure they'd love it to, but within the first ten pages, Araby finds herself in a club looking for absolute oblivion. It really didn't bother me, but I can imagine how that might go over for a few of my librarians.

Truly, I thought this book was fantastic. I'll be recommending it to every person I think could handle it. :) Honestly, this book might be awesome for the adult YA reader. Like moi. Goodreads says there is a second book in the works - and I am absolutely on board for that! I can't wait to see what happens to our characters! 
Other Blog Reviews:

Candace's Book Blog
The Bookish Brunette
A Life Bound By Books
Katie's Book Blog
Two Chicks on Books
The Literature Lion
Pure Imagination
Abbey Ann's Bookland
Badass Book Reviews

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