Saturday, July 21, 2012

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Reviewed by: Cassie
Rating: 3 glass slippers

Summary (from

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 off, the cover is a stunner. Really, it is. Second, the concept of it is AMAZING- what YA book have you read recently- no, ever- that has been a spin-off of the much-esteemed Edgar Allan Poe? It is very, very unique. Lastly, the summary had me at "club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup, and tantalizing ways to forget it all." I thought that meant some nice interaction (wink, wink) between some nice lads. I was very interestingly proved wrong.

The girl-
Araby Worth, daughter of the scientist. The one who saved humanity. She's lives a rich life but deep down is very seriously troubled. And when I say troubled, I mean troubled. She is a deep character. She is really interesting to read about. But I don't agree with her beliefs. She went for years blaming herself, thinking guilty thoughts. She made a vow never to be happy or do things her twin brother wouldn't be able to experience. She's sleeping through life, with little sparks of light here and there. Honestly, I was sort of sick with her attitude. She was all like, Oh poor Finn, he'll never be able to do this... I really mus'nt. At first I was like, WOO! Chastitified girl in an awesome dress kicking bad-guy-butt here we come! And then I petted my cat and was let down. She did not kick bad-guy-butt. No. She injected herself with unidentified drugs for sweet oblivion. I just wanted to be like...

Ah, but that's at first. Then she goes on and tries to help humanity. Spoiler alert? She gets trapped in a lurrrrrve triangle while at it. She has a generous heart and is pretty brave. She just doesn't have the spark I like. BUT- she is interesting. Just not in the regular heroine way. She's a troubled, fake-smiles kind of girl who has to take a drug to stop herself from screaming her throat raw from nightmares. 
Nice little teaser?
He shuts the door behind us. Doors in this club are well oiled and make no sound when they close. So thick that you can't hear what happens behind them.
"What do you want?" he asks in an amused voice. [...]
"Oblivion." It is what I am always looking for.
"What's a pretty girl like you trying to forget?"
A pretty girl like me, with my clean fingernails and my unblemished bill of health.
He doesn't know anything about me.

The guys-
When I was originally sucked into the story, I thought I was getting just two guys. But no, I am technically getting 3. Maybe 3.5. I don't know. I say this because these two guys are extremely complicated. Elliott, April's brother, more so.
He has blonde hair that falls just past the top of his forehead and blue eyes. He looks noble and he is shorter than Will. He has scars on his back from whippings and he has seen a lot more than a regular rich boy should. A lot more. He has a dark past, and because of that, I had myself wondering if he was crazy. Legitimately crazy. He has carelessly romanced countless girls, and he was good at it. He plans with Araby under the guise that he is in love with her (for her the sake of onlookers), but somewhere along the way he might just be falling for her. He's exciting, naughty, smart, good, and slightly scary.

" "And I'm falling in love with you," he whispers. "But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me." "
That scene there is an intense, edge-of-your-seat part. I was equally "wow that's kind of hot.." and "Elliott you are a psychopath." He is intriguing in every which way possible.

I have a thing for Wills. I am just putting that out there. So, when I read that this Will was mysterious and attractive and had a secret side to him none of the other girls saw (see, this is where the .5 is added to the number of guys) I had a crazy moment. Sort of like... this.

He has dark, tousled (TOUSLED! <3) hair that is almost shaggy in its length. He has dark eyes, probably dark blue *fans self* and he's pretty tall. And he has tattoos. I don't want to give up too much about him, though, so I will just say he made me sigh in a good way.
I love him! What he does in the end is inexcusable in Araby's POV. In mine, I think it was totally aww worthy and awesome. It shows he really cares about what's top priority to him.

Random teaser times! There were some great scenes I just have to share with you! You won't know who's who ;)

"His voice is soft. "Make yourself beautiful." He stops in the doorway. "More beautiful," he amends, and then he's gone." pg 255

"He presses up against me, hard, with his hands gripping tight to the basket on either side. It should be difficult for me to turn, but I do it effortlessly. He wraps his arms around me and somehow my hands are twined into his hair, and his lips are against mine. We're kissing like it's the only thing keeping us alive."  pg 268

The best friend-
April. I didn't really like her. She's reckless and rich and spoiled. She cares for Araby but... eh. No wittiness or sweetness. Just money and shallow things. She has some great planning skills, I guess?

The world-
Well, I have to say it is hauntingly beautiful. Was it during old times, like the 19th century? Or was it in a dystopian world? Or perhaps a mix of present and past.
The sky is usually gray and it rains a lot, it seemed like to me. The world is a shell of what it used to be and there are vandalisms every day. There are bombings and a lot of buildings are lit on fire. People who can afford it wear masks that protect them from the plague. That was interesting.
However - it was not easy to pick up on. After I finished this book (in one sitting) I sat there thinking about it... and came up really confused. While it is easy to read, once you try to focus on the details and plot, it all sort of... blurs. And you don't know what the heck just happened to your thoughts.
But this world is mind-blowing.

The adventure-
I dunno... I think too much happened in too little time. I mean... wow? There was a lot. BAM it just hits you! Lots of death, lots of secrecy, and lots of... stuff. Whew, left my mind whirling! But perhaps you have a sharper mind than I do, and you will be mind-blown by the adventure.

So I liked it, but I couldn't really like it. The two reasons it got less glass slippers?
 1. Araby's 'tude. She was far too glum and suicidal for my taste. 
  2. As I said before, the action was pretty confusing and hard to pick up on.
  3. ACTUALLY, there's three! The cliffhanger was a joke. I wanted to just stab someone. I seriously said out-loud, "THIS IS NOT AN ENDING! WHAT THE HELL" 
It just leaves you staring at the page blankly, wondering where the last 50 pages are supposed to be. It just ends when the action is getting reeeeal good. Don't you just hate that?

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