Monday, January 28, 2013

Pint-Size Review: The Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (#1)

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin (#1)
Pages:  319
Release Date:  April 24th, 2012
Date Read:  2012, June 7th-9th
Received:  Library
Rating:  4/5 stars
Recommended to:  16+

Araby lives in a world where sickness and disease are rampant.  Not owning and wearing a mask will kill you - that's exactly what happened to her twin brother.  Now she visits the Debauchery Club with April by night, and tries to keep safe with her mother and father by day.  She meets Will, a  young man who works at the Club, who lives with and provides for his siblings.  And she meets Elliott, April's brother, who's planning something, something wild, and he wants Araby to be a part of it.  Both boys may be in love with her, and both boys have something to give.
But when Araby's family is threatened by Prince Prospero himself, and a new disease begins to spread, Araby may need to make some daring and possibly disastrous decisions to save the ones she loves.

What a neat book!  It's nice - I didn't expect anything more or less than what this book was, and in the end got exactly what I wanted.  I was a bit confused at first (Griffin's writing is good, but description is lacking, so I had a hard time picturing it all).  But, by the 50th page or so, I was immersed!

Araby is so unusual.  Not sure I loved her, but definitely didn't hate her.  The more time I think about her, actually, the more I like her.  She has an interesting perspective.  I'm intrigued by how stark her character was, that's for sure!

The boys, Will and Elliott, were hard to choose from at first.  Will is so responsible, the total good boy, which I love.  But Elliott...  Six months have passed since I read Masque of the Red Death, and I've realized very plainly over this time that Elliott is my man.  I believe this is one of the first times I've preferred the bad boy over the good boy.  Elliott was presented int he most unusual manner...and that scene where he meets Araby in the garden - WOW!  Such fantastic imagery, full of mystery and bad-boy-ness... ;)

The story twists and turns very excitingly!  It often had me surprised and got my blood pumping.  Intense and dangerous, it made me want more.  Prince Prospero's evil plans (he kind of reminded me of the Adderhead from the Ink-trilogy), Elliott's secrets, the masks and the new disease...again, WOW!  So interesting!

This book reminds me of...
Poe (obviously)
Brave and daring adventures
Cold tombs
Running toward the light outside a dark room
Red and silver (like the cover)

For the Parents -
I think there was brief swearing but I can't be too sure.  This book is very dark and has some disturbing scenes.  Mention of Araby taking drugs at the Debauchery Club.  People there do more than that.  Sex is common (obviously - it's a club), and often in public.  Araby mentions the "wild abandon" of the couple in the corner.  (I had my 15-year-old sister skip that page.)  Mention of rape.  Lots of violence, some gore.  Recommended 16+

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