ARC received from Harper Collins via Edelweiss
Release Date: 4-24-2012
Reviewed by: Middle Sis Jenn
The Sister’s Say: Macabre, Mind-blowing, and Masterful
From the first page of this novel, I was gripped, and I refused to put it down. I had been staring at the cover for weeks in awe (you have to admit, it's breathtaking). And, I was fortunate enough to get an ARC through Edelweiss Above the Treeline!!!!
This is one of the first books in a while where I found myself completely stunned with all the twists and turns--I didn't see a single one of them coming! It's so great to read a book that is anything but predictable.
The setting is absolutely amazing. There were times when the action was slow, but I didn't mind at all because I got swept away in Bethany Griffin's description of the dilapidated city filled with the gorgeously dressed rich people and then the grotesquely vile plague victims. Her imagery melts onto the page, and I felt like I was plucked from my recliner and thrown right into the middle of Bethany's world. If only more people could write the way she does!
Her characters are so rich with personality, even the characters with smaller roles. I felt connected to each and every one of them, but especially to Araby. She has experienced great tragedy, and as a result, she sinks into herself, trying anything and everything to escape the harsh reality into which she is thrust. I felt her pain as if it were my own-- a feat very difficult to accomplish for most writers. And then when she meets Elliott and Will--I felt her hope and guilt and indecision. I can't explain it other than I was captivated.
I love Will and Elliott. Will is the mysterious tattooed proprietor of the club who Araby is instantly attracted to, and his secrets (which I won't reveal) make him even more...irresistible. And then there's Elliott--the wealthy aristocrat who is hiding his own secrets. I love these two guys because they are completely genuine, even when they are hiding things. I instantly felt like I could trust them both...but boy, did they both surprise me! READ IT!!! You won't be disappointed.
Bethany builds a world where the macabre and sinister is ordinary. There is no black or white, good or evil, healthy or sick--her story is rife with everything in between. It was so good, I immediately went straight to Twitter and asked Bethany if a sequel is in the works (Yes! 2013!)--I can't wait.
Finally, I will give a warning that this story is for older YA readers. I would rate it PG-13 for drug use, violence, and brief references to rape.