As I Descended

Featured
 
5.0
 
3.3 (1)
1536 0
As I Descended
Author(s)
Publisher
Age Range
12+
Release Date
September 06, 2016
ISBN
978-0062409232
Buy This Book
      

From the acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves, Robin Talley, comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair. Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—but one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey. Golden child Delilah is a legend at exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. But Delilah doesn’t know that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to unseat Delilah for the scholarship. After all, it would lock in Maria’s attendance at Stanford—and assure her and Lily four more years in a shared dorm room. Together, Maria and Lily harness the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school. But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what’s imagined, the girls must attempt to put a stop to the chilling series of events they’ve accidentally set in motion.

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Shakespearean tragedy at its best
Overall rating 
 
5.0
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
5.0
Power couple Maria and Lily have their sights set on a clear future: attending Stanford together, away from their boarding school, Acheron Academy. The only person who could ruin their chances is Delilah Dufrey, the school queen and nearly guaranteed receiver of a major scholarship. Maria and Lily are willing to do anything to make their future happen…including using a dark power involving the spirits on the school’s land that used to be a plantation. As things spiral out of control, blood will be spilt.

Robin Talley’s AS I DESCENDED takes Shakespeare’s Macbeth and transforms it into a chilling contemporary story with dark magic, a diverse and queer cast, and a haunted boarding school. Talley masters an eerie tone and dangerous atmosphere from the beginning, and readers should be cautious about reading this spooky tale at night. From scratching sounds on windows to stories of La Llorona to spirits who may or may not be deceased family, every chapter is riddled with a dark edge to send shivers up spines.

Lily, Maria, Brandon, and Mateo are beautifully written and develop well. The way Talley parallels the original Macbeth’s tension and stress of royal politics with modern day high school academic culture is masterfully (and a bit painfully) believable. Maria and Lily know how high the stakes are if they both don’t get into Stanford, and that introduces them to their dark journey. The way both the spirits and the characters themselves manipulate each other is wickedly done, but what makes the story so tragic is that each of the characters have good in them, especially in the beginning. You could easily see the bright future they would have had ahead of them, had their series of choices not changed everything.

AS I DESCENDED captures Shakespearean tragedy at its best with several vengeful spirits, a couple whose power together could change everything, and madness waiting around every corner.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

User reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0  (1)
Characters 
 
3.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
Already have an account? or Create an account
Review: As I Descended
Overall rating 
 
3.3
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I knew going in that this was a modern take on Macbeth and I was excited for it. I did find that I had a hard time getting into it. The modern boarding school setting, the teens with a Ouija board, the taking down the mean girl plot, it all seemed so familiar and I kept waiting for something to draw me in. I was having a hard time connecting with a lot of the characters as well.

The main character was Maria but the story was told in other characters’ POVs as well. Maria was the one with the most POVs and most of the plot centered on her. She was someone was worked very hard to get where she was, top grades, spot on the soccer team, in the running for the elite Kingsley scholarship, but it seemed like all she could focus on was the one girl who kept beating her. She was together with her roommate Lily, and for some reason they both viewed the Kingsley prize as the only way they could be together after high school because the prize was so elite the recipient pretty much got their choice of college and Lily was going to Stanford so Maria needed to go to Stanford. I didn’t really feel a love connection between them so it made it difficult for me to care if Maria got the prize.

We also see the POVs of Lily, of Maria’s best friend Brandon, his boyfriend Mateo. I did find myself liking Brandon and Mateo. Their relationship felt like they had a developing connection that had the potential to grow into something special.

The book started off with a Ouija board scene and got progressively creepier and darker. Robin Talley did a good job at bringing the chills down your spine at a page’s turn. She also did a great job addressing a lot of issues: sexuality, racism, privilege being among them and making them fit into the plot without overcrowding it or taking away from the horror aspect.

I think if I had connected more to Maria and Lily I would have enjoyed this book a lot more. I liked the creepy factor and it almost read like an old urban legend warning tale.
Report this review Comments (0) | Was this review helpful to you? 0 0
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Serpent King meets Girl in Pieces in this moving...
A Sprinkle of Spirits (Love Sugar Magic, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Leonora Logroño has finally been introduced to her family’s bakery...
The Order of Time
 
3.0
 
0.0 (0)
“If you’re into secret societies, time-travel, dangerous artifacts, deadly assassins,...
Thomas Edison
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Learn about the life of Thomas Edison in this early...
Pete the Cat: 5-Minute Bedtime Stories: Includes 12 Cozy Stories!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join Pete the Cat for 12 groovy, cozy stories perfect...
Sabina: In the Eye of the Storm
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
As in Anne Frank's "Diary of a Young Girl" and...
Literally: Amazing Words and Where They Come From
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
A stunning non-fiction picture book about the origins of the...
Ty's Travels: All Aboard!
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Join Ty on his imaginative adventures in Ty's Travels: All...
Cuddle Close, Little Koala
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
A reassuring bedtime story about the special bond between a...
We Are Together
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
The power of love and friendship is celebrated in this...
Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger, #2)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Half-angel Trinity and her bonded gargoyle protector, Zayne, have been...
Diamond City (Diamond City, #1)
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
"A thrilling adventure, through a vibrant city as alive as...

Latest Member Reviews

The Small Crimes of Tiffany Templeton
 
3.0
"THE SMALL CRIMES OF TIFFANY TEMPLETON follow Tiffany after she has been released from reform school and returns to her..."
Always Forever Maybe
 
3.7
"ALWAYS FOREVER MAYBE is a YA contemporary about domestic abuse and friendship. Bee (Joanna Betts) has always felt like a..."
Rage and Ruin (The Harbinger, #2)
 
5.0
"RAGE AND RUIN is a fantastic sequel in THE HARBINGER series. Picking up where the first book left off, we..."
Diamond City (City of Steel and Diamond, #1)
 
3.3
"DIAMOND CITY follows Aina, an assassin. Aina was out on the streets as a young child, when her parents were..."
Shadow of the Batgirl
 
4.7
"SHADOW OF THE BATGIRL is an origin story for Cassandra Cain. Cassandra was raised by her villain father as a..."
That's Not What Happened
 
4.7
"WHAT I LOVED: There have been countless school shootings in the United States and hundreds if not thousands of..."
Of Ice and Shadows
 
3.7
"WHAT I LOVED: One of my biggest complaints about Of Fire and Stars was its lacking characterization, but that’s been..."
Agnes at the End of the World
 
5.0
"AGNES AT THE END OF THE WORLD is a poignant YA dystopian that really speaks to humanity and the present...."
The Falling in Love Montage
 
5.0
"THE FALLING IN LOVE MONTAGE is a beautiful YA contemporary romance that follows Saoirse (Seer-sha). Saoirse speaks to the reader..."
Crave
 
4.3
"After the death of her parents, Grace comes to an Alaskan boarding school. Once there, she senses something is 'off'..."
You Brought Me the Ocean
 
3.7
"YOU BROUGHT ME THE OCEAN is a graphic novel of the origin story for Aqualad. Jake is 17 and living..."
The Most Dangerous Place on Earth
 
2.0
" I received a free copy from the publisher through Netgalley. The Most Dangerous Place on Earth centers around a..."