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By: Daniel Marks
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Format of Review Copy: digital
Recommendable for people who enjoy:
Synopsis (from Amazon):
Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.
The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.
Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.
It’ll be brutal . . . and awesome.
But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.
Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules . . . or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.
After taking a few days to gather my thoughts…
I should probably mention that I consider this author to be “an online friend”. I don’t know him in real life – only on twitter and the youtubes. Knowing him socially does not have any bearing on my review at all. If anything, I may be a little harder on this book because of it. I have high expectations for the folks I label in the “friend” category. lol.
“and now for something completely different…”
The world building in Velveteen, I thought was pretty fantastic. Velveteen takes place in both our world and in Purgatory. Purgatory being that somewhere place that a spirit goes when they aren’t immediately taken into Heaven or Hell. It is dark and eery. Using the descriptions given, I kept imagining like a ghetto filled with homeless peoples after a natural disaster – say an uncontrollable fire or a volcano. Everything is covered in ash, and buildings were made of salvaged cardboard. Actually, you know that scene at the end of VOLCANO (the movie with Tommy Lee Jones in it)? Was it Volcano? Yes, I think it was Volcano. They pick up a little boy and he looks around at all the people covered in ash from the volcano and he says “Look, they all look the same” and the camera pans and sure enough… all the people look the same, covered in ash. There were no races, no genders, just people in ash, white teeth, and eyeballs. So poetic. THAT is what I saw when I was reading about Purgatory.
Purgatory is divided into cities, and each city has “factions” that live in dorms. Each faction has its specific duty or “job” within their community. The city is constantly being flooded with an influx of new souls – all in shock and all needing an “orientation” of sorts to way things work in THIS world.
The main character in Velveteen is Velveteen Monroe. Velveteen isn’t your average angsty teenager. She’s a spirit who lives in Purgatory. She was murdered by the serial killer, Bonesaw, at the age of 16. She is strong willed, bitter, and hell bent (pardon the pun) on revenge.
The serial killer, Bonesaw. He is a nasty freaknut in “our” world with a penchant for cutting and a hankering for young girls. He is the focus of Velvet’s hatred, and she is determined to have her revenge.
Nick is a soul that Velvet’s crew rescue and bring to Purgatory. He is the sporty and attractive “boy next door” “all american” boy. His appearance in the story turns both worlds (ours and Purgatory) up on end.
The twins, Luisa and Logan, are members of Velvets crew. Very different little souls that enamor both Velveteen and the reader.
There are various other members of the team that deserve a mention here. Quinton and Kipper both have great roles in the story. Though they are only side characters, their inclusion in the story helps illustrate the life and hierarchy of Purgatory. Ms Antonia and Manny (the bosses, so to speak) also have a large role to play and deserve a mention. I’m afraid going into much detail of them will spoil the story for you.
The point is, this story has a rather large “cast” of characters. All so well developed they become real. Each of them an integral part of this story. Being without any one of them, would have changed the tale entirely.
ahhh, the point in my review in which I become overly judgmental and bitter. 🙁
The synopsis of this book listed on both Goodreads and Amazon (above), lead one to expect a book about a murder victim’s journey to find revenge against her killer. Though that IS included in the story – it is only a side-plot/backstory. The Bonesaw aspect of the book plays a major part of the story only in that it is the motivation of our main character and part of the climax. However, Bonesaw and his evil deeds are only in the story a tiny bit – a very small part in the journey. I feel the synopsis is kind of misleading, and those of us who pick this book up expecting a big horrorfest will be disappointed. Those that don’t enjoy horror will miss out on a great para-ro simply because they misunderstand the story and pass on picking it up, thinking that its horror.
Overall, I enjoyed Velveteen. (read my reading updates on goodreads) I am a little disappointed, because I wanted to LOVE IT. I wanted and expected horror. I made the mistake of reading other reviews that said things like “so gory” and/or “SO scary!” And now I am reminded why I don’t read other reviews before reading a book I am really looking forward to. I did LIKE it. I liked it A LOT. It felt – and this is important - new and fresh in a genre thats flooded with books that all feel “the same”. Personally, I would have liked to have read more encounters with Bonesaw, had it focus more on the Bonesaw aspect of the story. It would have leaned the story more toward having a horror feel instead of a paranormal romance. That being said, I DID still like it. A lot.
I whole heartily recommend this one to you guys. All the YA folks that are into the paranormal romance/urban fantasy type books are sure to enjoy it. I think the horror fans might not “LOVE” it, but would still enjoy it as long as they go into it knowing it isn’t going to be “horror” per say. It definitely fell into the “light horror” category for me, more of a Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy/Mystery/Thriller. So yea, basically every category known to man, except non-fiction. At least, I hope it can’t go into non-fiction. But really, who knows? =)
Contains graphic violence and language.
*and, as if Karma herself wishes to show me her displeasure in my review… I spill an ENTIRE glass of sweet tea – all over my expensive new keyboard, mouse, and desk. You’re welcome. haha