Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Benji Reviews Velveteen by Daniel Marks

This review first appeared on The Non Reluctant Reader.
Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Release Date ~ 10/9/12
Format ~ ARC
Publisher ~ Delacorte Books
Source ~ Author
Purchase It!
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.
   Sometimes, every once and a while, there's a book that makes you stop everything, act like a hermit and not leave your room all day. It feels so different and unique and groundbreaking you can't help trying to rush through it. You'll be urged to finish it and yet never wanting it to end. Velveteeen did that to me. And this is something only a few books have ever accomplished for me, but Daniel Marks has done that for me in his gem of a debut.

   The first thing in a long list of things that made me fall in love with Velveteen was Velveteen's voice. Though plenty of protagonists in YA have sarcastic voices, most of them don't even scratch the service of Velveteen's totally rockin' and unbelievably awesome voice. She was so dry and witty! And ballsy. She was very ballsy and didn't take (pardon my French) shit from anyone. Pretty much the best person to have on your side in anything. I happen to think her and I are two of a kind, though I know my sarcasm doesn't hold a candle to her flame.

    Nick, the "unbelievably hot" coworker as mentioned in the summary is someone who grows on your a lot. Though he doesn't really help for the image that teenage guys aren't complete and utter assholes (look at me, you need to wash my mouth out with soap today). He thinks about boobs and sex an awful lot, but you learn to love him anyway. He has a real swagger about him!

   Just like everything else, Velveteen isn't completely perfect. It's 99% perfect though. The one thing I really didn't like was how from the summary it sounded as though the main focus point of the novel was going to be getting revenge on Bonesaw, who when he appeared was a seriously awesome villain, but the main problem wasn't him and the climax wasn't centered on him. He did play a part in it but not the main one. It wasn't really Marks' fault, more a case of false advertising.

   Velveteen was pretty freaky too! There is a lot of gore and Daniel Marks used the perfect description words for it. There are a few losses of limbs so it's not for the faint of heart. Very macabre and goth, it felt like one of the classic black and white horror films of the '30s but with more modern characters.

    I thought purgatory was the perfect setting for this novel. It was such a bleak world and it matched Velveteen's personality exactly. The dark alleys and ruined buildings made it feel a bit dystopic without being a dystopian.

   A truly spooktacular read, if you're looking for the perfect read to curl up with between the horror movie watching, pumpkin carving and candy munching, read Velveteen, one of the most original debuts of the year!
Cover Comments:
I love the grey of Purgatory and how it looks all rocky. The model for Nate is great but I don't like the one for Velveteen at all.
About Me:
Hi, I'm Benji Kenworthy of The Non Reluctant Reader, which I've been blogging at since January of 2011. I'm one of those odd male book bloggers, and I'm also one of those young teenage book bloggers. So I'm pretty much a minority in the blogging community no matter how you slice it. A true Northwesterner, I can't stand the thought of weather over 60 degrees. I also go by many different names and titles, including but not limited to: The self proclaimed king of sarcasm. Soccer Fanatic. Pizza addict. Vegetarian. Lunatic. Remember, I eat the brains so you don't have to. Find me on Twitter  and Goodreads.

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