Velveteen by Daniel Marks
October 2012, Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Readers of Carrie Ryan and Richelle Mead will love this dark revenge fantasy.
At sixteen, Velveteen Monroe was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.
The problem is she landed in the City of the Dead. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven either. Grey, ashen and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do there. Which doesn't leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.
Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment he 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 could actually crack the foundation of her new world, not to mention jeopardize 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. - Amazon.ca
I was really looking forward to reading Velveteen. I was not disappointed! The story did follow a bit differently than what I expected, but I loved every moment of it.
Velveteen seems to have 3 different story lines. There is the one that is mentioned in the synopsis which is Velveteen's obsession with haunting the man who murdered her, but there is also some shiz happening in Purgatory and a potential romance. The book focuses mostly on what happens in Purgatory, which is a place full of broken buildings, strict rules, Shadowquakes, and ash. It felt like a dystopian type of society, except everyone is already dead. That added an interesting element to the story.
Velveteen's character was one of my favourite aspects of the book. However, I feel like her personality might be hit or miss for some people. I personally adored her sassy character, quick wit, and imperfections. She is a tough girl with an attitude and does whatever she wants. It was refreshing to have a character like Velvet.
The creativity in this book was also incredibly refreshing. We have a serial killer that uses a grater on his victims, the world of Purgatory accessed via "cracks" between it and our world, a plot full of twists and turns, the Salvage team in Purgatory, and of course Velveteen. The main plot felt almost like a mystery novel. We are trying to figure out what the hell is going on and who is behind it all, while things keep happening.
The pacing of the book is pretty fast, which I really enjoy. I like that there isn't too much downtime, but the downtime we are given is very important and not boring at all. The writing was really good as well. Danny's sassy personality is really amplified in the writing and in Velveteen. I think if he had a daughter, she would be Velveteen. I did notice a pattern to his writing that was purely structural, so that lessened some of the suspense for me but not by much. It was definitely an enjoyable experience.
I loved this book, so why did I only give it 4 stars? Well, I wanted to see more with Bonesaw (Velveteen's murderer). I am a psychology undergrad, so getting into the minds of serial killers is right up my alley. The book spends some time with Bonesaw at the beginning, but quickly the reader realizes he is just a side-plot. There is a more exciting plot happening, but I would have liked to see more of the murderer. You know me - I love nasty gore. So there wasn't too much in this book, but that is just a personal preference.
Overall, I think Velveteen is a great read. It offers something new in the YA genre and Velvet's character really makes a statement. I can't wait to read more about what happens to her!