Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Review - Masque of the Red Death
Do you have a favorite type of character? Well, I do. It's the person who is so completely messed up and broken that you, the reader, actually want them to just give up and say goodbye to their cruel, cruel world. But they don't.
There's this part in them, somewhere deep inside, that refuses to snap. It's what actually holds them together, makes them stronger than I could ever dream of being. These characters make me swoon.
And I've only read a few of them. One is my favorite character of all time, Andie in Revolution by Jennifer Donnelley. Another is Araby Worth of Masque of the Red Death.
In a dark and twisted world where the plague has ravaged the lives of everyone, either through death itself or the loss of a loved one, Araby lives... sort of. It's more like she's suspended here in this time where nothing can touch her. She is invincible. But not by choice. This girl takes chance after chance, doing things that would certainly spell out death for many more careful people. And yet nothing takes her down. She just keeps on breathing, being tortured by her memories and the one person she lost.
The guilt of living without her twin brother gnaws on her day in and day out. Even while she sleeps, her dreams are full of him and how perfect and wonderful he was, how horrible a world without him in it is.
Then her life changes and death becomes more than a possibility. It's a certainty. At this point, Araby finds that maybe she does want to live after all. If not for herself, perhaps for her brother that will never have the chance.
Not only does the reader have the pleasure of being introduced to such a lovely character, but it also takes place in a breathtaking world amidst terrifying people who have no qualms about murder and deceit. Here the word debauchery is almost compliment.
This book is an enticing, torturous and sensual read. You do not want to miss out on Araby's journey. Beleive me, one page in and you will be just as devoted to her as I found myself being. The author, Bethany Griffin does not hold back on how imperfect this main character is and she has no problem throwing punches and taking nasty turns down paths that many writers of young adult literature would never veer down.
Read it, but do so with an open mind. Hold off on judgment until you've read the last page. Because the person Araby is in the beginning might break your heart, but the person she is by the end of the book not only mends your broken heart, but uplifts it and puts it in a cage waiting to be let free. But who knows when that will ever happen? Possibly never.
Masque of the Red Death will be released April 24, 2012 by Harper Collins. I received my copy via ALA Mid-Winter.