Release date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 320 (hardcover)
Interest: debut author, Edgar Allen Poe
Source: Goodreads First Reads program/contest
I won! I won! I won! Okay, this is the first ARC I’ve ever gotten besides in a book tour. It was very exciting for me.
Rating: **** 4 stars
The story was a bit creepy and dark, and not so happy. I am more of a happy story girl, so I think it dropped a star in my mind for it’s creepiness. It could be a 5 star book for you, if you don’t mind the darkness.
Summary from Goodreads.com
Everything is in ruins.
A devastating plague has decimated the population. And those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles to pieces around them.
So what does Araby Worth have to live for?
Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery make-up . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.
But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club. And Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither boy is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.
And Araby may find something not just to live for, but to fight for—no matter what it costs her.
I didn't know what to expect when I picked up this book. I have since learned that Masque of the Red Death is an Edgar Allen Poe story. Which explains the feel to this novel. It's deliciously creepy. A book that works it's way into your thoughts even when you're not reading, and keeps you up at night.
It has the feel of a dystopian novel, due to all of the discontent, political unrest, and destruction. The story takes place in a world ridden with plague. Everyone is scared, society has crumbled, and is ruled by a cruel man who calls himself Prince Prospero.
Our main character Araby, is the daughter of a renowned scientist. He invented the masks that keep people safe from the contagion. Unfortunately the prince limits their distribution to the wealthy, so disease and fear still abound. Araby is complex and strongly affected by the death of her twin years earlier to the disease. Araby was harder to like at first because she was so depressed. Once she starts living again the novel really takes off though. Then we get a little bit of love triangle, a crazy religious zealot, and the makings of a revolution.
Content issues: The teens of the upper crust party late into the night in the debauchery district. Despite the name, there really wasn't too much smut described. No swears either, but a darker subject matter, drug/alcohol use, plenty of death, and puss filled sores.
Dearly Departed by Lia Habel (also about raging disease: in this case zombies. Also about the daughter of a scientist, but a bit happier book in tone)
Nevermore by Kelly Creagh (also gets its inspiration from Edgar Allen Poe)