Google+ YA Romantics: Just Finished Reading ... Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Just Finished Reading ... Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen
by Daniel Marks
Published by Delacorte BFYR
on October 9, 2012

Source: received an e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley. See my FTC disclosure here.




My summary: Velveteen Monroe is an angry girl. She made a stupid mistake and ended up dead. Not just dead, but horribly murdered. Bonesaw, the guy who killed her, is still abducting and murdering girls. Meanwhile, she's stuck in Purgatory, where she's in charge of a team that rescues wayward souls. There's lots of unrest in Purgatory, but Velvet just wants to get her job done so she can sneak back into the real world and thwart Bonesaw. One day her team rescues Nick, a guy whose soul was stuck in a glass globe. Velveteen's irritated when Nick -- this doofy jock -- starts hanging around her like a lovesick puppy. She tries to shake him off, but he's harder to get rid of than gum on the bottom of her beloved Fluevog boots. In her mission for revenge, Velvet has trained herself not to need anyone. But maybe, with Nick's help, she can finally find something that has eluded her since her death.

My take: I was afraid to read this book. I used to love reading creepy serial killer stuff, but as I got older, I've found that stuff harder and harder to read. I expect that some readers were disappointed that the whole Velveteen-gets-revenge-on-Bonesaw thing doesn't make up the majority of this book's plot. Instead, the plot meanders around Purgatory.
The whole district clung to the side of a massive, nameless mountain looming on the horizon, as dark as night. At its top, a grand old station stood, stony and gray ... Hundreds of sets of rails trailed from openings around the circumference of the building, like the tentacles of a Portuguese man of war. Wooden cars rattled up and down the tracks at all hours of the darkness, filled to overflowing with souls, old and new.
Atmospheric, right? There are revolutionaries marching around Purgatory, plotting some kind of insurrection or infiltration of the land of the living that I didn't completely understand. But other than that, I thought the worldbuilding in this book was fantastic -- Purgatory is a creepily beautiful place.
"Being murdered changes a girl."
Velveteen's anger is like a current that sizzles quietly under the surface of the story. I've said it before: I have this soft spot for angry girl characters. Velveteen is also sarcastic. Irreverent. She doesn't take crap from anyone. I think she blames herself for her own murder. The book is coy on that front, taking a while to reveal exactly how Velveteen ended up dead.
"This is ...  not a love story."
That's what Velveteen tells Nick, but I'll let you make up your own mind. Velveteen doesn't think she wants emotional attachment -- she rarely seems to think of her parents, of her family. She's focused. Obsessed. Nick is her complete opposite.  He's new to the whole Purgatory thing. His neediness unnerves Velveteen. She thinks of herself as a one-woman show.
"You can't escape your demons."
While I expected this book to be the gory tale of Velveteen exacting some kind of bloody revenge on Bonesaw, I was pleased that Velveteen was a much more complicated book than that.  I loved Velveteen. It might not be exactly what you expect, and it's definitely not your typical YA.  But if you like darkly beautiful stories, angry girl characters, imaginative settings, and don't mind a little meandering and a change of plan, you'll definitely want to give this one a try.

A hardcover of Velveteen will be one of my prize choices this week on Freebie Friday -- stop by and check it out!

39 comments:

  1. I don't know if I am going to read this one or not. I am not usually into dark books but, many of the reviews of this one that I have read have been really good. I am still on the fence though.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

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    1. It's not a depressing book, really. Purgatory is cool. Velveteen is snarky and tough. Nick is kind of annoyingly adorable. There's a sort of mystery. The whole serial killer thing is not overwhelmingly disturbing.

      Come by Freebie Friday -- maybe you'll win it and can try it out :)

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  2. So excited to read your review on this. It seems like readers are torn on Velveteen. But I like dark books, a lot. I'm not exactly one for tons of blood and gore but I like them creepy. Especially serial killer creepy. So I think this would be a good fit for me. And Woo Hoo! for angry girls! I love them too!

    Fingers crossed that I'll win it:)

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    1. I know. Why do we both love angry girls so much????

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  3. I liked the Purgatory stuff, I just thought the book's summary hinted at more with Bonesaw and I was upset at feeling misled. I also really like the short story with these characters in Kiss Me Deadly if people missed that anthology years ago.

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    1. I think some readers shared your frustration, and I understand.

      You did a great post a while back on how your expectation of a book influences your opinion, and in that comes into play with this book as well.

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  4. Nice review! I really enjoyed this book as well. Some of her sarcastic comments had me snorting!

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    1. I heart her. That place where she tells Nick his feelings for her are just lust and hormones...

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  5. I tried to read it and couldn't get into it. I really do want to read it, but I think I want to be able to just read it in my own time with no obligation to review it. I have been getting behind on reading and when I spend days trying to get into a book I am almost sure I won't give it a fair chance if I have to force it. This does sound like a book I would like, just not the type of book I am in the mood for now. Great review!!

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    1. I understand! Let me know what you think the second time around!

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  6. I couldn't get into Velveteen either and I think, like Amy, that it's a mood thing. I'm really glad you enjoyed it. I hope to give it another shot I'm the future.

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    1. I agree that sometimes I'm just not in the mood for a particular book...

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  7. I have to admit the cover grabbed me before I even got to the blurb of it. I so want to read this book but at the same time I am scared to? I know weird. But I just don't want to be let down, but the world building does sound wonderfully creepy. I had a choice between buying this and Ten and again I chickened out and bought Ten. But hopefully I can win it Friday :)
    I just don't want to have all this built up excitement for it and it not deliver. I loved your review. It did help clear up a little of the cobwebs for me.
    Amy@Read to My Heart's Content
    www.readtomyhearts.blogspot.com

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    1. It makes sense to me. I've put off reading books because I was afraid I wouldn't like them!

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  8. I made myself finish this book. I did enjoy the beginning and I love Velveteen but the story just completely switched gears and the Purgatory half just felt very standard dystopian type YA to me.

    I've been a high fan of Marks adult writing so I'm willing to give bk 2 a shot and see if it all comes together for me.

    I'm glad you enjoyed it though!

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    1. To me, the Purgatory stuff was more like an Underworld story than a dystopian one, and I love me a good Underworld story.

      But it's okay if we disagree! I'm definitely going to try some of his other books!

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  9. I'm glad you liked this one. I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on it, so I wasn't sure about it. I do like the premise though so I'll probably check it out.

    Jesse @ Pretty in Fiction

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    1. It does seem to be the kind of book people feel strongly about. I like that -- makes for more interesting discussion!

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  10. Hmm, I wasn't sure about this one, but I love and angry sacrastic character, I might need to give this one a go! It does sounds interesting and I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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    1. She's one of the best angry characters I've read in a while!

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  11. I definitely want to read this book, because although the whole serial killer aspect intrigues me (no surprise!), I also really like dark humor, like Possess or the Ghost and the Goth, so this seems like it might be similar!

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    1. If you like dark humor, definitely give it a try!

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  12. This book really does sound interesting. I like that it doesn't solely focus on revenge and you get more of a look at Purgatory. I'm very curious on how I will find this one.

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    1. Purgatory was so cool -- it was set in the Latin Quarter...

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  13. "Being murdered changes a girl." - best line I have read today.

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  14. Aww, and here I thought this book was all about revenge! :P Thanks for the warning though- even if I was misled, I'm still eager to read it! Velveteen seriously sounds awesome- and yep, I love angry girls and darkly beautiful stories! And seriously, that cover is just hauntingly beautiful. :)

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    1. Well, it is, but just in a more roundabout way than the synopsis would suggest...

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  15. I'm not sure whether i like the sound of this one. i have a feeling that i'd be plagued by questions when reading it. glad you enjoyed it though :)

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    1. LOL -- I always have questions when I'm reading!
      Sorry this one isn't a match for you, but thanks so much for stopping by :)

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  16. I had read elsewhere that this book was not what most readers expected. But from your review, it definitely sounds like the kind of book I would enjoy immensely. And guess what? My galley HASN'T expired yet, though it will soon, so I'll be reading this ASAP. Thanks for such a great review and increasing my interest in what sounds like a phenomenal story.

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    1. Yay -- yes, your old NetGalley books are hiding in the new site. But they're there!!

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  17. So glad you enjoyed this too, I loved purgatory and thought Velvet was kick-ass!

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  18. I think I might have to ignore my homework to read this one...

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  19. I'm just gaga about this book. The cover is amazing, your summary added to all other wonderful ones i have read, and I am loving the purgatory idea!

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    1. My only complaint about the cover is that NIck does NOT look like that! He's supposed to be a blond jock, not some random emo dude. But it's a very cool cover. And I love the book!

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  20. Such a great review! This will now be high on my tbr list. I also don't like reading really scarry books anymore or watching those types of movies either. Isn't it crazy how some things change?

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