Saturday, July 28, 2012

Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death #1) by Bethany Griffin: review

Goodreads rating: 3.88
Hardcover, 319 pages
Published April 24th 2012 by Greenwillow Books
Source: Bought
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.
 
My only gripe with this book (although it's kind of a big gripe) is that I didn't feel myself connecting enough with the main character. I wanted to know what she was feeling but I never felt like the author dug deep, and the story wasn't good enough to cover up this issue that really plagued me throughout the whole book. Araby (which is a very strange name) lives the good life. She knows that isn't as well off as her best friend and that she has to stay on a budget, but her father is a head scientist appointed by the prince. He's the bad guy in this story, and the population has been so decimated by this disease that only the corrupt prince can give them relief. But he is even more evil than Araby can imagine. Araby's best friend is also related to the prince (hence while they're so well off), but the best friends brother, Elliot, wants to overthrow his uncle, and needs Araby's help. Specifically her father's blue prints for the hard-to-come-by masks that protect them from the deadly virus. But she risks everything she's come to find comforting, and she doesn't want that to shatter, especially since her brother’s death.

Araby had way too many secrets for me to try to relate to her. But I felt like she was most like the girl she wanted to be when she was with Will. Obviously I am team Will, even with the strange twist at the end.  Despite everything, he's sweet and funny and really does care for Araby. I wish i could say more but I don't want to give anything away. I never liked Elliot, our other love interest. He uses her over and over again, and she even knows she's being used. I guess that’s another thing that bothered me about her character. She just followed other people and did what they did so that she could have people to be around. Elliot never had Araby's best interests in mind, and as soon as he began to show emotions for Araby, the book was over. I just can't see their connection. And the truth is I couldn't see her and Will's connection much either, but I'll keep this YA boy for myself!

One thing I did love about this book is that it had so many facets to it. There's the simplicity of the deadly disease. But there's also the politics with the prince and how Elliot wants to overthrow him. There are the family issues not only between Araby and her parents, but Will and his brother and sister, and Elliot and his sister. It's about people trying to stay together, especially when the new plague hits, called the Red Death. There's also a religious group, but I'm not sure exactly what thy stand for. And this is just another intricate part of this book. My only issue was that, while there was all this great world-building, I didn't find myself sympathizing and identifying with the main character. There was emotion, but not enough to really feel for her. Overall, it was enjoyable. I just hope that in the next one, we'll get more of Araby's emotions involved.


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