Masque of the Red Death

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: April 24, 2012
Pages: 319
Genre: Steampunk
Source: Amazon
Rating: 5/5

Summary from Goodreads- 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 around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . 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 is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for–no matter what it costs her.

This book is delightfully chilling and heart-wrenching at the same time. Griffin’s first young adult novel is wonderfully macabre, filled with delicious descriptions and subtle, tantalizing romance. Araby Worth, the Masque’s protagonist, is definitely a new kind of young adult heroine, with palpable heartache and a deep, dark past. I was very interested in Araby’s character due to the ways she dealt with her guilt and the dynamic between her and her family. I was touched by her (SPOILER) romance with Will, and her…whatever with Elliot made my heart pound. Griffin’s ability to sustain a significant level of suspense throughout the novel was clear to me from the beginning. Her vivid descriptions put me right into Araby’s glittery, grotesque world in a way I haven’t seen in young adult literature for a while. Masque of the Red Death is truly a hidden gem, and I can’t wait for the second installment to come out in April!

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