Book Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Hardcover: 464 Pages

Series: Velveteen #1

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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Velveteen Monroe is dead. At 16, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that’s not the problem.

The problem is she landed in purgatory. And while it’s not a fiery inferno, it’s certainly no heaven. It’s gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to do. Which doesn’t leave Velveteen much time to do anything about what’s really on her mind.

Bonesaw.

Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment her killer deserves. And she’s figured out just how to do it. She’ll haunt him for the rest of his days.

It’ll be brutal… and awesome.

But crossing the divide between the living and the dead has devastating consequences. Velveteen’s obsessive haunting cracks the foundations of purgatory and jeopardizes her very soul. A risk she’s willing to take—except fate has just given her reason to stick around: an unreasonably hot and completely off-limits coworker.

Velveteen can’t help herself when it comes to breaking rules… or getting revenge. And she just might be angry enough to take everyone down with her.

~~ The review contains some spoilers ~~

Lies, lies and more lies. Lies and deceit.

Alright, now let me explain.  After I had finished reading Girl of Nightmares, not so long ago, and I realized it was the second and last book of the series, I started feeling a bit blue. That’s when I stumbled upon Velveteen on Goodreads. After reading the blurb, I figured it was just what the doctor ordered: pissed-off Purgatory ghost exacts revenge ( preferably bloody and awesome ) on her killer? Yes, please!

This is where the deceit comes into the picture, because the blurb? A hundred percent misleading. Fine, I may be exaggerating a tiny bit, not 100%, more like 89%.  The “ghost goes apeshit on murderer” storyline is quickly forgotten almost off the bat for a more confusing, sometimes nonexistent, plot. There are probably 3 scenes, tops, involving the killer and Velvet taking revenge and when she does deal with him, totally anticlimactic.

Instead, I got a plot about revolutionaries who are sick and tired of sitting around in Purgatory, not knowing when they’ll move on or even if they will, and so they plan a mass escape through the cracks in the veil separating the two worlds. I wasn’t even aware this was the plot until I had read half the book already.

Velveteen Monroe is stuck in Purgatory. Whether that’s because she’s not deserving of moving on or she’s got unfinished business, it’s not really clear.  She, along with her team – Logan, Luisa, Quentin and Kipper, is a Salvager. Salvagers are in charge or retrieving wayward or trapped souls and bringing them back to Purgatory.

The ghost lore and the idea behind Velveteen’s Purgatory were definitely something new. In the daylight, that is the human world, ghosts are invisible, yet they can still interact with people, furniture, etc. In Purgatory, souls get a body, they’re made of memories and shine so bright, they have to cover up every inch of unclothed skin with ash.

Purgatory is like a whole different world, a grey one, a city of the dead.  While the idea of Purgatory resembling a city, albeit a pretty depressing and bleak one, was novel, the world-building wasn’t brilliant or complete. Not enough, I wanted more. Like a better explanation of the shadowquakes and why they happen, how come Velvet is “the best of the best” at what she does, how exactly does Purgatory work?

I would have had no problems forgetting about these slips or even enjoy the new surprise plot I got, if not for Velveteen. I couldn’t relate to her, at all and I did not like her, not one bit. Now, I AM a fan of bitchiness, sassiness and sarcasm, bring them on, and I don’t like my MC to be too much of a goodie two-shoes or some kind of modern day Pollyanna, but there have to be some redeeming qualities about a main character in order for me to like’em.  Sadly, I couldn’t find one such quality in Velvet.

She was completely unlikable. I got her bitchiness was a defense mechanism, but, man, she didn’t miss a chance to be a major asshole. The fact she was only partially nice, sometimes, because of a guy, didn’t do her any favors.  Oh, and her mentioning how “hot”, “gorgeous” or “sexy” Nick was, every other friggin page, didn’t make me like her either.

Speaking of Nick, I actually liked him more than I did Velvet. Even though, it was hard for me to believe that after he found out he was dead, he was a ghost and he was meant for Purgatory, all in a short period of time, his number one priority was making out with Velvet.

The other character aren’t even worth mentioning as they were more filler characters than anything else.

I just..ugh. This should have been GREAT, it should have been fantastic and bloody and a page-turner. Woulda, coulda, shoulda. Although, to be fair, the writing was good, overly descriptive when it came to the gory or gross aspects, but in that cool way, yanno.

Oh well, guess I’m not reading the sequel. Shame.

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