Latest Read: Masque of the Red Death

Here are the basics ...
Book: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin
Category: Young Adult

Summary: 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 and tantalizing ways to forget it all. But in the depths of the club and her own despair, Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the 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. (Adapted from

[Note: Book c/o BEA! Book already available!]

My thoughts…
The premise, not to mention the whole world, the book takes place in is a fascinating one.  It mixes all these gothic and steampunk themes with sci-fi / dystopian / post-apocalyptic ones.  But something was missing for me.  Even though the book was interesting, I felt like I just was reading for reading's sake (if that makes sense).  But I never felt connected to the characters or truly into the story.

Like, Araby for a protagonist.  I liked her! I did.  She's deeply affected and changed by the death of her twin brother, Finn, which leads her to make a lot of questionable choices in life.  She's constantly trying to atone for the past.  A past which isn't her fault and the reader can see that right away.  But she's still holding onto some secrets which don't get revealed until toward the end and I didn't feel like they were all that shocking.  In fact it was somewhat of a letdown because looking back, I think it should have been said much sooner to better understand her and her family.

There's also a love triangle in the book but I didn't feel all that strongly about either guy and both were awkwardly introduced.  Even the start of her relationship with each of them was kind of jarring and I found myself having to re-read some parts.  On one hand, Will seems like the obvious choice for her.  He's the kind but mysterious guy at the club who watches out for her and she's attracted to him from the get-go.  On the other, you've got Elliot.  He's clearly the bad boy you're not sure to trust and Araby finds herself mad at him most of them time.  But there's something between them too.  And I felt that underneath all his bravado was someone hurting just as much as Araby. So whose team am I on? I'm not 100% sure yet but I think it's Elliot's.

I just wish there are had been more.. fluidity between everything.  Secondary characters are introduced (her parents, her best friend April, the villains) but we never learn enough about them in my opinion.  The book itself does pick up a lot towards the end and there are some unexpected twists but overall, I still felt underwhelmed.

Do I recommend?:  I can see why a lot of people enjoy it so if Masque of the Red Death sounds like your kind of book, I think it's worthwhile to give it a try and decide for yourself.

Happy reading!

1 comment

  1. I got this one at BEA too, but I have yet to read it! It's an awesome book :)


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