Published: April 24, 2012
320 pages, hardcover
GR Summary: 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.
So pretty much on the Poe retellings, Louisville authors are 2 for 2. Everyone knows my feelings about Kelly Creagh's Nevermore (and if you don't, familiarize yourself!) and I've been waiting approximately 2 billion and a half years for the sequel, Enshadowed. But that's beside the point. The point is: authors from my state rock.
I didn't previously know that Bethany Griffin lived in KY, so I was going into Masque of the Red Death completely unbiased. I'm going to warn you in advance, you'll probably just need to clear out a good 4 hours (or 3 or 5, depending on how fast you read) to allow yourself adequate time to devour this novel in one sitting. You won't want to be disturbed.
Glamorously diseased, this book is. There are people running around the streets with pus oozing from every pore trying to infect the uninfected, who still go out and party it up at the Debauchery Club. Appropriately named, considering what really does take place within. Araby has a painful past, and she heads out with BFF April to escape the torture of her own mind. But there's a beacon of light in such a desolate world, because there is not only one, but TWO, dreamboat boys within. Both of whom have some darkness of their own.
Once you get past the groaning about a love triangle, let me assure you this is no ordinary love triangle. These are not cookie cutter characters with one dimensional personalities and hearts of gold. Well, sure they have good hearts, but judgment can be clouded by desperation. Such is the case in Masque of the Red Death. Will, the sensitive, tatted bouncer or Elliott, the devious poet with eyes set on a revolution. I was so confused. I DIDN'T KNOW WHO TO TRUST. At all. I can usually stake out a person and devote my loyalty and buy my "Team ______" t-shirt and root for them the whole way through. But I, like poor Araby, was left completely in the dark. It's unreliability at its finest and I am desperate for more of these characters. Bethany Griffin, seriously. SERIOUSLY? (They're both scorching. FYI.)
This book enraptured me so. If this book came up to me and slung its pretty words at me in a dark club, I wouldn't turn it down. There are evils around every corner, such an overwhelming darkness (but a tortured love story! I LOVE struggles!), revolutions and rebellions, a crooked prince, family betrayals, jealousy. You guys this book has EVERYTHING.
Don't make me beg you to buy this. Because I'm not above that. At all.