"Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me.”

Title: Masque of the Red Death
Author: Bethany Griffin 
Release Date: April 24th, 2012
Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 327
Edition: Hardcover
Cover Judge: The font is so awesome! And the colors! Gah!
Source: Gifted
Goodreads: Link

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.

There are a lot of words I could use to describe Masque of the Red Death so let's go ahead and use a few: Dark. Sensual. Gritty. Harsh. Gothic. Awesome.

The world-building and mood were basically my favorite parts of the novel. Araby lives in this dystopian world where it's dangerous to breathe in the air because it's riddled with disease so the only people that can survive are the people wealthy enough to buy masks to protect themselves (if not, you have to risk it for as long as you can). And guys, this isn't a joke. The streets are filled with people showing early signs and bats going around transmitted the disease and everyone is basically freaking out. But Araby, being the rich, grieving girl she is, is trying her best to lose herself at the Debauchery club after the death of her brother (which, of course, she thinks was her fault.)

Araby is the kind of character that I love watching grow: she's so wrapped in her priviledge (her father is the inventor of masks, so she's filthy rich) and mourning that she isn't even aware of what's going on in the real world until it's shoved right in her face when she meets Will. You slowly see her start to open her shell and care about other people, which I appreciated.

The writing in itself is fantastic: not too flowery but just enough to really convey the feel of such a harsh situation. I like how she captured the craziness of The Prince, who rules over the city as a madman, and just the entire setting had a very eerie sense to it.

Something else she did very well was the love triangle. Now you know me, I'm not a usual fan of love triangles. But Griffin presents two contestants: Will and Elliot. Will is a kind of bouncer of the Debauchery club who is raising his two younger siblings by himself in the slums. He and Araby have a serious connection and I loved watching him help her see what was going on outside of her little bubble and realize just how much she could do (and yes, I am on the Will side of things.) And then there's Elliot, who I thought was charming in that sort of totally psychotic way (he's the one who says the quote in the post title, if that says anything) but both of them are two very plausible and possible options for Araby and I don't feel like the author favored either of them.

Overall, amazing and dark, for fans of books like ones by Melissa Marr.
Happy Reading!


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