By Bethany Griffin
Editions: ebook, hardcover, paperback
Published April 24th 2012 by Greenwillow Books
Genre; YA / Steampunk / Dystopia
Source: own copy
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.
~ Goodreads Blurb
World Building: Outstanding, probably my favorite part of the read, by far. The setting in itself becomes a character, the one I responded the most to, sadly.
Characters: Though interesting as constructs, I failed to connect with them. Despite having a strong response to the world of the book, Araby and I just didn’t connect at all, it left me puzzled and oddly disoriented because I wanted to connect with her, I wanted to feel for her, the story of her life was very conducive to it, but it just didn’t happen at all.
Plot: Engaging, I loved the gothic themes going on and the way events unfolded, the story had a good rhythm.
Writing: First person narrative in present tense – never a good fit with me. It takes away from the mood and it disconnects me from characters, I’ve seen this happen in other books written in the same style. Personal preference, of course, you guys might love it. I know and see the merit of present tense narratives, I just seem to have an adverse reaction to it.
Curb Appeal: Definite sell on first impression, stupendous cover, marvelous title with Poe references that always have me sold, blurb that certainly has me curious.
All in all, this was a great story, awesome themes and imagery, great setting and atmosphere, but for me the chemistry with characters just wasn’t there. You should definitely give it a try though if you like what I like to call neogothic novels.
Read it already? Does the present tense narrative feel odd to you, or is it just me?…