Thursday, September 20, 2012

Early Review: Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen (Velveteen, #1)
Velveteen (Velveteen #1)
by Daniel Marks

Expected publication: October 9th 2012 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers

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.


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.

Delacorte Books


My Review

First line: When Velveteen Monrow pictured Bonesaw's house -and she did, more often than could be considered healthy- blood striped the paint a muddy reddish-brown, internal organs floated in jars of formaldehyde, and great big taxidermy crows leered from branches that twisted from the wall like palsied arms.

Last line: Again.

Favorite quote: Could he actually be a decent guy?
Hard to imagine.
He was pretty to look at, though, she thought. Boys weren't objectified nearly enough, and turnabout is always fair play.

Sixteen year-old Velveteen Monroe was murdered by the psychopath/looks-like-the-boy-next-door Bonesaw. Now she's stuck in purgatory for who knows how long. There she is the leader of the Salvage team, i.e., they 'salvage souls  that don't have any business in the daylight'. She works as a body thief, and really enjoys her job. But Velvet won't be able to really rest in purgatory until she can have her revenge on her killer. 

When she finds a hidden crack through the veil between the world of the living and the dead, she goes for it. She starts to haunt him. And that is the WORST thing she could ever do. Haunting is against the law. It's pretty much the only serious offense a soul can be charged with in purgatory... which is why she's keeping it a secret from everyone.

Every once in a while, something triggers small parts of her memory back. Memories from those days. Her days at the mercy of Bonesaw. Bloody, painful scenes that makes us hurt, too. And they just serve to reinforce her decision to make him suffer as much as possible. 

However, she starts to slightly waver in her decision when she rescues her fifty-seventh soul: a very handsome, very sweet young guy named Nick. Nick seems to quickly gain everybody's sympathy and friendship, especially from those that are part of her Salvage team, which he soon joins. Velvet is torn between feeling jealous about him becoming so close and dear to her best friends so quickly, and being happy that he is such a good influence to them. Oh, and she can't decide exactly how she feels about him. Annoyed? Absolutely. Attracted? Well... yes! Uncomfortable? That's for sure. Thankful? Sometimes. :P

As if trying not to fall for her newest rescued soul while doing her best to haunt and drive her killer to commit suicide wasn't hard enough, now there's a revolution starting underground, and every single one of Velvet's mentors are acting suspiciously... 

The first chapter of Velveteen really sucks you in. It's very abrupt, very raw, very shocking. It's awesome. But then things slow down. Excessively. There were moments I almost gave the book up, things were so dull... then we get to the middle of the book. And that's when things get interesting. From middle to end, I got totally caught up into it again. I have to say it was worth the waiting. ;)

This is a very different book from the usual YAs out there. It way, after all, written by a guy, even if the main character IS a girl. It somehow just made her more believable, in my opinion. The same goes for her relationship with Nick. Teenagers (and, let's face it, adults, too) aren't nice and cuddly, YA writers! They are mean, horny, and selfish. Even if they do have their good moments. And reality isn't all about cute romance, butterflies and happy endings. The world is NOT a nice place. And Daniel Marks was able to capture every single realistic aspect (while still making it very readable, if slightly gruesome) in this fantastical/paranormal tale. Velveteen rocked.

If you're looking for something different and refreshing, with an imperfect and bloodthirsty heroine (repeatedly called a super bitch) and a very cool, very crushable hero, then you'll go bananas over Velveteen, just like yours truly.

* I received an eARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.*


  1. Great review, definitely adding this to my TBR!

  2. I've been excited about this one for months and glad to know it delivers :) I agree with you on the fact that YA needs more books with an edge that don't sugarcoat the world!


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