Crystal (Kris)'s Reviews > Masque of the Red Death

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
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's review
May 05, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: review-copy, books-reviewed
Read from March 26 to 31, 2012

Masque of the Red Death is haunting and despairingly beautiful. From the first words, Griffin ensnared me in the waking dream that is Araby's life: nights in an exclusive club, a safe place to live, and a good friend. However, this lies in the midst of a decaying world. The first chapters are devoid of feeling. Araby loses herself in the debauchery that has overtaken the upperclass, as they seek to drown out the horrors of their dying civilization by clubbing every night. As the story progresses, Araby comes out of the coccoon where she has been silently grieving, and she grows into the role of the strong young woman that has been lying dormant within her.

The writing makes this novel the gem that it is. Without it, the characters wouldn't have as much personality, and the world building wouldn't have been as torn and beautiful as it is. Griffin's words capture the heartbreak that Araby goes through as she struggles with survivor's guilt over her twin brother's death and as Will and Elliott spin her around, shaking her heart, wondering who to trust. This is a love triangle without the, "I love this guy for this, but oh... that guy...." that a lot of girls go through in YA lit these days. It does not overtake the essence of the plot. Speaking of which, I would think that I had the plot figured out, but Griffin continued to surprise me with plot twists, leaving me as lost as Araby is at the end.

The world is broken, most notably with contrasting images of light and dark. Araby and Finn. Will and Elliott. Hope and despair. Debauchery and the slums. Masque of the Red Death is filled with grotesque images, but there is also beauty to be found in the dying world. The characters bewitched me with their scandalous actions that belie the purity and strength of their hearts. At the end, I couldn't believe that it was over already. Needless to say, I cannot wait for book two.

Review at Imaginary Reads
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Reading Progress

03/28/2012 "Loving this!!"
04/23/2016 marked as: read

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