Sunday, December 9, 2012

Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velvet Jones was killed when she was sixteen years old. Now, she is stuck in Purgatory, unable to move on to the other side. Velvet leads the best team in Purgatory. They travel through cracks to earth in order to flush out evil spirits who are raising havoc. Lately, Purgatory has been falling apart. People are protesting because they want out and feel that they shouldn't have to wait for their sentence. One particular group has been creating chaos that is threatening all the souls coming in and out of Purgatory.

Then there is Velvet's awful secret. She has been using a secret crack in order to visit her killer. The Bonesaw Killer is still taking, torturing, and killing girls. Velvet has been haunting him, helping girls escape, and trying to get her ultimate revenge by killing him. Hauntings are strictly forbidden. Any ghost who participates in unauthorized haunting risks never moving on from Purgatory. Velvet knows the risks, but she is still haunted by her memories of Bonesaw, which drives her to break the rules.

Finally, there is the love interest. Velvet's team finds Nick during one of their missions. He is tall and attractive and sensitive. To Velvet's surprise, he also likes her. Before much of a relationship can form, he is assigned to their team. Dating is forbidden between coworkers, but Velvet starts to really like Nick, and he likes her back. It's relatively mild compared to the destruction of a world and a scary serial killer, but it's still an important part of the story.

Velvet was a fairly dark book. Some parts were very graphic, especially those concerning Bonesaw. Personally, I am a bit squeamish about violence and gore. There's more than you would expect, but I found it to be the right amount for my sensibilities. I really ended up liking Velvet a lot. She's tough and snarky, but she's also very vulnerable. The story wouldn't have been nearly as good if Velvet wasn't so complex. It's a unique story, sort of The Lovely Bones with more edge. Honestly, that was what drew me towards the book, and overall I'm pleased with my choice.

I received my copy of Velveteen from Edelweiss, courtesy of Delacorte Books for Young Readers. It's available for purchase now.

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