Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Book Review: Veleveteen by Daniel Marks

SUMMARY: 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.


Dark, funny, and twisted, Velveteen is an enticing tale with some great twists. Velvet is a fascinating character, headstrong and determined, yet also harboring her own bits of weakness, making for a great character arc amidst the bigger going-ons. With a bold, fluid writing style, and a stellar cast, this one had me completely hooked.

I love Velvet. She cracked me up, and especially her interactions and flirty romance with Nick had me in stitches plenty of times. Holding on tight to her anger at the man who killed her, but also scared in her own way of the memories of her last days/hours, Velvet is a beautifully developed, multi-faceted character. Getting to really know her was one of the best parts of the book, from her worst moments to her great ones. She is loyal to others, but also to herself, even if she muddies the lines between the two at times.

Nick is an equally stunning character, a guy who brought so much life and humor to things, even in the dreary place they live. With an interesting view on things, and a knack for getting right to the heart of something, Nick made for a great pairing for Velvet, without letting the book focus or be side railed by the romance. Some hit and steamy kisses along the way play into not only who each character is but how they can be together, and Nick’s character adds a lot of development to the other characters as well. He makes Velvet stronger, letting her lean on him when needed without expecting her to completely stand behind him. The back and forth, and play offs, between the two was easily one of my favorite aspects of this book.

The world Marks has created is vivid, easy to imagine yet shocking in it’s scope. There are so many little things thrown in, capturing the full magnitude of Purgatory, and yet Marks also leaves some things to the reader’s imagination to fill in. The plot, too, has plenty of twists and turns, some parts which can be predicted and others that will kick you in the gut. Small things mean something later, and red herrings are rampant. Velveteen is beautifully scripted and boldly executed to make for a book that holds great elements of story, world and characters. Add in the writing that sucked me, and the dark humor throughout, and Velveteen is a memorable and engaging book.

Source: ARC received from author in exchange for an honest review 
Reading level: Ages 12 and up 
Hardcover: 464 pages 
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Reades
Publication Date: October 9, 2012


  1. It's a good thing that its release date is coming up because I am DYING to read it after reading your review, Kari.

  2. This is a book I've been looking forward to for a while now. Glad to hear it is funny, that's not something I was expecting but now I'm even more excited for the book!

  3. I have this one in my TBR. It looks so great, so I'm happy to read a good review of it! This is one I'm really looking forward to reading.

  4. Amazing review, and it's only made me more excited for this book release! I'm still not thrilled about the cover. I think it's got a UK release (with a different cover) so I'll grab that when it's out. ;)

  5. Thanks, Kari! So glad you dug it!

    Cass, not so much, we haven't sold any foreign rights, yet. :(