Saturday, September 10, 2016
Review: As I Descended
Title: As I Descended
Author: Robin Talley
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Young Adult Horror/Supernatural/Paranormal
Recommend If You Like: Macbeth, Shakespeare retellings, lgbt stories, really creepy suspense
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.
Maria and Lily are a couple on the rise, but Delilah is always one step ahead of them. At their boarding school, Delilah seems a shoo-in for the prestigious Kingsley Prize, an award Maria and Lily desperately want so they can attend the same college and stay together.
So Maria and Lily decide to do something to take back what they see as rightfully theirs. But they stir up spirits that would have been better left alone, and set in motion tragic events that will lead to death and madness.
What I Liked:
I just really, really liked this book. First, the Shakespeare retelling was brilliant. As an English major and Shakespeare fan, I had so much fun seeing how Talley took the classic tale of Macbeth and rewrote it with a modern setting and a lesbian Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. Talley really made the story her own, while still paying a brilliant homage to the original source material.
The characters are all so complex and multilayered, and the relationships feel painfully real. Every teenage emotion is heightened, but not in a way that reads as hysterical teenage dramatics. Rather, these characters read as truly human, caught up in forces within and without that they are unable to control.
This is a very creepy book too. The spirits, whatever you believe about their actual presence (depending on your personal beliefs and how reliable you find certain characters), haunt and meddle in insidious, frightening, and deadly ways that carry throughout the entire story.
Anything I Didn't Like?
I didn't feel like the epilogue was necessarily needed. It's always nice to have a bit of a concluding wrap up to tie things together (and I'm one of those people who craves resolution), but I feel like the book would have been even more haunting if it had ended with the last chapter before the epilogue.
Read this book. I strongly recommend it, and I couldn't put it down. It was so unique, so well-written, and so, so creepy. This is how a young adult novel should be done.