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.
The beginning of this novel is so very awesome that I have to applaud Mr. Marks on it. I started the novel without rereading the synopsis so I literally walked in blind. And then as I started reading, I started frowning because what is this girl in some serial killer’s house, why is she not running for her life and why is she not calling the cops? What in the world is going on? And then, very slyly, the reader is hit with the information that changes things substantially. And then, we’re off. Velveteen is a wonderful protagonist. She is bitter, full of angst and intriguing mix of loyalty and vulnerability. She is flawed as anything out there and she has this hero complex going on and you don’t know whether it will lead her…well she’s already dead…to something worse, say, than what and how she exists right now.
I found the novel to be fresh, yes it is possible, and rather innovative. It deals with subjects and themes that are very common in paranormal YA but it does so in a manner that is markedly different. Marks’ version of Purgatory is gritty, sad and entirely fascinating. The whole question of what happens after death, where we go, is there really a God is not answered at all. I must say that Marks avoided the entire conversation of religion rather prodigiously. Moving on to the actual meat of the story, I will be honest, there were times when I wished that Marks would hurry with the narrative without, you know, describing stuff but it wasn’t crazily distracting.
What surprised me was how much I liked the romance. I am not a mushy person and I do not like reading mushy romances but in this case, for some reason I cannot fathom, I liked it. It was sweet and it convincing. It was really sincere. I guess this is because the love interest is not the usual bad boy confident character who is certain of his ability to win the girl. In fact, I’d say that the gender roles were reversed and the power was in the hands of Velveteen. Who did not disappoint.
The novel presents a solid, entertaining story with its share of tragedies and little pockets of unexpected happiness. It talks about how life and death are not necessarily the full stops in one’s existence. It is not without its faults, certainly not, but I think that its strengths outweigh the faults. I am certain that the majority of the readers will enjoy this novel immensely. I know I did.