Wednesday, October 10, 2012


Velveteen by Daniel Marks
4/5 stars
Delacorte Press
447 pages
YA Paranormal

Source: Received an e-ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought the premise for this book sounded interesting so I requested it. As I read, some parts of the book seemed really familiar but it wasn't until Vermillion was mentioned that it all clicked. Wasn't that a short story in Kiss Me Deadly? Why, yes it was-good memory Stephanie! Apparently it was one of my favorites from that collection and it served to further cement my decision to read this book.

Other contributing factors were the unique plot which has young Velveteen stuck in Purgatory but sneaking out to haunt Bonesaw, the serial killer who murdered her. There is also the cute Nick, who I loved in their short story and a big mystery around what is going on in Purgatory.

However I was a little disappointed with the actual plot. The publisher blurb made it seem like the focus would be very strongly on Velveteen and her revenge against her murderer Bonesaw. And I'm not the only one to think that; I've read several reviews that mentioned this as well. The focus is actually more on Purgatory and the paranormal elements that are fraying and destroying its fabric, possibly with huge consequences for the mortal world. That wasn't really represented in the summary and so I was unprepared for the page space it took.

I also ended up being a little confused about all of the rules of the world. It seems as if the spirits are solid in Purgatory but ghostly in our world. I'm also confused about the various powers available to them-each spirit does have powers. For example, Velvet has a talent for taking over living bodies while others can take over a dead body or act as a poltergeist; I am sure we only touched on the beginning of that but I didn't fully understand everything that was presented.

As for our characters, Velvet might be a bit hard to like. She is a tough girl who had a pretty crappy life but her sympathy for the other girls tortured and killed by Bonesaw and her determination to make him pay won me over. I also liked her tough shell being punctured by Nick; they have some great flirtatious banter and kissing scenes that were among my favorite parts of the book. Other characters get way less page time (including the rather obvious villain-I actually figured it out and was telling Velvet to wake up and smell the roses).

Overall: A bit overlong but largely fun ramble through and outside of Purgatory; on the darker side and note about language (there were a few too many f-words for my taste).

Cover: Not my kind of cover at all but it does capture the ash that covers the spirits.



  1. Great review. I have seen some mixed reviews for this, so I might wait to see if my library gets it. Thanks for stopping by earlier too.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  2. I agree completely, I had almost all the same issues with this book. The blurb was very misleading, and I thought the story started out so strong with Bonesaw and his new victim, so I was super disappointed that we didn't come back to that until halfway through. I was confused on the rules of Purgatory as well, and the individual gifts some of the souls had, but I thought the world itself was fascinating:) Wonderful review!

  3. I'm reviewing this soon (Saturday?) and I have to say I was happy that there was not too much Bonesaw, because I found that part of the book really disturbing. This definitely isn't going to be a book for everyone, but I really liked it. Glad you did too -- for the most part, at least.

  4. I'm iffy on the cover too. The girl is definitely Velveteen . . . but is that guy supposed to be Nick? Definitely not.

    I agree with Jen - I found Bonesaw super disturbing, so I was okay with spending less time with him.

  5. I haven't read many books set in Purgatory, but Velveteen sounds awesome. I've got a netgalley and a Vine copy coming my way, so I am SO pumped up after this review, even though the summary was a bit misleading.

  6. Sounds interesting. I've heard good things so I'm trying to decide if I'm interested enough! Thanks for the great review!
    <3 Inky@ Book Haven Extraordinaire


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