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Velveteen by Daniel Marks

Velveteen (edition 2012)

by Daniel Marks

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1583175,572 (3.2)None
Authors:Daniel Marks
Info:Delacorte Books for Young Readers (2012), Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:net-galley, arc, own, best of 2012, reviewed

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Velveteen by Daniel Marks



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This review is painful to write. You know I'm a cover lover. I love pretty covers, and this book has an amazing cover. (I know, I've said cover one too many times, sorry). But it is pretty. Dark and mysterious. And I like the idea that only the title is colored.

Then there's the blurb and I loved the idea of a ghost getting to avenge their death. I thought that haunting (and maybe hunting) a serial killer was a great subject.

Then I started reading it. Halfway through the book I realized that it had nothing to do with what the blurb had said. That's sad. I mean, why write a blurb for a story that's totally different in reality? I was really put off by that. I felt a little...well, cheated might be a harsh word, but there you go.

The one thing that really made me give up reading was the language. I'm no prude. I have a bad mouth on a good day. But I'm not a pre-teen. They talked badly and then there was this entire "trend" with yelling, snapping, screaming or loud talking going on. I felt screamed at by characters.

I'm actually very sorry I didn't get to finish this book. I liked the concept and the idea of someone not good enough to get into Heaven, but not fit to be in Hell either. Though I wonder what makes a kid not fit for Heaven. I would've wanted to see that. Or maybe see Velvet get revenge and drive her killer mad or something.
  Rubys.books | Oct 15, 2016 |
**originally posted at www.bunnycates.com/reading **
My Thoughts: After taking a few days to gather my thoughts… I should probably mention that I consider this author to be “an online friend”.  I don’t know him in real life – only on twitter and the youtubes.  Knowing him socially does not have any bearing on my review at all.  If anything, I may be a little harder on this book because of it.  I have high expectations for the folks I label in the “friend” category. lol.  “and now for something completely different…” the world: The world building in Velveteen, I thought was pretty fantastic.  Velveteen takes place in both our world and in Purgatory.  Purgatory being that somewhere place that a spirit goes when they aren’t immediately taken into Heaven or Hell.   It is dark and eery.  Using the descriptions given, I kept imagining like a ghetto filled with homeless peoples after a natural disaster – say an uncontrollable fire or a volcano.  Everything is covered in ash, and buildings were made of salvaged cardboard.   Actually, you know that scene at the end of VOLCANO (the movie with Tommy Lee Jones in it)?  Was it Volcano?  Yes, I think it was Volcano.  They pick up a little boy and he looks around at all the people covered in ash from the volcano and he says “Look, they all look the same” and the camera pans and sure enough… all the people look the same, covered in ash.  There were no races, no genders, just people in ash, white teeth, and eyeballs.  So poetic.  THAT is what I saw when I was reading about Purgatory. Purgatory is divided into cities, and each city has “factions” that live in dorms.  Each faction has its specific duty or “job” within their community.  The city is constantly being flooded with an influx of new souls – all in shock and all needing an “orientation” of sorts to way things work in THIS world. the characters: The main character in Velveteen is Velveteen Monroe.  Velveteen isn’t your average angsty teenager.  She’s a spirit who lives in Purgatory.  She was murdered by the serial killer, Bonesaw, at the age of 16.  She is strong willed, bitter, and hell bent (pardon the pun) on revenge. The serial killer, Bonesaw.  He is a nasty freaknut in “our” world with a penchant for cutting and a hankering for young girls.  He is the focus of Velvet’s hatred, and she is determined to have her revenge. Nick is a soul that Velvet’s crew rescue and bring to Purgatory.  He is the sporty and attractive “boy next door” “all american” boy.   His appearance in the story turns both worlds (ours and Purgatory) up on end. The twins, Luisa and Logan, are members of Velvets crew. Very different little souls that enamor both Velveteen and the reader. There are various other members of the team that deserve a mention here.  Quinton and Kipper both have great roles in the story.  Though they are only side characters, their inclusion in the story helps illustrate the life and hierarchy of Purgatory.  Ms Antonia and Manny (the bosses, so to speak) also have a large role to play and deserve a mention.  I’m afraid going into much detail of them will spoil the story for you. The point is, this story has a rather large “cast” of characters.  All so well developed they become real.  Each of them an integral part of this story.  Being without any one of them, would have changed the tale entirely. the plot: ahhh, the point in my review in which I become overly judgmental and bitter.  :( The synopsis of this book listed on both Goodreads and Amazon (above), lead one to expect a book about a murder victim’s journey to find revenge against her killer.   Though that IS included in the story – it is only a side-plot/backstory.  The Bonesaw aspect of the book plays a major part of the story only in that it is the motivation of our main character and part of the climax.  However, Bonesaw and his evil deeds are only in the story a tiny bit – a very small part in the journey.  I feel the synopsis is kind of misleading, and those of us who pick this book up expecting a big horrorfest will be disappointed.  Those that don’t enjoy horror will miss out on a great para-ro simply because they misunderstand the story and pass on picking it up, thinking that its horror. In Conclusion: Overall, I enjoyed Velveteen.  (read my reading updates on goodreads)  I am a little disappointed, because I wanted to LOVE IT.  I wanted and expected horror.  I made the mistake of reading other reviews that said things like “so gory”  and/or “SO scary!”  And now I am reminded why I don’t read other reviews before reading a book I am really looking forward to.  I did LIKE it.  I liked it A LOT.   It felt – and this is important -  new and fresh in a genre thats flooded with books that all feel “the same”.   Personally, I would have liked to have read more encounters with Bonesaw, had it focus more on the Bonesaw aspect of the story.  It would have leaned the story more toward having a horror feel instead of a paranormal romance.  That being said, I DID still like it.  A lot.  I whole heartily recommend this one to you guys.   All the YA folks that are into the paranormal romance/urban fantasy type books are sure to enjoy it.  I think the horror fans might not “LOVE” it, but would still enjoy it as long as they go into it knowing it isn’t going to be “horror” per say.  It definitely fell into the “light horror” category for me, more of a Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy/Mystery/Thriller.  So yea, basically every category known to man, except non-fiction.  At least, I hope it can’t go into non-fiction.  But really, who knows?  =) Mom Notes: Contains graphic violence and language.   *and, as if Karma herself wishes to show me her displeasure in my review… I spill an ENTIRE glass of sweet tea – all over my expensive new keyboard, mouse, and desk.  You’re welcome.  haha ( )
  BunnyCates | Jul 8, 2015 |
Finally! I’ve finally read Velveteen. I wanted to read it for so long but it took me forever to get my hands on it because none of the bookstores in my area seemed to have it.

It was definitely worth the wait. I absolutely loved it. I honestly loved every single thing about this book. It didn’t have one single thing I didn’t like.

Make sure you pick this one up if you haven’t already. You wont regret it.

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked. Maybe someday I will re-read Velveteen and do a better review. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | Mar 8, 2015 |
2.5 stars. I was really enjoying the first part. I guess I'm more into the psychological thriller/horror than the weird purgatory world he set up. Why did they have to lose their clothes every time they traveled between worlds? It really served no purpose other than to make the book 30 pages longer. I also felt that the author didn't write a very convincing teen girl. It just felt so wrong. So overall it was OK, but not super spectacular. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
Velveteen I really wanted to like this book. It had all of the elements that I am drawn to - it's dark, it takes place in the afterlife, there's murder and haunting involved etc. However, the inconsistencies within the story itself quickly disabused me of the notion that I was going to love Velveteen. Velveteen begins with Velvet, the main character, entering the home of the serial killer who brutally mutilated and murdered her. She is determined to haunt him in order to save any others from becoming his victim, even though it is against the rules of the purgatory in which she now resides. Upon her return to Purgatory, a shadow quake rocks Purgatory's foundation and tendrils of shadow creep out to ensnare any soul it can grab and force them to envision their worst fears, traumatizing the trapped soul. Velvet and her group of salvagers must return to reality and find the dark magic that is causing the shadow quake. So there are two very different things going on at the beginning of Velveteen, both scenarios drew me into the story initially. However, it quickly became apparent that there were some glaring inconsistencies. For example, while this is clearly a young adult book, I would think that the subject matter of serial murder and mutilation resulting in death would be better suited for older young adult readers, but then some of the silly and childish things that occur and the loose way the story is written in places almost feels like a middle grade book. But then, even this isn’t consistent. The writing style is quite odd, it almost felt like 2 different people were writing this the way the styles changed. The story certainly did not flow at an even pace and it took me a long time to finish as I kept setting the book down in frustration. I also had a problem with the fact that Velveteen did not go in the direction promised by both the synopsis and the beginning sequence of this book. I was sorely disappointed to find that this story is less about her haunting of a serial killer and more about some disgruntled inhabitants of Purgatory called the Departurists and their wish to break free and wreak havoc. Now, I know sometimes a book goes in a different direction than it first promises, and very often that can work. Unfortunately for Velveteen, the direction the story takes with the Departurists leads only to a dead end. It doesn't go anywhere remotely interesting and there is no explanation or resolution that makes any kind of sense. I was very disappointed with this book. I think even more so because I had been so looking forward to it. I'm rating this 2 stars instead of 1 simply because I really did enjoy the beginning. ( )
  ahappybooker | Feb 7, 2014 |
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"Velveteen was murdered at 16, but that's not her real problem. Life in purgatory is hard work when your side job is haunting the serial killer who killed you"--

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