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Short Description for Velveteen "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"--
- Published: 09 October 2012
- Format: Hardback 464 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780385742245 ISBN 10: 038574224X
- Sales rank: 75,588
Reviews for Velveteen
Didn't Meet My Expectations
I really wanted to love this book! The cover: breathtaking. The premise: so intriguing. But I couldn't quiet bring myself to love it. I liked it, but I didn't love it. Velveteen has a pretty sweet job in purgatory and she still finds time to haunt her killer. Actually, the parts with Velvet and Bonesaw were my favourites from the book. I love the idea of a murdered teenage girl trying to get even with her killer.
There was a lot of world-building necessary for this one, since Marks constructed an entire society of purgatory. Overall, I thought the world-building was well done, but occasionally I got a bit confused when certain aspects were touched upon, but then never revisited (such as the divining needles). Also, some of the secondary characters were very odd. Something makes me a bit uncomfortable about a 12-year-old addict
Velveteen prides herself on being a badass, which I always appreciate in my heroines. However, in Velvet's case, she tried too hard and generally came off mean and bitchy. Now, I'm not claiming to be an expert in badass, but I always appreciate characters who 'are tough' more than characters who 'act tough.' Velveteen's commitment to repress any and all feelings drove me a bit nuts. Sure she had more than her fair share of trauma, but it made me frustrated at her as a character.
On to the romance. Nick was confident and smooth, but at the same time comforting and vulnerable. Basically, he had the whole package of a YA love interest, not to mention that he's a saint for putting up with all Velvet's crap. My goodness that girl gives a lot of mixed signals!
The pacing of this book was weird for me. It felt like sometimes the author would focus solely on one aspect of the book (ie: romance, Bonesaw, Velvet's job in purgatory) and forget all about everything else for a few chapters. I would have really preferred it if the aspects were mixed together a bit more throughout. At one point I was so impatient for the romance to get out of the way so I could have more Bonesaw action! Morbid? Maybe.
Overall, Velveteen is a good read, but it fell a bit short of being great for me. It's still worth a try if you like somewhat morbid ghost stories, but it didn't quite make my recommendation list. by Megan
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. by nafiza azad
Completely Different than What I Expected
Velveteen started off so promising! A spunky, take-charge heroine hell-bent on seeking revenge on her killer? Yes! But I quickly realized that Velveteen was going to be much more about the inner turmoil of Purgatory than about Velvet's thirst for vengeance.
Velveteen's opening scenes were brillant - frustrated over Bonesaw's nonchalance over being haunted, Velvet can't help but flash back to when she was being held captive. While flooding his kitchen, her worst fears are realized when she sees that he has brought home another victim, and has them tied up in his shed. But before she can reek further havoc on Bonesaw, she rushes back to Purgatory before her absence is noted as hauntings are forbidden - something about their "bad energy" causing trouble in Purgatory. It's not until about halfway through Velveteen that we get to see Bonesaw again, so to say my disappointment was great is an understatement.
I could have forgiven Velveteen's misleading blurb if I had enjoyed the direction the plot took - that of a revolution happening in Purgatory, where unhappy souls called Departurists sought to flee Purgatory permanently Unfortunately, I found Marks left too many holes in the world-building. How long has Velvet been in purgatory? Why is she given so many responsibilities at such a young age? How can someone so young hold the Purgatory record for souls collected - 57 - when Purgatory has been around for thousands of years? Why does it seem like hers is the only Salvage team in all the Latin Quarter? How many districts comprise Purgatory? What was the point of Salon? When people are hurt in Purgatory, causing their memories to leak out, why does no one seem to experience any signs of memory loss? Why do Shadowquakes show up so quickly, if it's tied to malicious intent? Shouldn't their be a gradual buildup of shadows invading Purgatory? I was always on the edge of being sucked into Velveteen's story, before being shuttled back into reality when I stumbled upon another hole.
Marks also had the strangest tendency to include a "you understand" at the end of certain passages.
"She gave him a reassuring smile and patted him on the shoulder...or right about where his shoulder would have been had he not been see-through, you understand."
It was such a jarring experience, as it took away from Velvet's first person narrative, and replaced it with a big brother-like feeling. It was almost like someone else was reading Velvet's story and inserting their thoughts every so often. I didn't understand its point, and after the first half of Velveteen it was noticeably absent, like Marks realized it shouldn't have been included to begin with.
One thing I did really enjoy though, was Velvet. She was confident and self-assured, sarcastic and bad-ass. She was mean to people, in order to keep them at a distance, but she opened up to those she really cared about. She had an amazing ability to set aside her emotions in order to get the job done, except when it came to Nick. Which made for some pretty funny moments.
"His cocky smile, the way he deflected stuff with humor, everything about him was wrong for her. If anything, he'd have to settle for her eyes wandering over his body. And that face and those eyes. And the way he was tracing the indents between his stomach muscles."
"His smile was unforgettable and unfortunate. It was the kind of smile that made knees shake, wicked and divine. Velvet clutched the railing and waited for the weird feeling shuddering through her to abate."
Unfortunately the other characters weren't nearly as memorable. Nick was constantly described in terms of his physical attributes, other than being young twins with old souls, I couldn't tell you anything about Luisa and Logan, and I had forgotten about Kipper until he made a brief reappearance at the end. Even Bonesaw was lacklustre, as his presence was minimal and unthreatening.
The romance, though passionate and heated in the face of being forbidden, was nothing more than insta-love, the plot had sections that dragged on so that I had to force myself to keep reading, and the twists with the Departurists were predictable. So even though Velveteen had a very promising blurb, it did not live up to most of my expectations. by Radiant Shadows