Velveteen

( 22 )

Overview

Readers of Carrie Ryan and Richelle Mead will love this dark revenge fantasy.

   Velveteen Monroes is dead. At sixteen, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.
   The problem is she landed in the City of the Dead. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven either. It's gray, ashen, and crumbling more and more by the day, and everyone has a job to ...

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Velveteen

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Overview

Readers of Carrie Ryan and Richelle Mead will love this dark revenge fantasy.

   Velveteen Monroes is dead. At sixteen, she was kidnapped and murdered by a madman named Bonesaw. But that's not the problem.
   The problem is she landed in the City of the Dead. And while it's not a fiery inferno, it's certainly no heaven either. 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.
   Bonesaw.
   Velveteen aches to deliver the bloody punishment he 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 could actually crack the foundation of her new world, not to mention jeopardize 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.

"Dark, demented, and edgy, with just the right amount of humor and romance mixed in—Daniel Marks has written the afterlife like you've never seen it before."-Richelle Mead, New York Times bestselling author of the Vampire Academy series

"Velveteen has it all: a ghost hell-bent on revenge, a wickedly hot dead boy, and an underworld revolution—I couldn't get enough!"-Kimberly Derting, author of the Body Finder series and The Pledge

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Erika Schneider
Velveteen Monroe, the main character of Marks's novel, has passed on from this earth. Yet she currently resides in purgatory, where her job is to help rid the living world of black magic. Although Velveteen has a job in purgatory, her main goal is revenge on the person who murdered her. Unfortunately, the rules of purgatory do not allow her to do this. Will Velveteen rebel and let her desire for revenge destroy purgatory, or will she succumb to the rules of her new life? Readers interested in gothic and morbid themes may want to read this book to see what the main character chooses. However, most readers will turn away from the book due to its violence, morbidity, and crass language. The book begins with some graphic details of a serial killer abducting a girl and torturing her. This alone makes it a poor choice for many young adults. Not only does this book contain elements that will make readers uncomfortable, but also many parts are not believable. Even readers of fantasy will scratch their heads in confusion at some of the magical elements. While a certain subset of teens will enjoy this book, it is not one that should be widely recommended. Reviewer: Erika Schneider
Kirkus Reviews
A tedious tale of teens in purgatory suffers from clumsy prose, erratic worldbuilding, and an overabundance of characters and plotlines. After being kidnapped, tortured and murdered by a serial killer called Bonesaw, Velvet is a bitter, defensive soul. She works on purgatory's Salvage team, retrieving trapped souls from the world of the living, and illegally sneaks back to haunt Bonesaw in her spare time. Meanwhile, a group of Departurists want to start a revolution, and destructive shadowquakes, caused by magic use among the living, grow increasingly common. The prose has a stylized, slick feel characterized by half-baked, stream-of-consciousness humor ("Blind?....Hungover? Either seemed a possible explanation for wearing sunglasses at night, or possibly a nod to crappy eighties songs"). Many themes show up only briefly: Velvet's pre-death love of cinema, for instance, or certain souls' addiction to huffing the gas used for lighting lamps. In general, the worldbuilding leaves a distracting number of questions unanswered: Against what kind of government are the Departurists rebelling, and why is a rule breaker like Velvet immediately certain they're wrong? If the dead can no longer eat or smoke, how can they kiss? A few illuminating details eventually emerge, but not enough to make the slog through purgatory worth it. (Fantasy. 14-18)
Children's Literature - Kasey Giard
Her gruesome murder by a serial killer lands sixteen-year-old victim Velvet in the ashen world of purgatory. But Velvet has far from forgotten her horrible death. Against the rules of her new home, she journeys back to the madman's home to haunt him and to try to stop him from killing again. If she is discovered, she will be forced to spend eternity in purgatory. But that is not Velvet's biggest problem. All purgatory stands on the brink of revolution, and it is up to Velvet and her team to keep purgatory from being destroyed. Velvet's killer who calls himself Bonesaw is as creepy as creeps can get. In his descriptions of the vile man and his deeds, Marks does little to hide that he is used to writing at an adult level of explicit content. Other scenes graphically describe spirits possessing the decaying bodies of the dead. In the story, Velvet is torn between her duties in purgatory and her desire for revenge on her killer, but she shows little concern for the living, including Bonesaw's latest victim. She plans to rescue the girl, but that gets sidelined by her pursuit of a hot boy and her social life. Despite this, the world of purgatory is wildly imaginative, fresh and interesting. Nick, Velvet's love interest, is the perfect foil for her. He is as compassionate as she is apathetic. Though not for the squeamish, Velveteen is a unique and entertaining tale. Reviewer: Kasey Giard
School Library Journal
Gr 9 Up—Goth girl Velveteen Monroe died at the age of 16, tortured and killed by a serial killer nicknamed Bonesaw. Her spirit now exists in Purgatory, trapped along with innumerable other souls who all have unresolved issues that prevent them from moving on. In the City of the Dead, Velveteen has a job to do as part of a Salvage team that searches for and rescues souls trapped in the world of the living. However, neither her job nor her hot teammate Nick can distract her from her obsession with haunting her murderer and preventing him from killing other girls. This is a problem because haunting upsets the natural balance and is strictly forbidden in Purgatory. As massive tremors occur more and more frequently in the City of the Dead, the side effects of Velveteen's attempts at revenge may endanger the whole world. This dark fantasy incorporates some complex world-building in its vision of Purgatory, which is very different from the gentle afterlife depicted in books such as Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones (Picador, 2002) or Gabrielle Zevin's Elsewhere (Farrar, 2005). The otherworld is gray and ashen, and the eventual fate of those who move on and disappear from Purgatory is ambiguous. This book is not for the faint of heart, as the descriptions of Bonesaw's tortures are graphic and gruesome, and there are a number of gross-out scenes involving the Salvage team reanimating rotting corpses. Older teens with a taste for the macabre will appreciate this one.—Kathleen E. Gruver, Burlington County Library, Westampton, NJ
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780385742245
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 10/9/2012
  • Pages: 464
  • Sales rank: 820,114
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.82 (w) x 8.36 (h) x 1.46 (d)

Meet the Author

DANIEL MARKS was a psychotherapist for 12 years before he decided to write full-time. He lives in the Pacific Northwest, with his wife. 

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

When Velveteen Monroe pictured Bonesaw's house—and she did, more often than could be considered healthy—blood striped the paint a muddy reddish-brown, internal organs floated in jars of formaldehyde, and great big taxidermy crows leered from branches that twisted from the wall like palsied arms.

Velvet always did have a vivid imagination. It was part of her charm.

But she'd never have guessed that the first thing to jump out at her in the murderer's dank living room wouldn't be a human-bone coffee table cluttered with the latest issues of Sociopath Weekly and Insanity Fair, dog-eared and swollen with scribbled Post-its like her mom's Cooking Light magazines, nor the killer himself, wild-eyed and clad in a blood-spattered rubber apron, growling maniacally.

He wasn't there at all.

The first thing Velvet noticed was a dangerously normal Kleenex cozy with the words "Home Sweet Home" cross-stitched into its side. As if there were anyone sweet dwelling in that boxy, bland farmhouse.

Bonesaw had dropped the ball on macabre creativity. It's like he never got the text message. When a serial killer decorates his home, it's his duty to opt for, at the very least, a moderately freaky and off-kilter, if not deranged, design scheme.

Everybody knows that.

It's Psychopath 101.

The couch and chairs were as sandy brown as the paint job and plainly arranged rather than all backward or spotted with gore like you might expect of a properly insane decorator. The carpet was clearance-sale beige and just the slightest bit threadbare in a meandering path that led to the old-fashioned swinging kitchen door. The only thing remotely weird was an alabaster ashtray the size of a hubcap, with a half-eaten peanut butter and jelly sandwich stubbed-out in the middle instead of a cigarette butt.

Velvet's eyes lit on a giant TV—not one of those LCDs, but the other kind, with the big tube in the back—teetering atop a small chest. One of the stand's doors hung open just a crack, and something twinkled from its murky depths like a lonely star. She reached out and swung the door open on its squeaky hinges, half expecting to see a knife collection of the variety sold on home shopping networks.

"Look at all of you." Velvet cocked an eyebrow as she peered inside. "Lined up like toy soldiers."

Bonesaw collected salt and pepper shakers. Lots and lots of them.

Mexican guys in sombreros, turtles with top hats and canes, and even a pair of Oreos with bites taken out of them—though how delicious cookies were related to salt and pepper was beyond Velvet.

"Correction," she mumbled. "Used to collect them."

Velvet snatched a pair of hideous cacti, the pickle color having faded into a pale, sickly lime from age or, maybe, Bonesaw's relentless polishing. She launched them across the room, where one shattered into a hundred pieces and the other dug into the drywall, jutting from it like a diseased tooth. A couple of cockeyed chickens were next to get the fastball treatment, followed by the rest of the animal-shaped dispensers. They exploded against the back of the front door, salting and peppering the carpet with tiny shards of porcelain but no actual salt and pepper.

The cabinet emptied, Velvet clamped her fingers under the edge of the coffee table and heaved it forward onto its top, sending the magazines flapping across the room and the giant ashtray thudding to the floor. The peanut butter and jelly dropped away as the mammoth disk of alabaster rolled off on its side, ridges beating a rhythm across the thin pile of the carpet. It collided with the chest, and the TV rocked precariously before settling back onto its base.

Velvet cocked her head to the side; black waves of hair fell over her shoulder and cast a shadow across her face. She quickly tucked a lock behind her ear and assessed the situation for maximum destruction. A slow grin carved its way across her lips, as jagged as a jack-o'-lantern's.

"That won't do, will it?"

She spun, kicking the chest with her full weight, and watched with glee as the TV toppled to the floor with a bang. The screen exploded satisfyingly, spraying the carpet with tiny splinters of TV glass that twinkled like morning dew. The booming echoed through the small house exquisitely, the sound defiling every normal-as-white-bread corner.

If you overlooked the vandalism, the house was the kind of place where anyone could have lived.

Even the killer of four high school girls from New Brompfel Heights, New Jersey.

That crapload of crazy had all started the summer before Velvet's senior year, when Misha Kohl hadn't shown up at home after getting wasted at a kegger, but instead appeared eight days later in several different ziplock freezer bags down by the river. The town had gone shit-bag crazy over that. Curfews had been instated. Buddy-ups for the kids whose houses didn't warrant bus stops. Cameras pointed at the playgrounds like owls on the hunt for woodland scamperers.

Velvet had been pretty sure Bonesaw wasn't a scamperer.

Those cameras hadn't been about catching the serial killer anyway. They'd been about parents pretending their teenage girls were playing on swing sets rather than holing up in some sweaty basement, dodging boys' grabby hands.

Totally delusional.

Despite an obvious love of thick eyeliner, eighties Goth music, and giving her mother heart palpitations, Velvet hadn't been particularly interested in the Bonesaw case at the time. She would have, if pressed, admitted to a certain fascination with sociopaths, and she had spent more than a few "library enrichment" hours scouring the Encyclopedia of Tragedy and Mayhem, but a few missing girls didn't really thrill her as much as you'd think.

Sure, Ted Bundy was kind of hot if you squinted really hard, but he wasn't nearly as extraordinary-looking as his "survivors" always claimed on those History Channel psycho-killer shows. Velvet's interests didn't have anything to do with romanticizing psychotic personalities, anyway. What intrigued her was the whole disconnectedness-from-emotions "thing" that unites all true sociopaths, like they're part of a Moose lodge or a fantasy football league. She'd been accused of the same behavior on more than one occasion (the disconnectedness, not participating in a ridiculous pretend sports thing). Whether she was guilty of having the symptoms was debatable. Lord knows the counselors at her school were happy to discuss what they termed her "oppositional defiance" at every parent conference ever.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 22 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(11)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

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1 Star

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 22 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 9, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Darkly romantic and fantastic!

    The title and cover of this book are what caught my attention - It's beautiful and dark and I just loved it. Velveteen is dark, twisted and morbidly graphic at times, unlike anything I've ever read, but the writing is fantastic! Velveteen Monroe (one of the coolest MC names ever) is an angry, bitter girl hell-bent on revenge and with good reason. She's been kidnapped and murdered, she's stuck in purgatory and her killer is still free to continue torturing and killing more girls. Where's the fairness in that? I'd probably be a little upset too. The souls stuck in purgatory aren't stuck forever though. They "dim" at some point where they either go on to Heaven or Hell but no one really knows when or why the dimming happens. (It DID upset me that there were babies there. I have personal reasons for this and there's just no getting around that but yeah, babies always get a fast-pass to Heaven.) There are rules of purgatory and the big one is no haunting. Period. If you're caught, you're condemned to a "life" in purgatory forever. (Gray might be the "new black" but no one looks good in it for all eternity - just sayin'). Velvet breaks this "no haunting" rule each time she sneaks out to visit Bonesaw but she does have an ulterior motive when she goes and it's to try and save other girls from her same fate. See, some rule breaking serves a greater purpose. That should count for something, right? Velvet leads the best team of Salvagers in purgatory and exudes the attitude of "making the best of the situation". Her co-workers respect her and she has a few friends despite her "cheery" personality. Kipper is a trip and the twins Louisa and Logan are a mix of childishness and preteen angst. Velvet has enemies too, mainly in mean-girl Isadora and her wannabes. Life or should I say, death as Velvet knows it is about to change, mainly in the form of Nick. *fans face* He's the impossibly cute guy Velvet and her team rescue, the one who seems intent on breaking down the barriers of both her world and her heart. (I *hearts* him BTW!) Nick is hot, funny and makes Velvet feels things she never thought possible, things that would scare her to death if she wasn't already dead. He's also off-limits as her newest team member which kinda complicates things. Nick gets Velvet to see the good in herself, something she's never really considered before. *swoons* Their moments together are a combination of frustration and swoon that left me holding my breath wondering if one of them was going to "dim" at any moment, leaving the other utterly heart broken (and me too). Who knew purgatory could be so romantic?! There are souls who aren't content with their current state in purgatory and don't want to be there for long, who refuse to wait their turn to "dim". They want out now! Before the book ends, secrets will be uncovered and Velveteen will suffer a heart breaking betrayal. Before the book ends, secrets will be uncovered and Velveteen will suffer a heart breaking betrayal. While she's never been one to "go with the flow", she'll have to decide what's more important, following the rules or getting revenge because the choices she makes now could have a devastating affect on the souls of everyone she cares about.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 29, 2012

    I would actually give this book 3 and 1/2 stars. I don't normall

    I would actually give this book 3 and 1/2 stars. I don't normally give a book five stars unless it's changed my life. So, Danny's book is almost a four. I was a little hesitant to read it, since I knew going in that it had elements of horror in it (generally not my style), but I enjoyed Danny's vlogs and personality so much, I just had to read it.
    The main character Velveteen, is a true warrior and guardian. She doesn't take crap from anyone, and knows how to get a job done; in this case, take care of the "good" souls in Purgatory by keeping them safe, whilst kicking the "bad/banshee" ones out of human hosts and helping those poor souls who are lost find their way to Purgatory; and she's a smart mouth (but in a fun way).
    Then there is Velvet's salvage team, who provide support when she goes kicking naughty souls back to Purgatory. They consist of the twins (a brother/sister duo who are both smart, cunning, know it alls and mature beyond their years), Quentin (an extremely shy, lovestruck teen, and Kipper (a jokster, "part-time Salvage trainer", and all around tough guy...when need be). And there might be Nick (a lost soul/love interest). He has Velvet's back, doesn't mind being led by her, won't be easily pushed around, and adapts wells. And he's extra hot.
    I liked these characters and seeing how they interact around one another. You get to know some of their back story, which you don't always get for secondary characters.
    The plot, although very interesting and a concept I haven't read about before, was a bit confusing at times. I thought this, because the characters are often running around Purgatory and the Earth plane trying to accomplish a multitude of tasks. They get one thing taken care of and then another problem occurs almost immediately. This direction of various plot lines doesn't always sit clearly with the reader; but the more you read, the more you can see the connections clearly. I would say, this was the only thing that bothered me about the story....and maybe the gory parts. Though, in all honesty, it did not freak me out quite like I had anticipated. Don't get me wrong though. Danny has a way of describing without describing. Kind of like how Hitchcock showed you things without letting you see them.
    And lastly, there's Bonesaw. Creepy, pyscho, very realistic. I wanted Velvet to get her revenge just about as much as she did.

    I would like to read the sequel. It doesn't quite exist yet, but I know there could be one. Danny leaves room for more, but it's not a cliffhanger ending, which is nice if there isn't a sequel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 11, 2013

    Let me just start off saying that I am incredibly thankful that

    Let me just start off saying that I am incredibly thankful that I was able to read this book, I LOVED IT! From beginning to end, I stayed up all night reading it, could not put it down. Once I have read a book I don't typically read any reviews on it until I have written my own as I don't want anyone else's opinion in my head at all, however, for some reason with this one I did read some, and I was surprised at what I read in some of them. I know everyone has their own opinion and that is awesome, but I thought I would do this review a little differently and put in some of what I read on other reviews, and what I thought about it.




    So it sounds like some people were looking for more "grit and gore", but for me it was perfect, I am not a fan of horror at all, I can never sleep after for days! But Daniel gave me just enough of the creep factor that I cringed a few times while reading it, but I was still able to sleep and not dream about Bonesaw and what he could possibly do to me. The other thing I noticed is some were not happy with the take that he had on purgatory because it did not seem "realistic" enough, to me that just does not sound right as who really knows what purgatory looks like, or how it is operated? I love when an author will take something that we think we know about and twist it and make me believe that it could totally be something different.




    I have heard a lot of other bloggers talk lately about how some books in the YA section are getting "watered down" because it seems to be the same story over and over, or at least the same kind of plot line, and I  am so happy to say that this is not the case in Velveteen by any means. I love Velvet, and I think I would want to be just like her if I were in the same situation, she was kidnapped and murderer by the psycho named Bonesaw, and instead of going fully to "the other side" she gets stuck in purgatory, and rather than feel sorry for herself, she seeks revenge on Bonesaw any way that she can. She crosses back and forth between our world and purgatory and terrorises him as much as she can, and I would have to say that these were some of my favourite parts to read because it is hilarious what she does.




    I also loved meeting all the other characters in the book, even the ones that annoyed me to no end, they each brought something to the book to give it colour for sure. I think that is what a book should have, when you are reading, you want it to effect you and make you think and feel, and this book did all that for me. If you are looking for a book to give you the creeps but also a great story, this one is for you, I highly recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 27, 2013

    Reagan Hacker

    It was AWESOME! I couldnt put it down i just wanted to keep reading! I recommend this book to anyone that likes ghost\demonic spirit stories. Daniel Marks is an amazing writer!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Mark

    Swims

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2013

    Avari

    Ok

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  • Posted April 19, 2013

    A very enjoyable read! Unique! If the idea of purgatory pikes ur

    A very enjoyable read! Unique!
    If the idea of purgatory pikes ur curiosity than this book delivers in its concept and plot! And for once a teen novel not centered on cheesy immature romance; though there is budding love interest that begins to form it is secondary to the main plot. And I agree with the first line in the description.... fans of Richelle Mead will love this! (She actually recommended this novel on her blog which is how i found out about it) Be warned, there are aspects of horror in this book so if ur easily made squemish than you may want to read some spoilers to see if its your cup of tea.

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  • Posted December 31, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    When this was first came to my attention I was excited about it

    When this was first came to my attention I was excited about it. The cover, title and description just absolutely grabbed me. Sadly, it did not live up to the high expectations that I had placed upon it.

    The high point of the book is Velveteen herself. I like her personality. She's a little bit snarky, but has just enough pull that you can tell she's the leader of her little group. They trust her and respect her. She gets thing done. It seems a lot of people in the book are sit back and let someone else do the work. And at lot of that delegation gets past on to her. She's ok with it because it keeps her mind off of Bonesaw.

    Now maybe her group shouldn't trust her because she's breaking a lot of rules. But, the truth is that her dealings with her killer are the best part of the story. It's what I wanted out of this book. They just don't happen nearly enough. From the description, it sounds like it should be the focus of the story. It's not, and I found that very deceiving. I'm not a big fan when the book is nothing like the description.

    The story is mostly about what is happening in Purgatory. And that is were the trouble with this story lies. This world is absolutely maddening. Half the time it didn't make sense. The other half the time I just didn't care. I wanted to get back to how she was tormenting Bonesaw.

    I'm not sure I care enough to read the next one. We will see though.

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  • Posted December 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The one thing that totally caught my eye with Velveteen by autho

    The one thing that totally caught my eye with Velveteen by author Daniel Marks was the title, I mean, the first thing I thought about was the fabric… but after that, it was the description that had caught my attention.  The concept of a ghost hunting down their past killer while falling in love with a fellow ghost sounded pretty gnarly and I was excited, expected a ton of ghost vs. human fighting scenes and wanted some paranormal activity type stuff going on. I’ll admit, I’m a bit saddened by the fact that there barely was any Velvet(een) vs. Bonesaw scenes, but the novel was still a fun read.

    Velveteen is the story of teenage ghost, Velveteen, or Velvet as she’s called in the novel. Velvet, after being horrifically murdered in her teens, finds herself unable to move on and is stuck in Purgatory. While in Purgatory, Velvet finds herself stuck with a team of other ghosts whose main goal in life is to possess the bodies of humans in order to save other ghosts who need to pass on, or pass into Purgatory. While on a job, Velvet ends up saving Nick, a fellow dead person who finds himself following her straight to Purgatory where he becomes her untouchable co-worker. Literally. While Velvet fights her growing attraction to Nick, she also must focus on how to save a constantly crumbling Purgatory and eventually get revenge on her killer; Bonesaw.

    The one thing that I’ll admit disappointed me was the fact that the revenge portion of the story was barely seen. For the most part, it was seen closer to the end and the rest of the novel focused more on how Velvet is accidentally caught up in having to save Purgatory and her complicated relationship with her fellow ghost-boy Nick.  I’m not going to lie to you, I really, really  wanted to see more of the revenge that Velvet would have on her killer, especially since the novel does begin with Velvet hanging around Bonesaw’s house with some pretty angry thoughts going through her head. However, despite the fact that it does come closer to the end, when Velvet does finally get her revenge on Bonesaw, it’s pretty freaking climatic and graphic. I liked it, however it might not have been for everybody.

    The concept of Purgatory crumbling did kinda confuse me, especially since all the dead people start to freak right out when shadowquakes take place and threaten to turn all of Purgatory to dust. The dead people act like the shadowquakes will kill them, and from my understanding, the ghosts are already dead… so why are they still so afraid? I found that most of the chapters that took place in Purgatory did confuse me a bit, probably because I was thinking about the setting in a realistic point of view and not in a supernatural/paranormal one.

    When it came to the romance between Velveteen and Nick, I have to say that I believe it started in a way that I don’t commonly see in YA because it begins with love at first sight. It might not say that in the novel exactly, but after Velvet totally saves his behind, Velvet and Nick make out before he finally gets sent to be her co-worker. However, once their relationship begins to grow, I did think that Velvet and Nick were cute together and seemed dependant on each other from the start. The only thing that I think readers should be wary of is the fact that the pacing does fall strangely, during scenes were things should be moving fast they go slow and scenes were things should be going slow they move too quickly. Other than that, it was pretty enjoyable.

    I would recommend Velveteen to readers who want a paranormal story like no other, those of us who are fans of teenage romance with badass main characters and readers who want a story that is unique in every way.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2012

    Waste of money

    If i could give this review less stars i would. This book is 315 pages of pure crap. Total waste of time and money. Storeline is lacking and dumb. This book is more about her afterlife then her haunting bonesaw. What happened to her and her death is minor details in this book. I can not encourage people enough not to buy this book. If you want a great read in a similar catagory try Anna dressed in blood.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    This One Made My Hands and Feet Sweat! Because I've developed m

    This One Made My Hands and Feet Sweat!

    Because I've developed my own vision of the afterlife, I found it immensely fascinating to read Daniel Marks' much darker take on limbo or in his vision, purgatory. I also found it amusing that we'd both used origami in our stories. It's possible that a therapist would have a field day hanging out with the two of us, our origami references and all the people in our heads. LOL!

    There were several characters in VELVETEEN that I really enjoyed, but Velveteen Monroe was my favorite. She's just like an Oreo--dark and crunchy on the outside, but once you peel her apart, she's soft and sweet on the inside. Anyway you come at her, she's a wonderful, layered and fun character.

    My favorite plot line in the story had to involve Bonesaw, the madman who kidknapped and murdered Velvet. Even though my hands and feet were sweating as I was reading, I was riveted to the story with the same morbid fascination that I had with The Silence of the Lambs. Of course, Marks handled this gruesome topic in an age appropriate manner. But did I mention that my hands and feet were sweating?

    Lastly, I enjoyed this book because it was different. If there is a box that most books sit in, VELVETEEN falls just outside--making it a unique and interesting read.

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  • Posted November 15, 2012

    What I Liked: 1) Velveteen. Her name alone is perfection. Think

    What I Liked: 1) Velveteen. Her name alone is perfection. Think about what velvet is, smooth and soft. Velveteen (the girl) is exactly not those things. She's kind of like...rough, and hard core. But she wears the name perfectly. At the same time, she is also more caring than I think she lets on. I mean, she's trying to save people, after all. 2) The uniqueness of the story. This is the first story I've read that takes place primarily in Purgatory, where the main characters are ghosts. Or spirits. I think I was expecting something more morbid, and while it was kinda morbid, it wasn't so morbid that it interfered with the story. There were a lot of unique aspects to this story, but I don't want to mention them all, rather let you be surprised when you read it for yourself. 3) The colors! This story comes alive (ironically) through the descriptions of setting and character. I don't know if this happens for y'all when you're reading, but for me, with really well-written books seem to come alive in vivid pictures as I'm reading. That's what the excellent descriptions were able to do in Velveteen. I always think of these as the colors, because instead of black and white words on a page, I see it all in color. 4) Nick. He was a different kind of male MC. He doesn't come until well into the story, and he takes a backseat to Velveteen. Seems like in a lot of YA stories, the guy is the...Alpha. Not so in this book. Velveteen definitely takes the lead ALMOST all of the time, and it gives Nick an interesting role to play. 5) The surprise. Not saying anything else. Don't even ask.

    What I Didn't Like: The ending was a little gory for me. Seriously. I cover my eyes when they show blood on Grey's Anatomy though, so take from that what you will. I would soooo never make it as a doctor. But yeah, the end, it's descriptively gory. That should tell you just how good the details are in this book though.

    Overall Thoughts: Velveteen is a deliciously morose story that is full of fire. The main and supporting characters play the equivalent of super hero/policemen/ghost hunters in their world, but they do it with an edge that comes from living in the land of purgatory. And then you get to go along with Velveteen as she illegally haunts the aboveground. Everything about this story is unique and appealing to anyone who loves a good story!

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  • Posted November 7, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    If you are planning on reading Velveteen, don't expect a book ce

    If you are planning on reading Velveteen, don't expect a book centered around Velvet getting her revenge against her killer, because this book is so much more. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed the 464 pages of Velveteen. Velvet was a great protagonist to read about and I loved how independent and how much of a leader she is. She also had the worst personality and a mouth with no filter. She was honestly a ton of fun to read about. Looking at the plot, I did have a small issue with the conspiracy plot happening in purgatory, but in the end I really did enjoyed Velveteen.
    I have to say, this book contains some gory stuff. Being a person who HATES gore, I gagged multiple times when Velvet recalled how Bonesaw, her killer, tortured her. It was brutal, inhumane, and I can't believe there are monsters like this in our world. While trying to save more victims of Bonesaw and think of a way to kill him, Velveteen is also the head of a team, or posse, that basically tries to keep peace between our world and purgatory. She rescues a guy, Nick from this evil spirit and he ends up joining her team. A romance obviously developed but it wasn't the cliche typical one that blossoms oh so randomly. Nick was a great guy, along with the rest of the team and I think Daniel Marks did a great job with the characterization and individuality of all his characters.
    As for the plot, it was one complicated yet fascinating plot. It had a ton of secrets, betrayals, scheming, and straight up revenge. I also think Daniel did a great job with the plot but I hoped that it would have been shortened because it was a very long book. I also wished we spent more time trying to get revenge on Bonesaw since the synopsis did promise that is what will mostly happen. All in all, Velveteen was a very different book from what I usually read but I am glad that I ventured into this world of purgatory, ghosts, and revenge because it was one hell of an adventure.

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  • Posted October 25, 2012

    I received this book from NetGalley for a honest review. Velvete

    I received this book from NetGalley for a honest review. Velveteen was murdered by a crazy man she calls Bonesaw and if that isn't bad enough she doesn't get to go to heaven or hell for that matter. Nope she ends up in Purgatory. Just imagine a world of ash and grey everywhere and that is where she is. She only wants to make Bonesaw's life miserable but every time she goes and haunts him it has bad side effects in Purgatory. She also has a job to do she is the leader of the Salvage team. She rescues souls that have been kidnapped by people for their own purposes. Her team rescues a soul that may just mean trouble for her as she is drawn to him and she shouldn't be for several reasons. Nick at first doesn't believe he is dead but soon believes Velveteen and becomes a member of her team when a member moves on. As they fall for each other while trying to fight their feelings they also have to figure out who is causing all the Shadowquakes that is destroying their home in Purgatory. It seems Velveteen and her haunting may be a part of why.

    The characters in this book are fantastic! Velveteen is such a take charge person and such a strong leader it is hard to believe she was murdered. Got to say I believe I would follow her and want to be on her team. Nick you will fall in love with even if he gets on your nerves a little with the jokes and things he says. He reminds of little boys in kindergarten pulling a girls hair he likes. It makes him so adorable in some ways. You also get to meet the twins who are part of the team. Love them and their attitudes. Imagine street tough 12 year olds. Their is loads more of characters to get to know in this amazing book.

    I have to say I read a lot of books but this one is in my top 10 I have read this year. The world Daniel Marks creates in this book is a fresh idea where I think I have read it all. I have read books about heaven and hell but never any about purgatory. You really get inside Velveteen's head as she tries to get even with Bonesaw and what all he did to her. You in a way hope she would find peace and move on then you think nope she belongs here to lead these people and help take care of them. The book has a darker feel to it and you feel like you are in a strange world, but a strange world you want to read more about. So much happens in this book you have fight scenes, ghost, love even a fly covered zombie that made me laugh picturing it. I could picture it easily to as it is so well written you feel you are along for the ride with Velveteen. I could seriously ramble on and on about this book but I won't spoil it for you. Trust me if you like a dark YA book pick this one up. It is so amazing.

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  • Posted October 11, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Marks wicked imagination took me into the depths of purgatory, with beautiful, dark details and fascinating characters

    4.5 You know that feeling you get when you first begin reading a book and realize you have stumbled onto something really good. When it grabs you at page one and you submerse yourself into the world the author has created? That is exactly what happened to me when I opened up Velveteen. Marks wicked imagination took me into the depths of purgatory, with beautiful, dark details and fascinating characters. With multiple plots weaved throughout this tale I found myself completely spellbound. When we meet sixteen year old Velveteen Moore she is dead, and haunting the home of the man who killed her. When Velveteen died, she did not cross over into the light, instead she ended up in purgatory. Despite the risk of losing her soul, she keeps sneaking out to try and stop him. In this fascinating, dark, grey world she is the team leader of a group that protect those dwelling in purgatory. Recent threats and talks of the "end of times" have caused tension and disastrous events. When "Shakequakes" begin and souls are snatched, Velveteen and her team head through a crack to find the source of the disturbance. A new co-worker named Nick is about to shake Velveteen’s world up. The tale that unfolds is dark, gritty, humorous, scary, freaky, page-turning and at times deliciously romantic. I really liked snarky protagonist Velveteen. She has attitude, and is a kick-ass leader for her team. Her outward image depicts someone who is tough, and untouchable. Inside, she cares… a lot. She worries about her team and saving purgatory. Thoughts of Bonesaw and revenge drive her. I loved how despite her own terrifying memories and overwhelming sense of fear that she tackles things head on. She fiercely protects her heart for fear of being hurt. When she lets people in she discovers something special. I loved how clever she was at piecing together clues and executing a plan. Nick was a drop dead gorgeous jock living with his overworked, underpaid Mom before his death. Now he is in purgatory and let’s just say death agrees with him. He has that messy never care hair you want to run your fingers through.(yum) His warm expressive eyes and crooked smile have all the girls swooning. Despite some of his libido driven conversations (rolls eyes) and puppy dog comments, I liked him. He looks out for his team; stand up for what he believes and totally has the hots for Velveteen. His feelings for her were kinda insta-lovey. Grr! Thankfully Velveteen had other ideas and we got to see things develop. She on the other hand definitely finds him oh so kissable, but as her leader he is totally against the rules and untouchable. It was fun watching these two interact and seeing her tough exterior crack. There were definitely some sweet, romantic moments. Other characters from the station manager to the origami maker made the tale interesting. Marks really developed all of the characters, giving them each a distinct personality and made them memorable. I love when even the secondary characters are fleshed out. Bonesaw and the villain gave me the creeps and added suspense. Marks blew me away with his world-building and imagination. I loved the world he created and the details he used to bring this underground city to life. I love so many things about purgatory. Who would have thought? If Tim Burton were to create a movie about this dark, gritty, nightmarish place he need only consult Marks. I was completely enthralled with this world, from the train

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    Posted October 11, 2012

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