Sunday, May 8, 2016

Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Everything is in ruins.

A devastating plague has decimated the population, and those who are left live in fear of catching it as the city crumbles around them.

So what does Araby Worth have to live for?

Nights in the Debauchery Club, beautiful dresses, glittery makeup . . . and tantalizing ways to forget it all.

But in the depths of the club—in the depths of her own despair—Araby will find more than oblivion. She will find Will, the terribly handsome proprietor of the club, and Elliott, the wickedly smart aristocrat. Neither is what he seems. Both have secrets. Everyone does.

And Araby may find not just something to live for, but something to fight for—no matter what it costs her.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

I have around 600 books in my “To be read” list, and instead of reading the ones I have I always keep adding new ones without giving it a second thought. However, I decided to try and keep the new books to a minimum, instead focusing on the ones I wanted to read but never got around to do so (unless I can’t get them, of course).

Masque of the Red Death sounded like an interesting book with a plague ravaging a city and a Prince who doesn’t care about the future of his citizens. This novel is a retelling of Edgar Allan Poe’s “Mask of the Red Death”, I haven’t read it myself so I can’t say if it’s a good adaptation or not, all I know is how this story stood on its own, and it didn’t do a good job.

I couldn’t find anything that I would like in this book, although the synopsis sounded interesting, the execution wasn’t. The characters, especially our main one, were shallow; you couldn’t see their feelings or motives behind their actions. Why did they do the things that they did? Beats me, the characters just went around doing stuff to move the plot along, but I hardly ever saw why they took certain choices or what were their thoughts behind them.


Araby was our main character, she was just a child when the plague broke loose, and she survived it when her twin brother, Finn didn’t. As a result Araby swore she’ll never experience things Finn didn’t, such as falling in love… but not doing drugs, parties or friends. Basically, just something to keep the “tension” in the love story and give the reader a half-assed reason on why two characters can’t be together.

Araby never expresses a single feeling in the entire story, and her motivations are unclear. She never seemed to have thought about poor people not having masks to breathe fresh air, even though she went through it with Finn. But the minute she meets Will’s siblings (the hot guy who attended the club) she gets a little concerned and tries to get them masks and talk about how unfair it is that people are dying because they can’t afford them. Suddenly that becomes her main plot and her only reason to move forward. Her relationship with Will is complete insta-love, when she passes out in the club from drug consumption, the guy pulls a Christian Grey and takes her to his home and sleeps with her.

“’I don’t know what else to call you. The person I hoped wouldn’t die in my bed? I found you unconscious behind one of the curtains when I was locking up.’
My shame is followed by a cold wave of anger.
‘You didn’t think you should have taken me to the hospital?’
‘I didn’t have time.’
He didn’t have time? He found me unconscious, brought me home, but couldn’t be bothered to stop at a hospital or to get me to my father, who could have administered appropriate medical care?”

Oh, but she still develops a deep connection with him!

“I’ve never told anyone about the day my twin brother died. I think I could tell Will.”

After sharing just five freaking sentences! So much connection!!!


 The girl just lacked common sense, she comes across with Elliot, a guy she barely knows (and that when she met him he gave her drugs that almost killed her and left her passed out in a club full of strangers) but when he asks her to steal the super-secret designs for the masks from her father’s desk, she does it without hesitation. Even though those masks were the only thing keeping her family safe (because his father is the only one who knows how to make them, so the Prince can’t kill him or his family), Araby never hesitates in giving those papers to Elliot, a complete stranger who could be working with the Prince!

“Father loves me. Elliot does not. And I’ve betrayed Father at Elliot’s request.”

You would think this realization would bring some sense into her, right? WRONG! She keeps doing dumb things that put her entire family in danger.

When Araby’s “friend” goes missing and discovers she’s been taken by the Prince, she decides to go to the castle to find her and I was like “Oh... wait, you care about her?” because not once had Araby expressed that she felt anything toward the girl. In fact, she insists that they have nothing in common besides getting dressed to go to parties and that she is not even sure why they hang out together, but suddenly she is willing to risk everything for her?

Probably another thing that didn’t work in the book’s favor was the love triangle. I actually don’t mind them when they are done right but let’s face it, in 96% off the novels they are used to create unnecessary drama and it was no exception here. Perhaps the most disappointing thing was that neither of the guys and the romances managed to evoke any feelings from me besides mild annoyance. I don’t even understand why it is supposed to be love, when both guys treat Araby like crap, just look at Elliot:

"And I'm falling in love with you," he whispers. "But I would throw you in the water and watch crocodiles tear you to bits, if I thought that doing so would accomplish my goals. Do. Not. Trust. Anyone. Especially me." 


“’Will can do it.’ I sigh.
‘Let’s go below and ask him. I don’t want you to die.’
That’s the nicest thing you have ever said to me.
His eyes meet mine, and I remember that he told me once that he was falling in love with me. I might finally believe him.

Because the nicest thing he ever said was that he didn’t want her to die, he’s clearly in love with her? TRUE LOVE Y’ALL


Overall, this book was a disappointment for me. I recommend it to fans of romance who don’t mind the stuff I mentioned above.

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