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Velveteen Hardcover – October 9, 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 101 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From 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, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Murdered by a sadistic serial killer, Velveteen Monroe now lives in purgatory, helping to retrieve wandering souls from the land of the living. She doesn’t fully remember her death, but she knows Bonesaw is still torturing and murdering other teen girls, and so she secretly crosses over, determined to haunt him and free his current victims. But the afterlife and revenge get more complicated when a rebel group, the Departurists, threaten purgatory’s precepts, and Velvet develops feelings for Nick, a soul she retrieved. As the uprising intensifies and her painful memories unfold, the events bring potentially devastating consequences for herself, others, and both worlds. Dark, edgy, and not for the squeamish, this features plenty of grisly gore and horror elements and an intricately detailed dystopian afterlife, marked by pop-culture references and droll, occasionally coarse banter. Though the pace sometimes lags and the plot and characters can be sketchy or a stretch, prickly and defiant Velvet has intriguing complexities, as she grapples with her death, current existence, and uncertain future. A dense, often provocative debut. Grades 10-12. --Shelle Rosenfeld
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 038574224X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385742245
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (101 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,321,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Daniel Marks writes young adult horror and fantasy, spends way too much time glued to the internet and collects books obsessively (occasionally reading them). He's been a psychotherapist for children and adolescents, a Halloween store manager, a cafeteria janitor (gag) and has survived earthquakes, volcanoes and typhoons to get where he is today, which is to say, in his messy office surrounded by half empty coffee cups. He lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife, Caroline, and three furry monsters with no regard for quality carpeting.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
What it's about: Daniel has created a world of purgatory. Everything is gray and ashy, yet the people there aren't just waiting to cross over: They've created a life for themselves. Velveteen is a 16-year-old girl who was murdered by Bonesaw, a killer who is still at large and who Velvet haunts even though it's against the rules. Something's also happening in purgatory, something dark, and Velvet needs to lead her team or their whole world will crumble.

Why you should read it: Wow, Velveteen is a creepy book (my favorite!), and I love the awesome imagination Daniel has when it comes to death and purgatory. The writing was great, and the characters (especially the poltergeist twins) were very enjoyable. I thought the romance was a little rushed ... but, hey, they're dead and that kind of excuses a lot of things. Velveteen is a must-read for any fan of the eerie, the creepy and the paranormal.

If you want to read more on why Daniel is so morbid and how he got his idea for Velveteen check in with USA Today's HEA Blog!
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Format: Hardcover
Extremely creative and entirely compelling, Velveteen offers a devourable blend of fantasy noir and horror with a splash of dark humor and pinch of romance!

Velveteen Mondroe is sixteen and dead, her life cut short by a serial murderer named Bonesaw. Not being able to get over her brutal death and move on, she is now trapped in Purgatory (or the City of the Dead if you may). She occasionally sneaks out of there to haunt her killer, hoping to somehow prevent him from torturing and murdering other teenage girls, or at least scare the crap living soul out of him with her poltergeist, Hulk-smash actions. With every day that passes she is getting stronger and closer to getting her revenge. Unfortunately, while fun and satisfying, haunting is also strictly forbidden. By crossing over to the world of the living, Velveteen is disrupting the balance, causing massive tremors that are threatening to destroy the whole world. With her own soul at stake, revenge may come at a very high price. The question is: what is more important? Vengeance or salvation?

Velveteen was simply awesome. Dark, creepy and with a deliciously grim atmosphere, it was exactly my kind of read. I loved the grey, shadowy world of Purgatory. It was utterly fascinating and depicted with care for (often very unsettling) details. The beginning of the book - while very disturbing at times (particularly when it comes to Bonesaw and his little cirque du freak farm) - did not prepare me for just how thoroughly bone-chilling this book would get in the second half. Everyone with the taste for macabre will definitely enjoy it. Marks really hit the mark, skilfully balancing the scary, gruesome, funny and sexy.

Velveteen's narrative voice was realistic and compelling.
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Format: Hardcover
What an interesting book. Before I get in to my review on the book I want to make a comment on the cover. The cover is dark and intriguing, which works really well for the book because it is pretty dark but why oh why is the male cover model a brunette? Maybe blonde is just too bright for the cover but it always bothers me when the cover models don't match the description of the character inside the book. Obviously, I'm not holding the cover against the contest because that's just silly. It's just an annoyance of mine...

Now on to the book. This book was awesome. It started off really weird and sort of sluggish. (Notice I've had issues with the beginnings of books lately, its weird...) But it certainly picked up and totally made up for the beginning. Velvet was brutally murdered by a serial killer nicknamed, Bonesaw, when she died she didn't go to heaven nor hell - a place sort of in between. A place that many teens and children go to while they await where their souls will be taken, since they are so young when they die the powers that be don't exactly know where they truly belong. However, the purgatory isn't full of just kids but other, older souls who don't belong to either Heaven or Hell yet.

The idea of that alone is just rad. Then he mixes in that everyone who enters the purgatory is assigned a district (like Velvet lives in the Later Quarter), if you will, and then assigned a job. There are rules but the number one rule is absolutely no haunting. Velvet doesn't listen and she haunts her murderer a lot and has saved other girls lives because of her haunting. When shadowquake's start happening more frequently and more severe she can't help but wonder if her haunting of her murderer is the cause.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
With the premise of the book tied around a murderer, people have to figure that this YA read is meant for an older, mature audience. I can not imagine anyone younger than at least 16 reading this book. With the concept itself a little scary, there is also cussing and an occasional mention of "blue balls" scattered through out. If this is going to be read by a young reader, be aware.

The book itself is an interesting, albeit dark, read. The heroine is tough as nails and is determined to stop her own murderer no matter what the cost. The descriptions of the attacks on other girls were disturbing but nothing compared to adult murder mystery books. The side characters were well fleshed out and certainly had their own personalities. The witty dialogue between the characters had me occasionally smirking to myself.

Why the lower star rating? The pacing of this story is a little off for me. I felt that it was a bit long, and I was wanting it to wrap up before it actually did. Being an adult reading this hurt my enjoyment. When I am in the mind frame to read a murder mystery novel, I want the even grittier adult version. While this had its moments, the emphasis was predominantly on character development and relationships. Another issue I had was something that at times was a positive. The dialogue between the characters and the dynamics felt very high schoolish or at least stereotypical high school. I did laugh at some lines, but I was wanting to roll my eyes at others. An older teen who enjoys grittier YA reads will really enjoy this novel, but I just didn't click with it.
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