Thursday, 27 October 2016

Review for As I Descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended by Robin Talley
Publisher: MIRA Ink
Release: 6th September 2016
Genre: YA, LGBT, Retelling
Source: Copy received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple―but one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey. Golden child Delilah is a legend at exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. But Delilah doesn’t know that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything―absolutely anything―to unseat Delilah for the scholarship. After all, it would lock in Maria’s attendance at Stanford―and assure her and Lily four more years in a shared dorm room.

Together, Maria and Lily harness the dark power long rumored to be present on the former plantation that houses their school. But when feuds turn to fatalities, and madness begins to blur the distinction between what’s real and what’s imagined, the girls must attempt to put a stop to the chilling series of events they’ve accidentally set in motion.

Macbeth is my favourite of Shakespeare’s plays so when I saw that Robin Talley had written a LGBT YA retelling I knew that I just had to give it a read during the build up to Halloween and this book lived up to my every expectation!

As I Descended follows the students of Acheron Academy an exclusive boarding school that nurtures competitiveness and values success in its pupils. As candidates for the coveted Kingsley prize are soon to be selected, the fierce competition between the students heats up. For secret couple Maria and Lily, winning the prize would mean securing their future together earning Maria a place with Lily at Stanford University. With the schools it girl Delilah set to win the prize, the girls realise that for Maria to take first place they need to get Delilah out of the picture, but what starts out as a vindictive plan quickly spirals into a deadly accident. With their futures at stake, Maria and Lily must decide just how far they’re willing to go to protect their relationship and themselves.

As with all of Robin Talley’s books, As I Descended is brimming with diverse characters which is something I always appreciate. The characters in this book are so well written and complex, they’re neither good nor bad which I really loved. It was fun to get into the heads of so many different types of people and to learn about the motives behind their actions.

The story opens on an Ouija board scene and builds in creepiness throughout the book. As I Descended is the perfect blend of thriller and horror story, mixing together human misdeeds with the supernatural for a double dose of terror. This book transcends so many genres offering a little bit of everything to satisfy the tastes of any reader.

With its boarding school setting, ruthlessly ambitious characters, and spooky storyline, As I Descended ticked so many of the right boxes for me. If you love scary reads about jealousy and revenge you’ll love As I Descended.

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