As I Descended – Robin Talley

 91hz1x-hllAs I Descended – Robin Talley, HarperTeen, 9780062409232, 2016

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 4

Genre:  Mystery

What did you like about the book? Everything starts the night that Maria and her girlfriend Lily, along with their friend Brandon, call upon a Ouija board at their haunted school…and the board is destroyed before Maria can “close” the session and lock away the spirits.  As the spirits promise to deliver to Maria all she desires (particularly a huge scholarship prize that her nemesis is annoyingly likely to win), darker and darker deeds befall the students at Archeron High and it seems no one is safe.  There is a lot of death, and ghostly happenings and quite a bit of confusion but the really diverse characters (huge LGBTQ representation in the main characters, one MC is permanently on crutches, and the MCs are definitely not white-centric) and the pacing keeps the tension high through the end.

Anything you didn’t like about it? While it is a good nod to MacBeth and yet maintains its own storyline in a way that makes it interesting even if you aren’t familiar with the famous play, there are parts that remain a bit muddled and confusing regarding the history of the school and how the spirits and everything come together (though this could just be a great aspect for book-talks)

To whom would you recommend this book?  (Read-alikes if you can think of them) Obvious readalike is MacBeth but also other Shakespeare-as-YA novels especially if you have a reader looking for something a bit more out of the box thanks to the really diverse cast of characters.

Who should buy this book? Public Libraries, High schools (could be good for a Shakespeare unit)

Where would you shelve it? YA Fiction

Should we (librarians/readers) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? No

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City and State: April Duclos, Hudson Public Library, Hudson MA

Date of review: 11/29/16

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