I received an ARC at HCC Frenzy’s Frenzy Presents event.
Title: As I Descended
Author: Robin Talley
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Summary (from Goodreads): Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—even if no one knows it but them.
Only one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey.
Golden child Delilah is a legend at the exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. She runs the school, and if she chose, she could blow up Maria and Lily’s whole world with a pointed look, or a carefully placed word.
But what Delilah doesn’t know is that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to make their dreams come true. And the first step is unseating Delilah for the Kingsley Prize. The full scholarship, awarded to Maria, will lock in her attendance at Stanford―and four more years in a shared dorm room with Lily.
Maria and Lily will stop at nothing to ensure their victory—including harnessing 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 is imagined, the girls must decide where they draw the line.
From acclaimed author Robin Talley comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.
This book totally blew my mind. Since it is based off of Macbeth, I really should have seen everything coming, but Robin Talley still managed to surprise me. There is so much diversity in As I Descended, as well, and a main character who is in between a hero and a villain. This is definitely a must-read!
As I Descended is a Macbeth retelling, which I don’t believe I’ve read before. Typically, when Shakespeare retellings are written, the story is based on Romeo and Juliet. I could definitely see the similarities between Macbeth and As I Descended, which was really satisfying. Although I am not much of a paranormal fan, I found myself enjoying this story. Basically, there are these spirits that the main character can sense, and because of them, some horrible things occur. It’s hard to describe the plot without spoiling, but believe me, this is not a book to be missed.
There is so much diversity in As I Descended! There are two LGBT couples, Mexican characters, and a character with a disability. I really enjoyed how realistic the romance is between Maria and Lily. Not every couple is comfortable with coming out right away, and Maria and Lily decide to wait. I loved the way their relationship is portrayed and appreciated how believable it is.
Maria is not the most likeable of characters, yet I still enjoyed her character, if that makes sense. She is kind of a villain, but doesn’t really intend to be one. At the beginning of the book, Maria is focused and determined to be the best at everything, and she’ll do whatever it takes. She ends up going too far, and her personality totally changes. Maria becomes frightening, but I couldn’t stop reading. She is such a complex character that isn’t quite a villain, but not a hero either.
As I Descended is a Shakespeare-inspired story with so much diversity. The main character is interesting as she doesn’t have the best personality, but is still likeable. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone!