As I Descended by Robin Talley

Thank you to netgalley and Harlequin UK for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

To put it simply this is a lesbian, YA MacBeth retelling. It’s set in a private school in the States and there’s ghosts and deaths and a lot of other weird, creepy shit.

I thought this would be a really good read for me as I am a huge fan of MacBeth and Shakespeare and studied it in school, but I think that actually made me less open to this book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would, and I don’t think that’s because the book is not god or the writing is bad or anything it just wasn’t what I was expecting.

I think part of my issue with this novel was that it is a YA novel so the characters are all kids, they don’t feel nearly as evil, horrible and driven as their counterparts in the original. I didn’t find Maria as convincing as MacBeth and I didn’t feel like her “reign” was much of a reign at all.

It was interesting to see how certain events of the play were interpreted for the new setting and environment, and certain things I had forgotten about had me quite shocked when they turned up in the novel. And God, I absolutely adored that Talley decided to make the MacBeth couple lesbians, however I didn’t find them a great couple and I was often left feeling like they weren’t an actual couple. There was a lot of diversity in the book, which is great, but I just wish I had enjoyed the book more.

The book is supposed to be spooky but I didn’t find it so, but I just don’t find many things spooky to be honest. I get more freaked out over strange coincidences than “ghosts” unless its real people with really weird ghost stories.

This is my first time reading Robin Talley, though I do have her debut novel on my ipad to read eventually. I found her writing style interesting enough to still want to read more of her novels despite this one not being a bit of a let down for me.

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