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Jenuine Cupcakes

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Velveteen - Daniel Marks I rated this 3.75 Stars.Thank you Netgalley & Random House!This was an interesting read for me and I hope I'm able to articulate what my thoughts are. Sometimes, what's swirling around in my pink-striped head makes a ton of sense but comes out a lump of garbled confusion that leaves even me thinking, "Whaaat?" So, here goes...The title and cover of this book are what caught my attention - It's beautiful and dark and I just loved it. Having grown up Catholic, purgatory was drilled into my subconscious as the literal holding cell along the way to Heaven. Even though I later became a Christian and no longer believe in such a place, I sure imagined it enough as a kid and this story sounded interesting. Velveteen is dark, twisted and morbidly graphic at times, unlike anything I've ever read, but the writing is fantastic! Velveteen Monroe (one of the coolest MC names ever) is an angry, bitter girl hell-bent on revenge and with good reason. She's been kidnapped and murdered, she's stuck in purgatory and her killer is still free to continue torturing and killing more girls. Where's the fairness in that? I'd probably be a little upset too.The souls stuck in purgatory aren't stuck forever though. They "dim" at some point where they either go on to Heaven or Hell but no one really knows when or why the dimming happens. (It DID upset me that there were babies there. I have personal reasons for this and there's just no getting around that but yeah, babies always get a fast-pass to Heaven.) There are rules of purgatory and the big one is no haunting. Period. If you're caught, you're condemned to a "life" in purgatory forever. (Gray might be the "new black" but no one looks good in it for all eternity - just sayin'). Velvet breaks this "no haunting" rule each time she sneaks out to visit Bonesaw but she does have an ulterior motive when she goes and it's to try and save other girls from her same fate. See, some rule breaking serves a greater purpose. That should count for something, right?Velvet leads the best team of Salvagers in purgatory and exudes the attitude of "making the best of the situation". Her co-workers respect her and she has a few friends despite her "cheery" personality. Kipper is a trip and the twins Louisa and Logan are a mix of childishness and preteen angst. Velvet has enemies too, mainly in mean-girl Isadora and her wannabes. Life or should I say, death as Velvet knows it is about to change, mainly in the form of Nick. *fans face* He's the impossibly cute guy Velvet and her team rescue, the one who seems intent on breaking down the barriers of both her world and her heart. (I *hearts* him BTW!) Nick is hot, funny and makes Velvet feels things she never thought possible, things that would scare her to death if she wasn't already dead. He's also off-limits as her newest team member which kinda complicates things. Nick gets Velvet to see the good in herself, something she's never really considered before. *swoons* Their moments together are a combination of frustration and swoon that left me holding my breath wondering if one of them was going to "dim" at any moment, leaving the other utterly heart broken (and me too). Who knew purgatory could be so romantic?!There are souls who aren't content with their current state in purgatory and don't want to be there for long, who refuse to wait their turn to "dim". (They should get a first class ticket to Fire & Brimstone Acres for being so impatient). They want out now! Before the book ends, secrets will be uncovered and Velveteen will suffer a heart breaking betrayal. As if she hasn't been through enough already? *clutches chest* While she's never been one to "go with the flow", she'll have to decide what's more important, following the rules or getting revenge because the choices she makes now could have a devastating affect on the souls of everyone she cares about.