Title: As I Descended
Author: Robin Talley
Genre & Age Group: Paranormal, retellings, horror, LGBTQ, young adult
“Something wicked this way comes.”
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.
Source: Public library
How I Found Out About It: Blogging
I had been hearing spectacular things about As I Descended for ages before I picked it up. I was at first skeptical to read it because I am normally not a fan of paranormal novels, but when I learned that my English class was going to be reading Macbeth later on in the semester, I decided to give this one a chance since it is a retelling of the famous Shakespeare tale.
I feel quite thankful to say that I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome that this book gave. Not only was it amazingly written, but it had many diverse themes and uniqueness that made it extra special.
Since my class has not yet started studying Macbeth at the time of my writing this review, I have no idea what is similar between the two, but I may write up a recap post after we are done with the play study.
Anyway, for a brief summary of the plot, As I Descended follows two protagonists named Maria and Lily who have been dating for a while. When they start to believe that nothing and nobody could ever break their bond, in comes Delilah, the so-called leader of their school. Since the couple opposes Delilah, they decide to try to take away her chance at winning a scholarship- and they’ll do anything to win it themselves and spend even more time together.
The one thing I adored the most about this story was the characters and how unique they all were. They all had different qualities to set them apart from each other, but my personal favourite would have to have been Lily. Despite the fact that she had been in a horrible accident some years back that scarred her both emotionally and physically, and especially considering all the troubles she went through during the course of the novel, she had a very positive attitude. That to me is the definition of a standout protagonist- flawed, but at the same time real and enthusiastic about life.
As for the plot, it was so fast-paced and riveting that I could barely put this book down. I was honestly compelled by *almost* every beautifully written word inside this novel, and I as well loved the diverse inclusion of LGBTQ+ themes. I am not really used to reading about spirits and the mere thought of them did spook me at times, but As I Descended was definitely able to get me more comfortable with them and PLUS even more excited to start studying Macbeth! Can I start right now?!
To sum it all up, this novel has absolutely become one of my new favourites. Because of the paranormal aspect, I had such low expectations for this book, but I was blown out of the park! For fans of novels with spooky premises along with a small dab of LGBTQ+ themes, be prepared to be blown away by this gem of a story!