New Young Adult Fiction: As I Descended – Robin Talley

You know, there are many reasons Shakespeare’s tragedies have endured and become embedded in our culture. One is that they are powerful archetypal touchstones of human emotion—and few are more unsettling that Macbeth.

So that plot serves YA novelist Talley well in framing this boarding school story of all-consuming jealously and ambition. Another LGBTQ story, this features two girls who see unseating the queen bee of the school—and winning the scholarship she is set to win—as their ticket to a better life.

For those familiar with Macbeth, you won’t be disappointed. The twists and turns should surprise you. The ride gets scarier as you go along and the hint the supernatural and a descent into madness is a pitch perfect nod to The Bard.

Great reviews across the board…

“… A devastating marriage of the stunningly unexpected with the maddeningly inevitable. This adaptation’s bewitching intrigues and enthralling deceptions will whet the daggers of any reader’s mind.”
Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Talley creates a dark and twisted gothic boarding school setting replete with vengeful spirits, drugs, and suicide in this Shakespeare-inspired tragedy….”
Publishers Weekly

“An intriguing, appropriately atmospheric take on one of Shakespeare’s most spine-tingling plays.”
Booklist

“Those familiar with the source material will not be surprised at how the story plays out, but knowing the eventual outcomes does not diminish Talley’s dark tale about fate and ambition… Highly recommended.”
School Library Journal

“Irresistible! Possibly the best retelling of Macbeth I’ve ever encountered. I loved the characters Maria and Lily, and I loved seeing them ravel as they became enmeshed deeper into this story of ghosts and murder. The elements from Macbeth were recognizable, but they were spun and shifted into new forms, and the story was different enough to be completely unpredictable. I loved it from start to finish.”
— Genevieve Taylor, Boulder Book Store, Boulder, CO

As I Descended (9780062409232) by Robin Talley. $17.99 hardcover. 9/6/16 on sale.

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