Exceeded Expectations // REVIEW: As I Descended by Robin Talley

Title: As I Descended
Author: Robin Talley
Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Publisher: Mira Ink (Harper Collins)
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Harper Collins India (THANK YOU!)
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Blurb Description: 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.
I’ve only read one Robin Talley book before I started As I Descended, and that one holds great personal value to me. I live in India where being with someone of the same gender is considered illegal and LGBT people are highly discriminated.

When I read my first Robin Talley book, What We Left Behind, and my best friend saw what I was reading about, he found it in him to come out to me.

Which brings me to the fact that I had HIGH expectations going into this book that were because of a) past experiences and b) that this was a Macbeth retelling.
“Wicked things this way come.”
My Thoughts:

1.       I’m not a believer in ghosts – I never have been. When I was a kid and everyone around me thought it would be cool to tell ghost stories, I listened to be a part of the group and not because I believed. I loved how As I Descended had a mixture of those who believed and those who didn’t. I also LOVED how REAL Robin Talley made ghosts seem in this book.

2.       To elaborate the last line above, I loved the how spirits were handled in this book. They were this menacing background presence and even spoke in another language. I loved all the ghost stories and the noises everyone heard. THIS BOOK DID GHOSTS WELL. I’ll never believe, but this was still a GREAT story.

3.       I LOVED THAT THERE WAS A F/F (and also an M/M) RELATIONSHIP. Equal to that, I also loved the girls (and boys) in the relationship. They were such different people, but the way they were together, the way they were always on the other’s mind made this so much better and the ending that much harder.

4.       I ADORED THE MULTIPLE POVs IN THIS BOOKS. I loved learning what each of the characters was like – Lily, Maria, Brandon, Delilah and Mateo. The POV switch was so insightful, and kept the entire thing from being monotonous. I also loved that the *ahem* fatal scenes WERE TOLD FROM THE POVs OF THAT PERSON, BECAUSE HOW DIFFERENT AND COOL IS THAT?

5.       Basically, this book EXCEEDED my expectations and I’m going to be adding Robin Talley to my list of auto-buy authors.
A fast paced, spirit filled perfectly executed diverse book that I couldn’t recommend more. 
Robin TalleyI live in Washington, D.C., with my wife, our baby daughter, an antisocial cat and a goofy hound dog. Whenever the baby's sleeping, I'm probably busy writing young adult fiction about queer characters, reading books, and having in-depth conversations with friends and family about things like whether Jasmine's character motivation was sufficiently established in Aladdin.

My website is at http://www.robintalley.com, and I'm on Twitter and Tumblr.
Have you read any of Robin Talley's books? 
What are some of your favourite LGBT Books? Who are some of your favourite LGBT Couples? 
I can't wait to hear from you!

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