As I Descended by Robin TalleyAs I Descended by Robin Talley

As I Descended

byRobin Talley

Hardcover | September 6, 2016

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From the acclaimed author of Lies We Tell Ourselves, Robin Talley, comes a Shakespeare-inspired story of revenge and redemption, where fair is foul, and foul is fair.

Maria Lyon and Lily Boiten are their school’s ultimate power couple—but one thing stands between them and their perfect future: campus superstar Delilah Dufrey. Golden child Delilah is a legend at exclusive Acheron Academy, and the presumptive winner of the distinguished Cawdor Kingsley Prize. But Delilah doesn’t know that Lily and Maria are willing to do anything—absolutely anything—to unseat Delilah for the scholarship. After all, it would lock in Maria’s attendance at Stanford—and assure her and Lily four more years in a shared dorm room.

Together, Maria and Lily harness 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’s imagined, the girls must attempt to put a stop to the chilling series of events they’ve accidentally set in motion.

Robin Talley is the New York Times-bestselling author of four novels for teen readers: Our Own Private Universe, As I Descended, What We Left Behind, and Lies We Tell Ourselves. Her first book, Lies We Tell Ourselves, was the winner of the inaugural Amnesty CILIP Honour. Robin was a Lambda Literary Foundation fellow, and has contribute...
Title:As I DescendedFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 1.21 inPublished:September 6, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062409239

ISBN - 13:9780062409232


Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Great Y.A. Shakespeare Retelling When my friend told me to read this book by describing it as "a modern retelling of Macbeth but with lesbians" I immediately said sign me up, as I'm always looking for good LGBT+ protagonists and Macbeth is my favourite Shakespeare play. I really enjoyed this. This book was really engaging and was the first time in a long time that I couldn't put a book down. It had a really good balance between storytelling and horror/paranormal aspects to it. The paranormal aspects didn't take over the storytelling and completely relied on it, but rather enhanced it. I also like how there isn't a happy ending, or even really a sumwhat happy ending, because Macbeth itself is a tragedy play, as is the events that happen in As I Descended. It was an interesting retelling, placing the events in a boarding school. The only problem I had with the setting was that it created an easy, stereotypical, and rather unoriginal YA plot of popular girls competing against each other to win. That was the only thing that kept me from giving this book a better rating. Although the story is a YA novel, I feel like it could have had a better set-up storyline to create a deeper story. Other than that though, I thoroughly enjoyed it. It engaged you from start to finish.
Date published: 2018-08-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Not Great I really wanted to like this book and I think I might have if it had just been a creepy boarding school ghost story instead of a Macbeth retelling. The premise was interesting and there were some creepy moments but I still couldn't bring myself to rate it any higher than 2 stars. I had some issues with the plot overall and I found the characters to be flat and unlikeable. The relationship between Maria and Lily was what had initially drawn me in, but ultimately I thought it was unhealthy and poorly developed. They did not feel like a 'power couple' at all. The central motivation for sabotaging Delilah was also murky and the ends didn't justify the means, which made Lily and Maria come off as terrible people. I would give props to this book props for the LGBT and disabled representation, but I'm not too impressed with that either. If you've read Macbeth, you know how it ends for the central characters.
Date published: 2017-10-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Exceeded Expectations 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.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Creepier than I thought it was going to be As I Descended was darker and more twisted than I thought it would be. The cover gives off the illusion that the novel would be a frilly yet somewhat unsettling contemporary; I was caught completely off guard. Instead, I read about controlling, frightening spirits, competitions that can drive people over the edge, and old legendary ghost stories that might not be just stories. Overall I would recommend As I Descended to anyone that can handle the horror and is willing to get a glimpse of what truly lies after death. (Review is also on my blog, The Autumn Bookshelf) #plumreview
Date published: 2017-02-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spooky This book is a really spooky retelling of Macbeth in a current day scenerio, where Macbeth and Lady Macbeth are both girls in love. I really enjoyed this book, as the supernatural elements kept fresh the sense of a creepy setting. It closely resembles the play Macbeth, and I highly recommand this to anyone who love the themes and plot of Macbeth.
Date published: 2016-12-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Spooky! This book was delightfully sinister and creepy, and even though it was a retelling of a well-known play it still managed to throw in plenty of twists and intrigue. Wonderfully diverse cast, and some truly terrifying scenes.
Date published: 2016-12-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from queer macbeth heck yeah Macbeth is my favourite Shakespeare play and I was so pumped to read this! SO MANY QUEER CHARACTERS IT WAS WONDERFUL. Lesbian, gay, and bisexual characters whoop! (Lily, Maria, Brandon, Mateo, and couple of minor others) ALSO DISABILTY REP (Lily has crutches) VERY SPOOKY AND I LOVE HOW ROBIN TALLEY MODERNIZED THE PLAY 4/5 STARS
Date published: 2016-11-03
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not what I expected 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. I knew going in that this was a modern take on Macbeth and I was excited for it. I did find that I had a hard time getting into it. The modern boarding school setting, the teens with a Ouija board, the taking down the mean girl plot, it all seemed so familiar and I kept waiting for something to draw me in. I was having a hard time connecting with a lot of the characters as well. The main character was Maria but the story was told in other characters’ POVs as well. Maria was the one with the most POVs and most of the plot centered on her. She was someone was worked very hard to get where she was, top grades, spot on the soccer team, in the running for the elite Kingsley scholarship, but it seemed like all she could focus on was the one girl who kept beating her. She was together with her roommate Lily, and for some reason they both viewed the Kingsley prize as the only way they could be together after high school because the prize was so elite the recipient pretty much got their choice of college and Lily was going to Stanford so Maria needed to go to Stanford. I didn’t really feel a love connection between them so it made it difficult for me to care if Maria got the prize. We also see the POVs of Lily, of Maria’s best friend Brandon, his boyfriend Mateo. I did find myself liking Brandon and Mateo. Their relationship felt like they had a developing connection that had the potential to grow into something special. The book started off with a Ouija board scene and got progressively creepier and darker. Robin Talley did a good job at bringing the chills down your spine at a page’s turn. She also did a great job addressing a lot of issues: sexuality, racism, privilege being among them and making them fit into the plot without overcrowding it or taking away from the horror aspect. I think if I had connected more to Maria and Lily I would have enjoyed this book a lot more. I liked the creepy factor and it almost read like an old urban legend warning tale. *I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Date published: 2016-09-15

Editorial Reviews

“Fans of horror will find that Talley comes up with some genuinely creepy scares, and her Shakespeare-inspired story is solid and compelling.”