I'm Thalia! I run a book blog called Pictures in the Words and I hope to be an editor for YA fiction. I'm a GoodReads refugee!
This book has been sitting on my shelf, waiting to be read, for quite some time. I just kept putting it off and off and off, probably because I was so excited to read it and afraid that it wouldn’t quite live up to my expectations. And…in some ways, that’s kind of what happened.
Don’t get me wrong, I loved the story. The summary doesn’t give you too much to go on, but I fell completely in love (no puns intended) with a couple of the characters, their relationships, and the plot. However, my familiar foe, present tense writing, reared its ugly head and made it nearly impossible for me to get into the story or like the main character, Lena, for well over halfway through the book. Everything that wasn’t an action scene felt slow and stilted, and Lena, to be honest, was such a boring character that I absolutely hated reading through her point of view. I’m starting to get sick of female characters who think they’re plain or boring and their only flaws are being too quiet, too good, or short–and that was the basic epitome of Lena. When all was said and done, and while I did like it much more in the ending quarter of the book, I felt like it just didn’t measure up to my expectations, and I was rather disappointed. The flaws were equal to its successes, in my opinion, and so we’re stuck attempting to write one of these awkward three star reviews.
What I Liked: Spoilers!
What I Didn’t Like:
Overall: Personally, I think this book might be a bit overhyped–I just didn’t see the things that most other people seemed to see. It has an incredibly interesting plotline and I really loved the action scenes (almost enough to make me forget the reasons I disliked the book in the first place), but the present tense writing and Lena’s incredibly boring characterization ended up making this a fairly neutral read. I think people who like dystopian novels and don’t have any issues with present tense narration (which might be everyone except me at this point) will probably enjoy this a lot more than I did, and I recommend it for that crowd. Twelve and up would probably work for this book, as well.