Author: Marie Lu
Publisher: Putnam Juvenile
Publish Date: November 29, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction, Dystopian, Young Adult, Romance, Action
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.
From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.
It's been a while since I've read a book that I can honestly say had only one small problem--and one barely noticeable at that. There were so many things I loved about this book that I can barely keep them all straight. So let's start at the beginning.
It's impossible for this book not to grab you right from the start. Even the first sentence--"My mother thinks I'm dead."--is perfect. How could you not want to read it?
The plot went extremely quickly, but it worked very well. It was around 300 pages, which is even a little short for most novels in the dystopian genre, but it definitely made sense considering the storyline.
The characters were in-depth and realistic, and we got just enough information on them to leave us wishing for more. June and Day's relationship developed gradually--in fact, they don't even meet until halfway through the book--which was nice, because I've read books where a girl and a guy meet in the beginning, and bam! They're in love. It's completely unrealistic and bothers me a lot, so it was refreshing to read a book where they don't even meet until the novel is halfway over.
It's difficult to make two POVs work, but Marie Lu did a good job with this. Sometimes it just becomes confusing, or one character's point of view isn't even relevant and the whole story is messed up. But the author did a good job with this, and the book wouldn't have been half as good if it was only June or Day's point of view.
As I said before, I only have one problem with this book: the plot twists weren't really plot twists. I saw them coming--every one of them. *spoiler alert* When we find out that Thomas killed Metias, that Day had a perfect score on his Trial, the fact that the government is behind the Plague. All of it. It may just be that I've read so many books that it's easy for me to tell what's coming, but for some reason I have a feeling this wasn't the case.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, and am going to get started on the sequel, Prodigy, as soon as possible.