Another Young Adult dystopia, so obviously it was on my list.
Another one like that and I might actually start avoiding dystopian books altogether!
Let’s get to the point. It’s not a dystopia. It’s a romance with a dystopian background. That is all I had to say, thanks for reading!
Okay, so we have Juliette, whose touch is lethal. Whenever she touches someone, they hurt, if the touch lasts too long, they die. That one time when a kid died because of her touch, it was an accident, but they still put her away, leaving the parents relived they finally got rid of the monster, that could not possibly be their daughter. Meanwhile, the world is falling apart, food is hard to get, and birds don’t fly anymore. The Reestablishment promised to fix things, but all they did was to gain full control of the world. When we meet Juliette for the first time, she has been locked up by Reestablishment for 264 days, which she had spent in complete solitude, not having spoken a word to another human being.
Let me take a little different approach in reviewing this one.
- Oh, the style of this book! This is my most complaint here. It’s all written as Juliette’s journal, so it’s the first-person narration, which I usually love. Give it Present Tense and I become skeptical. Give it purple prose and I begin to roll my eyes. And we have all of these here. I mean, okay I’m pretty tolerant to be honest with flowery writing. Take White Oleander for example, I was absolutely in love and astonished someone could write that beautifully and at the same time make a comprehensive story. But here. No. I mean, just NO. It was full of metaphors and long descriptions, that for me just didn’t make any sense. And oh my God, the repetitions! I guess that was supposed to show how deep and sensitive and smart Juliette was, but to me it just showed she was exalted and didn’t know what she was talking about.
Note on style – the book is filled with crossed-out sentences, which bother the hell out of some people, and are totally brilliant in others’ opinions. I guess I’m the only one who doesn’t give a damn.
- Characters – well, yes. There’s Juliette, who’s our little model and a poet rolled into one. She is just soooo good. She’s beautiful, of course, but not vain, God forbid. She can’t stand looking in the mirror. Then, she’s altruistic. I mean, she’s the most altruistic person there is, according to Adam, her love interest no 1. And she’s powerful, of course. And sensitive. And smart. And fair. And generally an ideal.
Then, there’s Adam. Adam is nice, and good, and kind, and sensitive and understanding, and generally so forgettable, I have nothing else to add. And he loves our Juliette unconditionally, of course.
Then there’s Warner, the only interesting character in the first part. He’s the sadistic monster of the story with a glint of humanity left in him, so that’s one of the very few interesting things in the book – is he good or bad, or fighting with his darker nature? I would personally prefer the fighting, but I’m guessing he’s just another one of the good guys.
And there’s Kenji, a comic relief, and as such, he’s okay. Nothing more to add. There are some other people, of course, but they are so unimportant I forgot all about them already.
- I guess there is some story in there. But sometimes it was hard to find it wrapped into all the long descriptions and feelings of falling in love, and thinking about how terrible a monster Juliette must be, and all that stuff. It was a relief whenever something was starting happening, but it always ended too quickly and we were back to kissing.
- Potential for further parts.
None. Okay, I am slightly intrigued to find out Warren’s true intentions, and a little intrigued about how the war with Reestablishment might develop, but it’s hard to say if I can endure this style for two more books. Time will tell. I’ll try. Wish me luck!
EDIT – I read the rest of the series, but it took me a lot of good will and patience. Nothing more to add, actually, except for the fact that Julliette really got on my nerves!
My Rating 4/10