Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Fantasy, Retelling
In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Lightand fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?
Celebrated author Sarah Rees Brennan weaves a magical tale of romance and revolution, love and loss.
This was a bit of an impulse request on NetGalley, I knew it was on my to buy list but hadn’t put much thought into it. Then I saw it and requested it even though the only thing I remembered about this book was doppelgangers. I think that was both a good and a bad thing.
Going In Blind Left Me Confused
I was a bit uncertain about this book when I began reading. The issue was I couldn’t remember the full summary, I essentially went in blind with my own expectations. I remembered that there was a whole doppelganger situation with Lucie’s boyfriend, Ethan, having one. In my mind I expected that could lead to some awkward love triangle thing and that there would be something happening in regards to the dark and light cities, but thankfully that didn’t develop into a stupid storyline. Instead this book was quite smart, but as it didn’t match my expectations I ended up slightly disappointed.
When you go into a book with certain ideas of what will happen stuck in your head too often you can be left disappointed, as was my experience in this. I expected a love triangle, a dystopian war between the light and dark and a strong lead female character and these were not things I got. Or I did, but not in the way I expected. That was good, the book didn’t take the obvious, predictable path and I liked it for that. If I had read A Tale of Two Cities it may have been different, but this book always did things differently and that’s what kept me reading. I could never be certain about what to expect next. Sure, some of the storyline was predictable, but not all of it.
When You Don't Like The Characters It’s Hard To Like The Book
I didn’t like most of the characters in this book. It was really awkward for me because I kept thinking they would do something to redeem themselves. I didn’t like Lucie, but could almost understand her character. She was annoying, far too passive and allowing the world to pass her by and dictate her life. I was reading and kept complaining at her to grow a pair and stand up for herself because there is nothing more frustrating than a week character. Even when she did stand up for herself, she did it so passively that it was hard to tell.
The next annoying characters were Ethan and Carwyn. Ethan was just bland and annoyingly idolised by Lucie which made it possible to even view him as a real person. She viewed as being such a perfect person that she overlooked all the things staring her in the face about him. She did the same with Carwyn, she went on about how terrible the treatment of doppelgangers was and then she turned around and did the same thing. She viewed him as this soulless individual with no feelings and no sense of right or wrong without any basis for this notion. It really annoyed me as he came across as a really good character. Basically, Lucie ruined the characters for me by being a terrible judge of character (seriously, the worst).
Overall, What Did I Think?
In the end this was a smart book, but it was also a little disappointing. I am writing this two weeks after finishing the book and I am struggling to remember everything that happened. Book amnesia is a terrible thing and I have suffered it with this book. The story was okay, interesting but not ground-breaking and the writing was good. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t like the characters. Lucie was annoying, Ethan was bland (I began to like him towards the end, but too little too late) and Carwyn was pretty fun but I didn’t understand the demonisation Lucie made of him. It was a decent paranormal read which didn’t take the obvious love triangle path, and for that I really appreciate it, but that was the best thing about this book. I attribute some of my disappointment to the fact I went into the book blind and had built my own expectations.
Have you read any books which ended up being a bit disappointing? And what are your thoughts on going into books blind?