Let me start by saying that I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could...there were just a few issues I had that kept it from being 4 stars, most of...moreLet me start by saying that I would give this book 3.5 stars if I could...there were just a few issues I had that kept it from being 4 stars, most of which can and probably will be resolved in the next book. I would still recommend it to anyone who likes ya dystopian novels.
What I loved: New America. Not that there is actually anything to love, the place is terrifying. But I loved how realistic a future it was, the feeling that something like that could so easily happen. The fate of the graduates...OMG. My favorite character was Arden because of the complexities of her. People aren't purely good or bad, kind or unkind, but characters in books so often are. I also loved the surprises around every corner. Some books have action all the way through and you never relax...this one wasn't like that. There was always a small bit of peace after the action, to lull you into a false sense of security and then, when you least expect it, BAM! Drama.
Now I'm going to move into the wee little issues I had....so if you haven't read the book, STOP HERE. SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!! ******************************************************************************************************
Okay. You guys still reading have read the book, right?
What I didn't love so much: Eve. There were times I loved her to death (the balls scene OMG)but sometimes I wanted to slap her. She was often weak, a damsel in distress type. I understood that she was raised to be that way in School, but I like strong characters. Just because a female character isn't physically strong doesn't mean she can't be a strong character. Claire from Morganville Vampires, for example. She's smart like Eve, and she uses her intelligence constantly to get out of bad situations. Anyhoo, I digress. If a character isn't strong in the beginning and there is a good excuse, such as having been in a brainwashing school for many moons, it's nice to see some growth through the book. I thought we were getting there with Eve, but it never quite stuck. She fought back with Leif only to tell Caleb she didn't know if she had wanted it or not?? WTF. Then, the stunt with the radio at the Sedona safe house...she was purely responsible for those deaths because of her desperate, unthinking need to reach Caleb. That mistake could have been excused in the first week of her freedom, but by this point, she knew the dangerous reality of the world she was in- using that radio was foolish in a world where foolish equals dead. Then, THEN I thought we were FINALLY at a turning point during the bathtub scene. She was so clearly at her breaking point and rather than perish she made the courageous decision to keep going. I thought to myself when I was reading, that I might not have been able to get out of that tub. But she did, and then she went on to defend Caleb with those guards AND drive for the first time. I was like, yes! She's learning how to survive in this world. But...then we arrive at Califia. I, like everyone else, assumed most of the way through the book that Califia was where they would go and make their home, then she would try to rescue Pip, Ruby, and go get Silas and Benny before the far-off happy ever after. Right? Right? But surprise, Caleb can't come in. Ladies, if you actually got people killed to reach your man, and even shot guards for him....would you have given him a mother effing hug and strolled on in to you new home????? This is the crux for me. After all that she did to be with him, she would not realistically have just accepted being separated from him with a meek little, "Will you come back?" Why the hell would he? HE CAN'T COME IN!!!!
Now that I have gotten all of that off my chest, I will say this: it is not too late Eve, for you to fix this mess. In book two you need to have a revelation about what an idiot you have been (preferably sooner rather than later) and go after him. Once you find him, go get your peeps and make a new camp that lets people of both sexes come in! Because clearly that is a recurring theme here that has got to stop.(less)
I'm not a reviewer and I'm not going to start now. But I would feel wrong if I didn't at least mention how utterly amazed I was by this book. The plot...moreI'm not a reviewer and I'm not going to start now. But I would feel wrong if I didn't at least mention how utterly amazed I was by this book. The plot was flawless and the characters were wonderful. The writing...oh, the writing. Tahereh Mafi has an undeniable gift with words. This book is so whimsical that it's nearly poetic. Not one paragraph was mundane. I only wish I had waited longer to read it so the second one would already be out. :)(less)