First off, Renée is still weird. She just never reacts to things the way a normal person would. Maybe she's just not normal, but pretty much every time I read about how she responded to something, I'm like what the heck! For example, in the first chapter, you learn that her grandfather has been reading all her mail. And that she's okay with that, because she knows she can't stop him. If it were me, I would have the fight every time, because tampering with the mail's not cool, or I would come up with some other way to get my mail so it didn't have to go through psychogramps. Then again maybe the real reason she's okay with it is because she snoops through his stuff too.
One of the strangest things about this book is the fact that as much as Gottfried Academy controlled the students' every move Lycée St. Clément doesn't seem to care at all. Renée runs all around Montreal searching for Dante and never gets in trouble for just disappearing from campus. More than once, she falls asleep somewhere that's not her room and comes back in the morning...and no one notices. Partly because apparently at this super sweet boarding school everyone gets their own room, with bathrooms shared by only two people. At Gottfried, there was a communal bathroom in the girls' building and one in the boys'. Weird!
What I liked most about this book was that the disgusting soul mate thing was significantly reduced. It becomes apparent that even though she thought they were perfect for one another, because they share the same soul and everything, that it's possible she doesn't know him as well as she thought. There's an acknowledgment here that this is a high school relationship and that they really have not spent enough time together or talked about their pasts enough to have a healthy, trusting relationship.
Add to this a new possible love interest in Noah, a Monitor boy, and you've got the makings for Renée needing to reevaluate her life choices. I also love the questions raised in this love triangle. Should love be easy? Renée doesn't think so at first, but comes to question whether the difficulty of maintaining a relationship is a sign of its worth. I love that Woon brought this up, because with so many of the YA romances, especially in the paranormal genre, teens could get the idea that true love is beset by many difficulties, and that if it's too easy it can't be real.
The dramatic ending left a little bit to be desired, although it definitely achieved the dramatic. It just seems like people were not as prepared as they should have been, resulting in some unnecessary and awful things happening.
Anyway, despite the many things I could rant about in this series, it is really fun to read, and I know I'll be excited when book three comes out. I just can't help it. Recommended to people who like the Cassandra Clare books; I always have a similar response to those.