First off the cover of this book is so pretty and even if I didn’t enjoy it I’m pretty positive that I would have bought this just for that fact. I’m not even a fan of pink (loathe it) and I’m in love with it. Cover art aside the book is just as fantastic and this is going on my to buy list with the other awesome books I’ve read this year.
In all honesty this reminds me a lot of 1984 by George Orwell, which isn’t really a bad thing because Anastasu really manages to make it her own with her creative use of technology. I love the fact that plot centers around people who have basically been freed of all emotion and opinion because of something as small as chip implanted in their brains. It really gives the story a different feel and flow because instead of reading about a typical teenager you are reading about a teenager who never even knew what the world around her was truly like. You get to experience the main charcter’s first taste of emotion and the world around her and it makes the story richer. I was really invested in the main character, Zoel, and I wanted so badly to help her out when things got way too confusing for her. The backstory for the world is fairly believable and I can see that being a plausible situation if the same technology were applied to the same type of people. I also love the inclusion of the gifts that some people have, I thought it was an interesting addition and I would love for more explanation on the subject. The story is a fast and steady pace that gives you a lot of twists and turns, and it really had me hanging on every word. Plus this gets points of not having a cliffhanger ending but still leaving it open enough that I’m dying to know more.
The characters are really fantastic and when it comes to development I thought it was handled rather well. Zoe is a likable character though instead of relating to her I ended up wanting to take her under my wing and teach her about people. Some of the relationships she had with other people were terribly frustrating because of her naivety but it’s all completely understandable and serves it’s purpose. Adrien is a great counterpoint to Zoe and his understanding is rather refreshing when it comes to knowing about the world. His a great down to earth kind of guy and I’m certainly rooting for him in future books. Max…where to start with Max? He went from adorable to creepy in .5 seconds and he managed to remain in the “creep” zone for the rest of the book for me. He’s a great character but he had my skin crawling.
Overall this is a great dystopian with a fantastic twist of technology. If you are looking for something similar to 1984 but want a younger more modern version, well this may very well be the book to grab. I’m definitely going to buy this one and re-read it before the next one comes out.