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Ostracized or incarcerated her whole life, Juliette is freed on the condition that she use her abilities in support of the dictatorship, but Adam, the only person ever to show her affection, offers hope of a better future.
Well, this was interesting. The writing style had me hook... at first. After that, it was too much. I could tell that the author has clearly studied prose, but this was just hard to read. The repetition repetition repetition every 1 2 7 sentences was really hard to read. It required a special midset that took a while to fall into. I have no natural rhythm. Poetry, songs, and this prose are the bane of my existence. Also why all the numbers. Seriously, is it too hard to spell out one? I know she can do it because the 2 times someone used a number while talking it was spelled out. It really got on my nerves and brought me out of the story.
Lastly, I really just was not a fan of Juliette for a while. There was a lot about this book that was just really, really annoying. Like it took me well over 150 pages to understand the whole dislike for Warner. I mean sure, he wanted to use her as a tool but other than "he's evil!!!!!!! EVIL I TELL YOU!!!!!!" he just seemed like a product of his environment, more of an anti-hero than a villain. Or just the antagonist, but not villainous. It was because she was against him before they even met. And for some reason, I thought she was brought to the rebels first so I was really confused. Her reactions just seemed too preemptive. There was no discovery that she was working with the bad guys.
And the pacing seemed really off as well. Nothing interesting happened for the first 200-ish pages other than Juliette getting out of the asylum.
And the last chapter does no9t automatically mean it's an epilogue just because it's the last chapter in a book. Just like chapter 1 doesn't auto equal prologue. The "epilogue" in this book is literally just the next chapter, taking place three seconds after the previous chapter, still in the same room with the same characters and setting up the next book. That's not an epilogue. It's the final chapter.
Oddly enough though I was engrossed enough (probably because the world, which there was not of) was interesting. I think every time the plot or Juliette started to seem dumb and pointless they were just like 'hey there, flash black to cool interesting stuff. You like this book. You like it. There's political manipulation. You liiiiiiiike this boooooook." Well, that got annoying, and I didn't.
Allow me to rip this book apart so you don't have to.
I used to love this book when I was younger. Underline younger, highlight it, and save it for later, because that's my excuse for not seeing how bad this book was.
Because it's bad. Very very bad. Even without the writing, which I feel to be incredibly over-the-top because it's used everywhere, it's a not-so-good book. Our love interest was genuinely the worst, especially considering how quickly they fall from "hey I barely know anything about you," to "hey let's make out for a very long time and let me talk about how you're so good at it it's better than breathing air."
You think I'm joking about that.
There's also the main love interest being a complete douchebag. He can't handle anyone even daring to look at Juliette, he's just that possessive. His friend makes an inappropriate joke about her and he actually points a gun to his head. And other than that, there's nothing about him. Nothing.
Juliette is so annoying, and also super horny, she just goes on and on about how attractive she finds Adam and how hot he is when it's 100% not relevant. When she's not doing this, she's talking about how monstrous she is and how she doesn't deserve to live and talks about death so much I want to give Tahereh Mafi a personal call about her mental state because EVERY SINGLE ONE of her characters act like this save for Kenji in this series.
Then there's the fact that somehow, despite being likely malnourished after being underfed while in an asylum, and also being physically mistreated, everyone says she looks beautiful. There is no description of scarring anywhere on her body, or of malnourishment. She's perfectly fine, and still drop-dead gorgeous.
Now, let's talk about Warner. Oh Warner, who definitely acts a little rapey at one point in this novel because he somehow confuses shivering and whimpering in a fearful way to be the sexual way, and he then begins to kiss them, and when they shove him away, he grabs them back and just kisses them again, and had it not been that this person then agrees to the kiss, it would have been attempted rape, if it wasn't already. Which, unsurprisingly, isn't the best way to paint someone to be when you will attempt to redeem them later.
Aaaaand that's all the ripping apart I'm going to do today, for this book at least.