Author: Tahereh Mafi
Published: October, 2012
Tiny spoilers ahead!
Juliette’s world has been taken over by The Reestablishment, a governing body that controls how and when people eat, who gets what food, where people can and can’t live, and the jobs that people do. She has been locked up in an asylum by the Reestablishment after her fatal touch causes her to accidentally kill a young boy. Being isolated from others – both in and out of the asylum – has caused Juliette to go a little mad, but she overcomes that relatively quickly once a soldier for the Reestablishment named Adam breaks her out. He has been ordered to do this so she can (hopefully) be put to work for his tyrannic boss Warner, a leader of the Reestablishment, using her bizarre power to help torture people for information. She ultimately breaks out of her new prison (a suite in Warner’s home) and ends up in an anti-Reestablishment movement’s headquarters with 55 other people who have freakish gifts like hers.
What I Liked (with more tiny spoilers):
1. Once I figured out how to navigate the incessant rambling metaphors, the story was really interesting.
2. The ending was really cool. It doesn’t seem like this will just be a series about a girl choosing between two love interests, but about finding her place in a world that she didn’t know existed. She thought she was a lonely freak, and that turned out not to be the case, which was nice.
What I Didn’t Like:
1. The main thing I had issue with was the perspective. I generally don’t have problems with the first person perspective; I usually prefer it. But this was completely stream-of-consciousness and FULL of metaphors, so at times it got a little convoluted. For example:
“I always wonder about raindrops.
I wonder about how they’re always falling down, tripping over their own feet, breaking their legs and forgetting their parachutes as they tumble right out of the sky toward an uncertain end. It’s like someone is emptying their pockets over the earth and doesn’t seem to care where the contents fall, doesn’t seem to care that the raindrops burst when they hit the ground, that they shatter when they fall to the floor, that people curse the day the drops dare to tap on their doors.
I am a raindrop.” (5)
And it goes on like this throughout the entire book.
3. Juliette’s constant blushing, hopes that she wasn’t blushing, and embarrassment because she was blushing (or might be blushing) was ANNOYING. Seriously, she blushed or flushed (or tried not to blush) 31 times throughout the book. I tried my best to keep her isolation from society in mind as I was reading, but it happened so frequently that it became difficult not to be annoyed by it.
Blushing aside, this was a really good start to what seems to be a pretty promising series. I’m really excited to find out what happens, because this is one of those cases where I can’t really predict what the outcome might be. I just bought #2, Unravel Me, so hopefully the story will continue along in the same way. I don’t know that I would’ve liked to have seen anything added to or taken away from the plot, so this one gets 4 stars, mainly due to the perspective and incessant babbling.