May 9-13, 2019
This book was different from what I expected. It came highly recommended by a friend who has similar tastes in books as me, so I bumped it to the top of my to-be-read stack, and I’m glad I did.
This story is about Juliette, whose touch is painful and eventually lethal as she drains the life out of whomever she’s touching. The book opens up with Juliette incarcerated due to her lethal talent, but she is soon given a cellmate: gorgeous, kind, respectful Adam. Juliette soon realizes that Adam was sent so she could be broken out of her prison and handed over to become a weapon in this post-apocalyptic, war-torn country. However, Juliette soon decides she will not allow herself or her powers to be used and manipulated.
I’ve seen reviews of this book and a lot of people dislike it, claiming Juliette is a weak, shallow character, but I disagree. She is scared and lonely and still only a child. She had been locked away by herself for nearly a year, and she hasn’t touched or been touched by anyone her whole life. That’s incredibly isolating. She is scared of what she can do, and she most of all doesn’t want to hurt anyone. Even though she’s been treated like a plague-carrying pariah, she hasn’t grown bitter or vengeful, which is remarkable.
Adam is a legitimate sweetheart. He is so chivalrous and treats Juliette like an actual person. Then there’s Warner, who is a major douche canoe. I’ve seen spoilers and summaries of later books in this series that Juliette and Warner become an item. I’m extremely on the fence about this, considering how awfully he behaved and treated Juliette in this book. He was horribly abusive and manipulative, and I’m not sure how Tahereh Mafi will be able to smooth this over and make me support a relationship between these two, or how she is going to deteriorate the relationship between Adam and Juliette.
The writing style was very… different. It wasn’t bad, so to speak, but it took some getting used to. It very much was stream-of-consciousness meets writing in a journal, and it was incredibly purple-prosey at times.
Nevertheless, this was an enjoyable book and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.