e-Book, 248 pages
Release Date: July 23, 2013
Published by: Delacorte Press
For fans of: Dystopian, Re-tellings, Fantasy, Romance
In the beginning was the darkness, and in the darkness was a girl, and in the girl was a secret...
In the domed city of Yuan, the blind Princess Isra, a Smooth Skin, is raised to be a human sacrifice whose death will ensure her city’s vitality. In the desert outside Yuan, Gem, a mutant beast, fights to save his people, the Monstrous, from starvation. Neither dreams that together, they could return balance to both their worlds.
Isra wants to help the city’s Banished people, second-class citizens despised for possessing Monstrous traits. But after she enlists the aid of her prisoner, Gem, who has been captured while trying to steal Yuan’s enchanted roses, she begins to care for him, and to question everything she has been brought up to believe.
As secrets are revealed and Isra’s sight, which vanished during her childhood, returned, Isra will have to choose between duty to her people and the beast she has come to love.
After finishing this book I'm stuck thinking to myself "Did I read the same book as everyone else? I think I did it wrong." Everyone I'm friends with on Goodreads LOVED it and I was struggling not to DNF it. The only reason I plowed through it was because I didn't have anything else to read. I had so many books that I was waiting on but none had arrived yet.
I wanted to love this so bad. If you know me, you know that my favorite fairy tale of all time is Beauty and the Beast. To me it portrays the story of true love, seeing past any imperfections they may have while they're still perfect for you. And don't get me wrong, it DID have all the elements of the story I love, like the roses, the magic, the unconditional love, the Beauty, the Beast, and even the books were thrown in there, but that's about it.
I also loved the world building. I could see all the domes and the way the new world looks in my head as I read. And the way the Monstrous were described helped me come up with the way they looked in my head. Even the desolate plains of the Desert (no mater how brief their stint there) stood out in my head. But unfortunately those were the only things I really came to care about.
One thing I didn't like was the writing style. I found myself confused by all the time jumps. In the book it goes from them talking and then it'll say randomly that its been months. I'm not sure if its because I have a Nook Book and the pages weren't broken right, but the time jumps were weird and they threw me off. I also felt like there was nothing going on. So many times I wanted to put down the book because I was bored. The plot was literally like this /________/_________ Every time something happened it fell off again and I wanted to put it down. And of course that plot twist, I guessed it from the very beginning. Lastly, the beginning was an info dump. Had it been spread out through the story I might have enjoyed it more. I had to take more notes in the beginning than I did the entire story.
Then there is the romance. I felt kind of weird about the way they hated each other one day and then fell in love the next and then he was still not be truthful with her. For it to be Beauty and the Beast it didn't feel like real love to me. Only on Isra's part. Gem was flaky and didn't end up really trusting her. And Bo was every bit a lunatic as his father. It was a lot going on with the characters for the plot to be so boring.
I'm not sure what about this novel hooked all the other readers, but unfortunately I was not one of them. I intended to love this one, but I just couldn't get into it. And for that, I truly am sad. This was one of my most anticipated reads of the summer (and the year) and it did nothing for me. Hopefully everyone else will love it more than I did.