“Not-so-secretly, I enjoy delving into YA books, if and when they do not come across as something too young. I prefer the older YA, often with less censoring and more realism. This book brings that. I am also not a fan of mushy and happy outcomes to every bad situation. In my perspective, bad things (especially the terrible things the protagonist deals with) leave a dark mark on a person (or multiple people). To ignore the darkness that builds behind every tragedy is unrealistic and difficult to relate to. Of course, readers can acknowledge that something filed with the supernatural is nowhere near realistic, it is the emotions that we seek to relate to, and that is here.
There are some familiar tropes to supernatural YA books, and yet, as each trope pops up, it is then transformed and reset to something different and new. There was a hint at a love triangle, but it is quickly swept aside and I applauded that move. Thank you! There is gore, there is sexually explicit content, but none of it is excessive or forced into the story. It fits with what is occurring. I think the author did a good job at balancing the world of a teenager being turned on its head, the emotions and hormones of being a teenager, and the atrocities she learns about and deals with.
There was one scene, toward the end, that really pulled at my heartstrings. The imagery used when there is a scene of tragedy or terror or any extreme situation is amazing. Even the more languid scenes, the flutter of leaves and the descriptions of the sky are beautiful. Language like this is rare in modern writings, and something I often only find when I go back to Poe or the more classical writers. I adore such descriptions and the author uses them beautifully.
In all, I really enjoyed this book. I hope there is more to this universe and story and can’t wait to see where it can possibly go from here.”