This review also appears on the NerdHerd Reads
So I was in a reading slump for awhile, and this book was just what I needed to come out of it. I nearly devoured it in one sitting. Truthfully, I don't even think it's drastically different than most other YA dystopians. But something about this was refreshingly different. It's one of those books that readers love love love, or hate. (Hm, I wonder which side of the spectrum I'm on.)
One of the best parts about this book was Mafi's writing style. It was so unique, and really drew you in to the story. The cross-outs were definitely an interesting technique, adding depth to story. She really got into the mind of Juliette, sounding exactly like a teenager would, but also like how an insane (or not-so-insane) person would sound like. The writing really was just beautiful.
On a related note, the characters were very well written. At least, Juliette was. She developed throughout the book, and that showed through in how she was written. There wasn't much character development, I felt, with Adam, but he was still swoon-worthy ;) Warren was, in my opinion, the most interesting character. I felt that Mafi wrote his psychopathic personality very well (and I was happy that the novella 1.5, Destroy Me, was written from his perspective so we could see more inside his brain). I found myself harboring a little affection for Kenji, and James was just so cute.
The world that this takes place in is not so drastically different from other dystopia novels. Nor was it very well explained. But I was okay with that, as some times I feel novels like this can take up too much time trying to explain the world, and not enough time on what's important. Enough about the Reestablishment was mentioned for the context to make sense, and the rest is promised in book 2. Some don't like that, but for me, it was enough.
All around, this was a spectacular book. It was moving, emotional, fast-moving (mostly). It draws the reader into the story from the get-go. It delves into deeper issues without being over-the-top. While this book wasn't perfect, it was close enough.