This review can also be found at the NerdHerd Reads
I wasn't expecting to like this book as much as I did. But I fell in love, and I can't believe it took me as long as it did to read it.
Day: I really enjoyed Day's character. He was sarcastic, compassionate, caring, and fun. He's been labeled as the Republic's Most Wanted criminal, but that only fuels him. Except, Day never does anything for himself. He is not selfish or greedy, and he never, ever kills. Whatever he does, it is to help his family, help others in the slums, or rebel against the Republic. He cares for Tess like a little sister, and would sacrifice himself to save his family.
June: I liked June. Yes, she is naive. She is arrogant. She's a pawn of the Republic. But she was also young, insecure, and just wanted to please her dead parents and brother. And when she finds out the truth about Day, about the Republic, she doesn't do anything rash. She thinks it through, and very nearly gets away with it perfectly.
Metias: Man, I always wanted a big brother. Yes, I realize that he was only in the story for a short while before he dies, but he was still awesome. It's obvious he loves his little sister and would do anything for her.
Thomas: Okay, he just creeped me out from the beginning. I don't know why or what it was about him, but I just didn't like him. (But, obviously, my instinct about him was right.)
The Republic. What we get when America goes to war with itself and splits into two. Every child is tested when they are 10 years old. That one person, June, who got a perfect score, is labeled as a prodigy and watched by all. Those who pass the test with high scores go into the military or work for the government. Those who are adequate live in the poor neighborhoods, doing hard labor jobs for minimal pay. And those who fail, like Day, are told that they are being sent to labor camps...except not really. Lu envisioned a futuristic society, and was actually able to pull it off. It was believable, and didn't contradict itself. Lu also didn't make it so complex that the reader had to remember so many things about the government in order for the story to make sense, and that worked in it's favor.
When Day is accused of murdering June's brother, June is placed in charge of the investigation. But between spending time with Day in the slums, and decoding a message her brother left her, June finds that all is not what is seems with the Republic, or with the people she trusted most, like Thomas and Commander Jamison. Day isn't the criminal the government makes him out to be either. The story is fun, fast-paced, and full of adventure. I didn't really feel any lulls or parts that bored me, which is a problem I have had with a lot of books recently, it seems.
This book was full of adventure, fast-paced, and enjoyable. I loved it from the start. I would definitely recommend it to fans of dystopian, adventure, or the like. I loved it (did I say that enough?).