*Copy provided by author in exchange for an honest review*
This was the first book that I have read by Lauren and I am now anxiously awaiting more from her world! Granted, this wasn’t my opinion when I started the book. I was a good 120 pages in and still not connecting or caring about the characters, or the world. But, that all started to change the moment when we got to meet Judah!! That guy saved the book for me but I will go on into more detail about him on his section of this review.
This book made me so proud of my stubbornness in never quitting a book even if I am not quickly intrigued from the start. Sometimes you miss some amazing things when you DNF and I am so glad to not have missed the rest of this story!
The structure was very unique. It’s told in three parts and there are no chapters. At first, I was thrown off because of that. I never knew how vital chapters were to my experience until I had to go on without them. But, luckily, it worked for this book. The story progressed rather quickly so next thing I knew, I was already on the next part and chapters weren’t close to being in my mind.
Let’s first talk about our main character, Noa. Her story starts when she meets Callum at school, stumbling into a world she never knew existed. At first, I wasn’t really a fan of her. I felt like her situation with Callum was too insta-love for my liking. Still do. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around their attraction no matter how hard I tried. But my opinion of her changed drastically by the end. I loved reading her poems throughout the story and I was awed by her skill with words. Her family situation made my heart ache and by the end, her emotions were so raw and heart-breaking that I couldn’t not feel for her. In the end, I loved her.
Callum was very frustrating. He gave me an intense case of whiplash. One second he was one way and the next he was another. His personality completely jumped in the spectrum and there was nothing subtle about it either. It just rubbed me the wrong way and instead of intriguing me, it drove me away. Until the last few pages of course. The ending revealed parts of him I didn’t even suspect were in him and it was mind-blowing. I still don’t like him with Noa, but as an individual, he has my attention.
Now, let’s talk about my experience savior, Judah, Callum’s brother with a bad reputation. From the very beginning, he was exactly who you thought he was based on the information we had… Until he wasn’t. I was completely awed by his character development and the way his interactions with Noa developed as well. It made my heart swell with pride and sorrow at discovering parts of him everybody else took for granted. Oh, how I wish I were in Noa’s shoes so I could love him intensely, the way he deserves to be loved. (Yes, I ship Judah and Noa. SO HARD.) His emotions, experiences, reactions, thoughts, they were all believable to me and I cherished them all the same. I need more of them!
I wasn’t going to give this more than 3.5 stars due to my issue with connecting to the characters. But it’s obvious Lauren changed my mind with those epic last pages. I felt like the dialogue was a little weird at times. Not necessarily bad, but not really believable either. The world-building sort of flew by me. I don’t know if it was my fault or the author’s so we will just sweep that aside.
Now, about that ending. I am so proud that my first opinions were savagely thrown away and replaced with better ones. That third and last part was utterly insane, in the best way. It tore at my emotions out of nowhere and I think it had a lot to do with a particular someone’s POV. Secrets were revealed, betrayal acknowledged, hearts torn open and scraped raw (including mine)… and more. All the bad stuff that makes a plot so good and intriguing. I am still pretty shocked at everything that went down. It goes without saying that I am so ready for book 2. Holy gods, I need more!!!