Publisher: Delacorte Press Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 9, 2012
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For fans of Matched, The Hunger Games, X-Men, and Blade Runner comes a tale of a magical city divided, a political rebellion ignited, and a love that was meant to last forever. Book One of the Mystic City Novels.
Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.
So, despite all the mixed reviews I saw this book getting, I was reasonably certain that I'd love it. I was so, so wrong. Obviously I need to stop being shallow and being drawn in by tempting blurbs and shiny, shiny covers that look like tiny pieces of heaven. I even read the first fifty pages in the bookstore and really enjoyed it. Unfortunately, that was pretty much the best part of the book. Unfortunately, it was downhill from there.
Aria has got to be one of the most irritating heroines in the history of YA. She's constantly doing stupid things even though she knows she shouldn't, and she's possibly one of the densest people ever. She doesn't notice all these obvious clues around her, and when she does she completely misinterprets them. She just doesn't go about things in a smart way at all and she also seems to have split personality, sometimes the perfect daughter and others the daring rebel. No in between. It's really not charming.
THE LOVE INTEREST
I don't hate Hunter, but that's probably because there's nothing to hate. He's a very flat character who lacks substance and there just isn't much to him at all. He's a rebel. He has a ton of secrets. Other than that, he basically just exists. It's fascinating stuff.
Now, don't get me wrong: I liked Mystic City. However, I also like rainbows and colorful butterflies. "Like" isn't a word I apply a ton of value to. It could have been interesting, but the execution was just embarrassing.
It's so predictable. From almost the very beginning, I could tell you exactly where the story was going. Sure, I didn't get every detail. But the main plot? Way. Too. Predictable. I don't want to know the ending before I even get halfway through the book. It's annoying.
There are lots of "subtle hints" dropped throughout the book that–you guessed it–are in fact not subtle at all. It was a huge disappointment, and I seriously did not understand how anyone could have thought that they weren't glaringly obvious.
Plot holes. Oh my god, plot holes everywhere. And please don't get me started on Aria's stupid decisions. I swear at least half of the book is Hunter saving her from her own idiocy. That's all right to a point but it quickly became old.
The story was, however, entertaining. I'm not a liar, and that's a fact. But that doesn't change the fact that it was still faulty in too many areas to overlook.
The romance in this book depended waaay too much on a past that Aria has no memory of and Hunter never mentions. Then near the end of the novel it suddenly implodes and everything is revealed at once and I just felt totally and utterly confused. You can't just do things like that. It throws people off!
This is probably what saved the novel from getting a single rating. Theo's writing is actually really gorgeous, and even if Aria's voice was annoying, I cannot deny his talent. His words actually kind of flow off the page, and though his world-building is weak you can see his effort and that he really tried. His descriptions of Manhattan are gorgeous as well, and I really enjoyed the way he used his words.
Well, see, this really wasn't a surprise at all, though something tells me it was supposed to be. It was also probably supposed to be a cliffhanger, but since I didn't care for this book all that much I found myself really only mildly interested in what was going to happen next. It wasn't an awful ending, but the fact that I'd known what it was for so long really ruined it.
I will be reading the next book, although I have no idea why. Don't ask. As to would I recommend this? Honestly, no. Some people I know did love this, and I have no doubt that some of you will love it, but it just was not for me.
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