This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
I enjoyed this book very much. There is just so much to love about this book. Mystery, romance, a dystopian aftermath, political aspects, excitement, and emotion.
After a second civil war, the United States is no more. It is replaced by The Union, which borders the former United States by the coasts, and The Ruins, left devastated in the center.
Evan is a teenage girl that doesn't know what she wants to do with her life. After graduating, she embarks with her friends, Lisa and Colin, on a vacation of sorts heading for the west coast where Lisa and Colin have internships lined up. Evan is tagging along in hopes of finding herself and her purpose in life. On the train ride that is taking them out west, Evan meets a boy from school, Bryce, that she has been crushing on. They had some exchanges prior to the train ride, but they were not really friends. Evan and Bryce spend time together on the train and Bryce admits his love for her. On one of the stops along the train ride, they all decide to venture out and see the sights. Evan is taken by a group of smugglers and they take her into the Ruins.
Evan is rescued from the harsh landscape of the Ruins by an unusual group of young people that have banded together as a family. Evan eventually earns her place among them, all living more or less like pioneers, and comes to think of them as family as well. Eighteen year old Cyrus finds himself falling in love with Evan and a relationship between them blossoms. Now that Evan thinks that she has found her place in the world, she contemplates staying in the Ruins with Cyrus or returning to the Union. The decision weighs heavily on her.
While in the Ruins, Evan and Cyrus stumble upon some men and learn of a secret plot that threatens the Union and everyone that Evan holds dear back home. Will Evan stay, or return to the Union and warn them what is coming? If Evan warns the Union of the plot, they may retaliate and then her family in the Ruins will be in danger. If she stays in the Ruins with the man that she loves, then her family and friends in the Union will be in danger.
This really is a compelling story with a very unique plot. There are a few things that I disliked about the book, but nothing to do with the story. The story is solid. I felt that the pacing of the book was a bit rushed. For example, in the book Evan and Bryce rush into a relationship without knowing much about the other in a day or two time frame. Then he is confessing his love. It seemed odd. Adding some more background or a little more interaction between the characters would make the love story more believable. The only other thing that I thought could use improving is the amount of story. I thought that the world building could be improved. More descriptive details about the world they live in and the characters and their backgrounds. Details were provided, but it seemed like they were few and far between. I think that little things like this can make for a big impact. It can take you from a good book to a great book.
Although it doesn't really affect the story, I didn't like the main character, Evan. I just didn't connect with her and little things about her character made me dislike her. I just personally didn't care for Evan. You know that you are reading a good book when you can't stand the main character, but love the book! My favorites are Cyrus and Sonia. Cyrus is seriously my book boyfriend now. Hehe. In the edition that I read, there was a glimpse at the end of the book from Cyrus's perspective. It really made me like the book that much more. If the entire book was written this way it would be incredible! Or even if it were written in the points of view of Evan, Cyrus, and Bryce. Three sides of the pyramid, so to speak. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone. It is really going to appeal to those that love a dystopian romance. I can't wait to find out what happens in the second book, The Ruins!
My name is Vanessa a.k.a. Queen Alchemy. I am a 33 year old mother of four nerdy, fantastic children. My husband and I were married on Halloween because that is my favorite holiday. We live in the Midwest. I have a reading addiction, and I hope that I never recover! I'm the hugest nerd you can find with interests not limited to the following: comics (Batman and Captain America for the win!), science, computers, zombies, unicorns, Doctor Who, cartoons from the 80's & 90's, Frankenstein, history, crafting, cooking & baking, digital scrapbooking, D&D, Minecraft, Hello Kitty, horror, metalcore, royalty, tattoos & piercings, bright colors, and so much more!