On the heels of The Hunger Games, post-apocalyptic lit has been hot for teens these past few years, with big titles like Blood Red Road, Matched, Divergent, and this one, all featuring strong girls – not a bad model for a teen book, if you’re going to go with a popular formula!
ISBN: 978 0 062 11420 4
Juliette is untouchable. Oh, people *can* touch her – but then they will be wracked with pain as their life force drains from them into her until, not too much after that, they are dead. We find her locked in an asylum, abandoned by her parents, and too dangerous for society. She hasn’t seen or spoken to another person for three years, when a boy shows up in her cell and soon after, the two are removed by soldiers to the headquarters of their sector. Turns out, he’s a solider, and the head of the sector has been looking for her, having heard stories of her power. He’s convinced she is the perfect partner for him, and once he sees her, he’s equally captivated by her beauty and her efficacy as an instrument of torture. From there, the plot begins to twist rapidly as action drives it forward and allegiances are called into question over and over.
This is a book that moves rapidly, turning on running, hiding, skirmishes, and overheated scenes between hormone-ridden teens who never quite manage to actually consummate their love, but share lots of moments along the way. This all makes it a fast, fun read that pulls you along – I read it in just days, and I am a sloooow reader. There are places where the writing really works, and places where I found it self-conscious, but on the whole, it’s better than it had to be, and the teen reviews on it are good. Yes, Juliette is much like Rogue of X-Men fame, some of you might argue, but still, even for this little bit of unoriginal thinking, probably the only thing I didn’t like about it was actually those constant scenes describing the heat between Juliette and Adam, and not because there was anything wrong with them, but more because there are only so many ways to talk about this before it becomes a little… repetitive. Aside from that, there is a really taut level of suspense, a very strong sense of peril created, and characters who you are invested in and for whom you care about the outcome. This is all the stuff of page-turning, enjoyable reading, and this one is certainly that.
Also available as an ebook.