I think 2012 is definitely the year where fresh, great books make a comeback. And this book falls into that category. I devoured this today after starting it a few days ago and getting hit with edits. It was absolutely fantastic. Definitely worth more than 5 stars.
I don’t know where to begin really. The setting of the book is set in a city filled with absolute despair. After a horrible plague has wiped out most of the population and forced people into wearing special porcelain masks, there is no hope left and rather than living, most people are merely surviving.
Enter Araby. The daughter of the man who made the masks. She’s empty of positive emotions and filled to the brim with survivors guilt. Her twin brother is dead and she feels like she shouldn’t experience anything he’d want to experience but never got the chance to. Which made for a very frustrating excuse when she pulled back from two deliciously, equally tempting boys.
This was probably one of the best love triangles I have read about in a long time. Because I just couldn’t decide. I thought I was Team Will, but then I became Team Elliott, and this went back and forth for the whole novel. I think I know who I want to win Araby’s heart fully now, but no doubt this’ll change in the next book. The well developed love triangle is just one testament to Griffin’s talent as an author. Her characters felt so real and so did the story itself. Like I could imagine that happening some day soon.
There was a great adventure throughout and I enjoyed spending my time with Araby as she learned which side she was on and what part in all of this she and her family played. There were a few twists, and some deception, and a horrible ending where I actually shouted out “No!” because I couldn’t believe it ended there. Griffin’s writing was beautiful, simple, and descriptive. It wasn’t filled to the brim with purple prose, but there was a beauty in it that flowed well.
I recommend this to all readers who want to read a novel that crosses genres. This can be post-apoc, dystopian, adventure, steampunk, romance…the lot! Seriously, I dare you to read this and not enjoy it. Even if you only read it to spend time with Will and Elliott. 5 stars.