By Tahereh Mafi
Part of a series? Yes.
Reading Level: Middle School-High School
Reviewed by Elen S., grade 10
This story begins with our main character, Juliette, who has been locked up in an asylum because she has the power to kill people with a single touch. As the plot continues and the story takes shape, Juliette realizes that there is more for her in the world than the four walls by which she has been surrounded, when she is given an opportunity she cannot refuse. She finds love and forms new friendships, channeling her anger towards those who hurt her, rather than at herself. With the world slowly dying under the hands of the Reestablishment, a group trying to “fix” things, she takes a stand for what’s right and breaks free of her insecurities, making one sacrifice after another.
I loved the overall plot, the writing style, and the thrill that came with each new page. What I didn’t like very much was the fact that it takes so long for Juliette to understand who she is and what kind of power she holds within her, and the story moves incredibly slowly. There are two different versions of the cover for this book, though I must say I love them both. I would definitely rate it 5/5 stars because it’s incredibly hard to fall in love with the characters of a book, and Mafi has made that possible for me. I would definitely recommend the rest of this series because there are so many twists and turns that it’s hard to put these books down. The message they send is the same one they inspire: Learn to accept your flaws, and they will show to be your weapons.
Editor's note: Burbank Public Library has this as both a hardcover and an e-book, and we have the sequel as a hardcover, as well as a companion novel (in e-book format only).