When you overhype something, people expect it to be the best thing ever. And when we discover it’s NOT the best thing ever, we’re disappointed. I probably would’ve appreciated the book more if the publisher and the YA community had NOT overhyped it. It’s good, but not the best thing ever.
Cadence Sinclair Eastman is an unreliable narrator. Usually I’m okay with that – IF I like the narrator, but here I do not. Because of the liar/unreliable factor, this novel’s bound to be likened to Justine Larbalestier’s Liar, but Liar is much better.
Remember how a certain debut YA novel was so full of metaphors (rather than just telling it how it is), that it drove me batty? There is a little of that here, but thankfully nowhere near as much. e.g. Then he pulled out a handgun and shot me in the chest. That doesn’t literally happen; it’s just a fancy, figurative way of saying, “He punched me in the feels.” Also, bleeding is mentioned a few times when I think it’s actually tears and emotions – not actual blood. This is annoying writing, but mercifully there’s not too much of it.
In the ARC, the publisher has strongly advised NOT to share spoilers, but it’s my duty as a reviewer to provide trigger warnings. And the trigger warnings are spoilers.
SPOILER WARNING: There are spoilers in the Trigger Warning
TRIGGER WARNING: Incest (by marriage – not blood), dog deaths, human deaths