Format: Hardback First Edition
Read: December 1, 2011
So I have been anticipating this book ever since I stumbled upon it earlier this year on goodreads. Fascinating synopsis (if a little vague) and dystopian. I'm all for it. But the real question was, would it stand up to the hype and the platform I had unconsciously placed it on during the many month wait for its release date? Let me tell you, it was on a very high platform. Somehow, Lu surpassed this insanely large and glittering platform.
This isn't a life changing novel like, say, The Hunger Games or The Book Thief. Yet it is like a cool glass of semi-sweet lemonade on a hot Georgia day. Corny, but true. This book took every dystopian novel written between The Hunger Games and now and found the tiny path less traveled and blew through it. Somehow, Lu avoided the overused stereotypes that have developed within the past five years or so and crafted something beautiful and frank and real.
Although this book has a strong female lead, it also has an equal and opposite strong male lead, where neither overshadows the other. The characters equally balanced each other out, like they were a natural part of the world and not a fantastical story made from some ideas scribbled on a paper. It just felt effortless and right. I liked Day AND June equally for different reasons. This is a rarity, because I have never encountered a shared situation where I liked both of the main characters independently AND together. That I understood them, and didn't root against either's point of view. I was simply content to lose myself in the story.
I made myself savor this book (savoring, for me, is three days instead of one) because I knew I wouldn't find another voice like Lu's for a while and I wanted to bask in the glow of a beautifully crafted book. And by book, I mean the plot, characters, twists, world-building, you name it. Of course, I'm not saying it's perfect and amazing and you'll adore it no matter who you are. There will be critics I am sure, but what I am saying is that whatever flaws there were, were so small that I (being the picky reader I am) don't remember anything bad about this book.
Marie Lu has found a die hard fan simply because of one book that I happened to anticipate, decide to pre-order without looking for prior reviews, gamble with my hard earned college student salary for a book that I had no guarantees on, and tear through it like a chocolate addict. Quite simply, I will buy whatever she writes from now on, no questions asked (and that is high praise from a college student).