April 21, 2016

Tell the Wind and Fire - Sarah Rees Brennan

Title: Tell the Wind and Fire 
Author: Sarah Rees Brennan
Pages: 368
Publisher: Clarion Books
Source: Netgalley
Goodreads rating: 

 About: In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets. 
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised.
Lucie alone knows of the deadly connection the young men share, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?

You guys, what a bummer.  I was so excited for this one.  It's a retelling (A Tale of Two Cities).  I love retellings and it's by freaking Sarah Rees Brennan, who I love because of that one time I met her and we wound up talking excessively about The Vampire Diaries.  But this just didn't do it for me.
  • The characters are hella blah.  They're super not developed and boring.  Ethan literally has no personality except that he's 'perfect' and Lucie loves him.  Big snooze.  Lucie wasn't much better.  The most interesting character was Carwyn and even he wasn't that great.  Every time he spoke I could practically see the 'insert snarky comment here' sign over his head.
  • The world is too simple and the division doesn't feel natural at all.  It felt very much like a concept and not something that would have occurred naturally.  It felt like one of those nondescript dystopias that came out after The Hunger Games exploded.
  • At the end of every chapter Lucie basically is like, 'oh woe is me, if I had only known the doom and gloom that awaited me around every corner.'  I understand that it's based on Dickens, but relax.  It was so not necessary.
So yeah, I didn't love anything about this book.  It took me forever to read because I couldn't make myself get invested in any of these characters and that alone is enough to ruin a book for me.  The world building was kind of one dimensional and the drama was a lot of tell, not show.  I'm still going to check out some of Sarah Rees Brennan's other books, but this one missed the mark for me.

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