4.5* for this glorious book! Why? MILD SPOILERS AHEAD.
1. Victoria Schwab’s writing. Woman could write about the weather and I’d probably mark it 5 stars. She has the sort of visual imagery and effortless characterisation which I strive to achieve. (I know it’s probably not effortless because writing is freaking difficult as all hell, but the final result is pretty damn near perfect).
2. I was conflicted several times during this book and I love that. Sometimes in literature characters are pretty cut and dry – good vs evil, etc etc. Their personalities, sometimes even if they are meant to be good, can wind me up the wrong way. But despite how much I despised Eli and Serena, there were moments when I understood them and could see their point, thus entering the “maybe… they’re not all that bad?” *Spoiler alert. They are that bad.
3. Sydney. The heart of the book for me was that little girl and her relationship with Mitch and Victor. She had so much genuine depth. I love her.
4. Victor himself. About halfway through this book I sort of got a realisation that, given my absolutely terrible taste, I would probably find him insanely attractive. The way he was described and the way he carried himself – yeah I would have given him more than a second glance. Plus he was fascinating. When the POV switched I was always wanting to see what he was up to in the back of my mind. Though I did always enjoy the other POV’s Victor was very much my favourite.
5. The only reason this doesn’t get a full 5* for me is because of Eli and Serena. I hated the time I had to read about them and their thoughts. Their whole relationship gave me twisted feelings and I wanted to reach into the book and strangle them myself. Not that that’s a bad thing – it wasn’t anything to do with the way they were written – in fact it’s because they were written so well. It was effective in causing conflict in the reader, yes, but they angered me so much. I very much enjoyed their fate.
In short – I want to read more and I’m glad I’ll have a chance for another date with Victor.
But seriously, Victoria needs to stop writing so many fucking good books because I’m running out of room on my “favourite books” shelf. She’ll need one entirely to herself if she carries on.