The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war– and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
This novel is written in a way that is unlike any other novel I’ve ever read. Upon first opening the book to begin reading it, my eyes were automatically drawn to the many strikethroughs that pervade the pages. Juliette is constantly minding her words, watching what she says, but especially what she thinks, and it was a very interesting concept to sit alongside her and obtain these morsels of self-reflection that Juliette is so eager to keep to herself. It’s almost as if she is admonishing herself for her thoughts; as if she believes someone like her shouldn’t have anything good in her life. And she doesn’t.
Now, while the strikethroughs were a little cumbersome to me as it’s a very innovative style of writing that I’m not yet used to, the extreme use of metaphors throughout the novel were absolutely captivating. Mafi is able to paint extremely vivid portraits through her metaphors, giving the story flight with the beautiful imagery that allows the reader to feel Juliette’s pain. It was breathtaking and I can’t help but want to use these metaphors in the classroom in order to help students understand the makings of a beautiful metaphor. They are superb!
I really enjoyed the overall concept of this novel, but I have to admit that it was a bit too fast paced for me. Mafi introduces her characters very quickly, moving from one action sequence to another in fast strides, and this made it a little difficult for me to wrap my head around everything that was happening, while at the same time gripping me and not allowing me to put the novel down. It was such a quick read, in fact, that I’m still spinning from it all. This is definitely one of those novels I’ll have to read again, much more slowly the second time around, so I can savor the situations and the characters more thoroughly. Especially as I felt like everything happened so quickly that I didn’t have time to really connect with the characters or their plight. I don’t think that is any fault of the author, though. I’m quite sure it was my overall excitement just to read this novel, and the metaphors… those beautiful metaphors!
While not all the answers are given to us in this novel, such as how Juliette came to have her power, I am excited that there will be a sequel that will hopefully shed some more light on the topic. I had many, many questions at the end of the novel, so I can hardly wait until next year when the sequel releases. Three and a half stars.