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Novel set in a fictional Latina-style dystopian country where the elite males have two wives and girls are sent to a finishing school to prepare them for their wifely duties before they’re sold into marriage. Meanwhile, a rebellion is simmering as the poor go hungry, but the rich have surplus food going to waste. Dani must decide whether she will be a cog in the machine or rise up against the ruthless regime! With some romance added in to the mix as well.
I have fallen so deeply and utterly in love with this story. Everything from the world building to the slow development ot the romantic story arc worked perfectly for me. Every plot twist and new revelation leading to both girls discovering more about themselves and each other, their new and old lives, and also the other forces involved in what their life is becoming, kept me glued to the pages, emotionally invested all the way in all of their fates and also in the outcome of their struggles.
Part of the magic of the story surely was the intricate and natural way in which it incorporated the sometimes hopeless present political and societal struggles in the world and managed to wrap them in fire, but also in hope and a gentle reminder that not everything is lost and dark always. In addition to that I loved and hated in equal measure the compassionate and empathetic way in which the story navigated the patriarchal and deeply sexist system the world was build on, not shying away from harsh realities like sexual and intimate partner violence, the psychological and emotional consequences of it, and the wide ranging effects it has on everyone living in that kind of society.
It made this a very hard book to read, and the ending wasn’t exactly what I had hoped for. But at the same time it was the perfect book for me, left me even more emotionally invested than I thought possible and it stoked that tiny spark of hope in my chest that might not be entirely rational or even realistic, but felt wonderful nonetheless.
3.75 STARS In many aspects, this is a very interesting book. There are a lot of Latino characters, the atmosphere is very "The Handmaid's Tale" style and the dystopic world created with all its political intrigues is very interesting. I absolutely love that there's an f/f relationship HOWEVER the beginning of the love story of these two characters is too rushed and sudden. Moreover, the story in general is a little bit obvious: what should have been shocking revelations were actually things that I could predict chapters before. Anyway, since the book ended with a cliffhanger, I will surely read the second novel.
It's a great book, I had to finish it in one sitting. It grips you and then does not let go. Immediately ordered the sequel. The quality of the print is fine, and the inside is okay. Especially for the price. But the paper quality is not the best and the cover got a bit scratched up by the time i received it. I know books have other purpose than to be perfect, and the tarnishes are signs that they have been read, but I do like to have my books looking their best as often as I can.
I wanted to like this one, I really did. The premise is awesome, but it promised more than it could deliver due to bland characters that lacked any sort of depth.
So, characters are pretty big for me. I can put up with a terrible plot or bad prose for some solid characters. And I was okay with Dani for the first half. But then she turned into one of those "I overheard some information I don't really understand but I HAVE to tell you, because I know more than you after a week of doing this than you do after years." Like...really? She's been helping out for a few weeks, in a minor role, and suddenly she thinks herself the most important thing ever. It grated on me.
Then theres Mateo. Pure evil, not a single redeeming quality. If maybe he wasn't a complete jerk maybe it could have been more interesting? Given Dani some more internal conflict about betraying him? But nope, he's pure evil and we're supposed to hate him instantly. Instead, I just rolled my eyes and ignored him.
And Carmen. I actually liked Carmen for the most part! She's interesting, she has a bit of depth, she's not *just* black and white like everybody else. Unfortunately, the author was also a little too heavy handed with her, and it all fell apart for me at the climax.
And the twist. Which I saw coming from, well, nearly the beginning. It was more of a chore waiting for it to happen, than it was exciting when it finally did occur.
So overall, I really wanted to enjoy this book. But the characters are very one-dimensional, the plot is predictable, and the twist isn't a twist at all. There's nothing exciting that happens, and unfortunately is was more of a chore to finish than a joy.
So, I totally had judged a book by its cover on this one. I was SO excited to read it because of the pretty art, and got even more excited reading about the Hispanic influences on the novel. The representation in this novel is great, and the romance felt genuine. Definitely wasn’t forced or contrived, and I was really rooting for them. Overall, there were some aspects in this world that I don’t think have been fully fleshed out, but the book was great. You’re kept wondering until the very last few pages, and I’m already SO ready for book 2. 4.5/5 stars- I would recommend this to fans of the genre, in addition to less avid readers if they’re searching for LGTBQ representation.