Thursday, August 21, 2014


Publication 9/2/2014

In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or "Imps." A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother's legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he's a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis-her father's campaign hinges on total segregation of the Imps and Priors-but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis's friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her Avery Hastings's Feuds.

Beth says 3.5 Stars...
The cover of this made me super happy, primarily because the background has a nice set of what appear to be chemical structures and I'm a giant science nerd. The initial concept is interesting, if a bit done, with the class difference defined by genetic engineering or a lack thereof. The biggest issue I had was in the world building. I know this is the start to a series (or at least the ending implies another book is on the way) and so I'm sure Hastings feels that she'll have ample time to explore the world of Feuds. However, so much was left undefined and only vaguely mentioned. Why are the Olympiads so important and what actually happens to the winners? Are the Imps prohibited from the genetic engineering by cost or other regulations and was it always that way? I felt that the book raised more questions than it answered, and not in a good way. The actual plot was fine, if a bit scattered and slow to get to the point. I couldn't have guessed a fair bit of the final direction from the way it began.

I quite liked Davis, for all that she inhabited a bubble of perfect privilege. Her passion for ballet immediately provided a slightly different side of her than expected of a dystopian heroine. Her willingness to just pretend that everything was just fine mirrored that of the Priors as a whole and was mildly annoying. At least the introduction of Cole into her world made her face some of the harsher realities. I quite liked Cole, who very definitely falls into the category of hot and broody. Again, though, the romance went too intense too quickly for my liking. They met a couple of times and all of a sudden are incapable of living without one another. I wish that we'd been able to see more of the secondary characters, but with Cole and Davis's lives having basically no overlap, all of the minor characters' appearances were quite brief.

If you're super into dystopian then this has the potential to get better. There were some revelations at the end that set up a next installment pretty nicely. Personally, I'm still a bit on the fence about whether to read a second book.
ebook from Netgalley


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