This is a romance story wrapped up in a dystopian background. Know this before venturing into this novel.
I once saw in someone else’s (Steph's) review that your enjoyment of this book will depend on whether or not you like the romance involved, and I couldn't agree more.
This was not a bad book. It was not poorly written. The narrator was interesting, with a great mix of vulnerability and then kickassery, which comes later. The world had the potential to be really interesting as well. This book felt a bit like [b:The Handmaid's Tale|38447|The Handmaid's Tale|Margaret Atwood|http://d.gr-assets.com/books/1294702760s/38447.jpg|1119185] in the world building and female suppression and I was hoping for more Margaret Atwood-ness as the story progressed. At first, I was really interested to find out how our world had turned from progressive to oppressive and how it had happened. There were brief mentions of war and drafts for men to join the army, but these were very vague and didn't explain the world very well. For a book that is being marketed as dystopia, these are things that I feel should have been fleshed out more.
The problem I had with this book is that it's not quite dystopian. This is a romance novel wrapped up in a dystopian marketing scheme. Had I known that before reading this, I might've enjoyed it a lot more.
I feel like this was a marketing failure rather than a writing one. We spent more time on the road looking for Ember's (the protagonist) mother than we did learning about the actual world. This is not the makings of a dystopian novel.
Now, when it comes to the romance, it just didn't work for me. I thought that there was a lot that was well explained and justified, but there was a lot that wasn't, too. I don't know how many times the characters seemed to waffle between loving each other and distrusting each other. For the first 70% of the book, I understood and was sympathetic, but after I reached that mark, it just became exhausting. Note: I was sympathetic up to a point. I really wasn't very happy when the narrator gets all huffy because her boyfriend (or whatever the heck he is) kills a man who was going to rape her. She throws a hissy fit and it's very annoying. The boy just saved your life. Show some respect.
There is only so much wavering I can handle when it comes to romantic relationships. There were times when I just wanted to smack these teenagers upside the head and get them to see clearly.
Like I said before, this wasn't a bad book. There was a lot that was interesting about it and I do feel like the writing was strong. If you go into it knowing that it is a romance
novel that revolves around romantic tension and the quest for a mother, then I think you will enjoy this a lot more than I did.