I am really impressed by this book. I have to say, the first 100 or so pages didn't grip me. We are promised this post-apocalyptic tale, but instead we're constantly bombarded with scenes of a typical, spoiled high school girl. While I did love the clashing cultures of Louisiana, it just wasn't what I had signed on for and I found myself wondering when
, exactly, this apocalypse was supposed to happen.
If you can hang on, then I think it's well worth the ride that comes after the Flash. Cole, while not the strongest writer I've ever read, was able to create a tale that kept me hooked. And I mean hooked
: as in, sneaking reads between classes, trying not to think about the book while I teach, hooked. The world that Cole created was so fascinating! I constantly was on the edge of my seat, wondering what was going to happen next.
While the plot was very strong in this novel, I have to say the characters weren't. The relationship between Jackson and Evie is... tense, to say the least. I've seen other reviews that say it is abusive: I wouldn't say that. I think you have to consider their backgrounds, their environments. At first, Jackson is a down right asshole. He's rude, possibly dangerous and crude (but I have to admit that I really liked that he was crude. I mean, c'mon, let's be honest... most of us are just as crude as he is, he's just got the balls to say what he's thinking.
) But he's also wildly protective of those he considers to be his friends. I admire protective people, I admire loyal people because loyalty is the rarest trait found
in a person, in my opinion. Yes, he does boss Evie around, but honestly... she is not prepared for this. Her personality type needs the type like Jackson's to keep her grounded. I had to separate myself from the protagonist here because a personality like Jackson's would not last two seconds with me: one of us would kill the other.
But I am fiercely independent, I am assertive, I am defensive and I am protective. Evie possess none of these qualities and, therefore, the relationship works for them. However, to be honest, the romance was the least of my concerns in this book. Whether they got together or not didn't matter to me because I was so enthralled with the plot line. I just thought this was so original and enchanting. I loved watching a character progression where the strength of the character lies in their murderous tendencies. I loved that Evie came to accept herself not as a strong, independent woman, but as a cold-blooded killer.
That character development really made the book for me, because how often do we read books with protagonists like this, especially in YA?
Overall, this book was exactly my speed. If, however, you have an issue with alpha male types, this book might not be for you. I also highly encourage you to persevere past Evie's initial annoyness to get to the real chunk of the plot.