- Published: New York : G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2011.
- Year Published: 2011
- Description: 305 p.
- Language: English
- Format: Book
- Lexile: 710
- Fugitives from justice -- Fiction.
- Criminals -- Fiction.
- Soldiers -- Fiction.
- War -- Fiction.
- Brothers and sisters -- Fiction.
- Government, Resistance to -- Fiction.
- Plague -- Fiction.
- Science fiction.
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Where To Find It
Call number: Teen Fiction
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.
Reviews & Summaries
June and Day are compelling characters. They are likable, even when they don't always do what you want them to. And I think their physical descriptions are interesting. It's refreshing to have two main characters that are not just white Americans. Both June and Day have Asian/Mongolian features, but Day has long, white-blonde hair and startling blue eyes. These physical features do make them stand out and (in my head at least) make them quite an interesting pair. They also come from very different economic sectors in their society, June being prominent and rich and Day being homeless and poor. Because the book is written from alternating points of view (between June and Day), we get to see all sides of the society in which they live and both sides of the conflict they have with each other. It allows us to see the characters' motivations for their actions and understand both sides of the problem... thus making it a little difficult to choose who to side with! I do appreciate that dynamic and think that Marie Lu is a very good writer. I like the sense of visual awareness in her book. I myself am a visual learner and can't help but picture what goes on in books. I like details. Having an author who thinks similarly and writes to that type of reader is refreshing.
There is also a motif of betrayal throughout the entire book. Betrayal of friends, family, country, commanding officers, strongly held beliefs, justice, and humanity. It is a concept that returns again and again, folding and changing and expanding on the previous betrayals. It creates a very strange perception of what is true and what is not. And begs us to ask the questions: How do we know what is true? And how do we know the powers that be are telling us the truth or have the correct intentions? Did they ever?
One last thing I found to be notable about this book is the author's comment that she thought up the idea while watching Les Miserables. Now, those of you that know me are aware that this is my favorite play/musical of all time. I absolutely love it. And I could probably go on all day about the similarities and connections between these two works that I've drawn since gaining this knowledge (this was an author's comment in the back of the book that I didn't notice until I'd already finished reading!). But looking at this book through the lens of a Les Miserables fan makes me like it all the more. And I feel the strange urge to write an academic paper comparing the two... Scholars, feel free to steal that idea. But I'd love to read your findings once you do!
Overall, I give it 4 out of 5 hearts.
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