Original Publication Date: 2012
Rating: 3 Stars
I received this ebook for free from the publisher, via NetGalley.
Toxic ... glitter?
I just spent way too long trying to figure out how these people were flashing their torches.
Torches = Flashlights. Derp.
Firstly, this cover is friggin' gorgeous. I thought the little thumbnails I'd seen were beautiful, but when I blew it up for this review I realized how much detail I was missing, in the model's eyes, specifically. and all the stars, obviously refers to the stars under the model's left eye, but honestly the more I look at this cover, the more I like it - it also could have been a reference to the sparkle in her eyes, or even the freckles on her neck. Basically, the cover art gets a full five stars from me; the photographer in me enjoys all the details.
The books opens on Madeleine, regaining consciousness, in what used to be a train station - used to be. She's surrounded by rubble, dead bodies, and a bizarre glittery dust is in the air. All this destruction is caused by giant, featureless towers that seem to have sprouted from the Earth, spraying the strange dust that sparkles. Finding her way out of the rubble, she is able to call her parents, and make her way to her famous cousin's apartment, where she showers off the glittering dust that she has become coated with.
Watching the news, and her own body, Madeleine discovers that she is turning ... blue. Some of the population, like her, is turning blue, and some are turning green. Not everyone is surviving this transformation, however, and soon those that do are seeking each other out to test what other changes this dust has brought to them.
The answer? Hunger Games for body-hopping aliens!
I must say, I enjoyed quite a lot about this book. The story was interesting and a bit unique in that it's definitely a post-apocalypse, but cell phones and news networks are still working and running - being taken care of by those that survive. Usually post-apocalypse stories have a much more pessimistic view of the population, that people would chip in and actually keep things running, even if they're teens? I don't know if I love it because it's got an optimism to it, or hate it because I'm not sure I can believe that that would happen. I chose to love it.
I really liked the people that Madeleine teams up with, I find them to be fairly accurate representations of our teenage population. My problem however, with these people is that they're fairly interchangeable. They all different skills, but I had a really hard time remembering which one was which person. It was rather confusing.
I also found the flow of the writing not quite right. Personally, I was definitely thrown by the amount of Australian slang, but that wasn't the only reason that I didn't think it flowed well. Some of the sentences, I read quite a few times and they still didn't make sense, even within the context of the sentences before and after.
My last complaint was the Epilogue. The book ended in a satisfying way, and then there was this epilogue that felt like someone screaming AND THEY ALL LIVED HAPPILY EVER AFTER! THE END!!! This is a problem I've seen in quite a few YA novels, the authors want to tie everything up, but it doesn't need to be gift wrapped for us. Nothing wraps up that nice in the real world, and it seems like a cop-out.
In Summary: Good book, with some problems.