Wow! This book was just...wow...I can't even form a complete sentence here. It's been a while since I've read a book that completely consumed me, to the point that I skipped meals and completely disregarded what I had to do over an entire weekend just because I COULD NOT STOP READING. It was that good.
Juliette is a girl that has been locked away for a very long time, 264 days at the time the book starts. Put away by her own family because of a fatal ability she has, the ability to hurt, and even kill, someone with her touch. Because of this, Juliette was always pushed aside by her peers and her family. She always kept to herself and avoided human contact as much as possible. The only person who ever showed her kindness was a boy named Adam, a boy who one day is put in her cell as her new roommate. It is sometime in the future in what used to be the United States, a land ravaged by humanity's mistakes where birds do not fly and the sun doesn't shine the same and that is now is ruled by an International movement called The Reestablishment.
Juliette doesn't realize it at first, but suspects, that this boy who is now her roommate is the same boy who showed her kindness once upon a time. He arrives pretending to be a bully but she can see right through him and shows him kindness. This kindness causes a change in him and a feeling of shame for acting like a jerk when he first arrived leading up to an easygoing friendship between the two. This friendship is short-lived as Adam and Juliette are taken away by force and right into the headquarters of The Reestablishment, where Juliette learns that Adam is in fact e boy from her past, but also a soldier in The Reestablishment, and where she also encounters the head of the movement in that region, Warner.
Warner is an unlikely villain. He is the villain we all love to hate and hate to love at the same time. He's handsome on the outside, has dreams, aspirations, and believes what he's doing is right, which makes him the worst kind of villain in my eyes. He also develops an obsession with Juliette. He intends to keep her and use her as a weapon to torture rebels with her lethal touch. Juliette refuses to cooperate with him but instead of forcing her, he intends to win her over by giving her everything she could ever want, to woo her, not knowing that the only thing she has ever wanted is his soldier, Adam.
There's Mafi's storytelling is unique. Her use of strikeout text to depict Juliette's deeper thoughts, the ones she is ashamed to admit even to herself, is ingenious. It allowed me as the reader to really get into the character's head and know on a deeper level what she was thinking or feeling at the time. As Juliette becomes more comfortable around people throughout the story, the use of strikeout diminishes, which I understood as Juliette coming out of her shell. As I read the story I couldn't help but picture Juliette as Rogue from X-Men, a young girl with an unusual curse gift that can kill others if not controlled but with a very good heart. This book was pure WIN and it's definitely going to be a re-read, over and over again.
(Originally reviewed at JJiReads.blogspot.com)