I received this ARC courtesy of Crown Publishing and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
1980s. Mixed-Race girl from the wrong side of the tracks meets wealthy boy born into a family as close to royalty as one can be in America. Elise is loud, uneducated and floating along. Jamey is privileged, observant and has had his entire future planned since before he was born.
When these two young lovers come together, the world around them won’t stand for it. This is a Romeo and Juliet tale with a twist.
It’s gigantic, swollen, pounding on a molecular level like a billion hearts, the way a space does when the people in it realize their power.
This is not the type of story I typically wouldn’t be able to resist on the shelves of a book shop, or browsing Amazon. I admit that I’m not the target demographic this book was intended for. I found the writing to be quite good, Libaire has a way with words that would occasionally thrust me directly into the story.
Love, he thinks, is accidental, fleeting–he can’t possibly deserve it.
I found the polarity of Elise, seeking a home she hasn’t ever found and Jamey, who doesn’t know what love means to be interesting. Something visceral is bringing them together but in stories like these, the center never holds.
He’s never had to be moral. He falls into one of those crevices: a certain kid in a certain society in a certain generation where no decisions remain because his ancestors have finished every single thing within reach.
The build up was slow, glacially slow. The end was an explosion that never came. I knew from about halfway in that the ending wouldn’t be satisfying, but I kept reading. There was something promising in the plot but the execution left much to be desired.
Expected Publication: May 30, 2017