I really wanted to like this book. I really, really did. The concept was interesting and the cover is pretty cool but it is just… How do I explain this book? Poorly written would be one way except I’m pretty sure the author, who is well educated in the English language and art of writing, is a good writer. Maybe then it is the age range the book is targeted for. It feels like it was definitely aiming for the younger end of young adult. The end of young adult that’s not really adult at all. See the reason I say this is because the characters are so flat. It’s the typical problem of writing down to your audience and instead of believing your audience is smart enough to understand what the characters are like by having them act that way, the main character tells us how the other characters are and the audience is just supposed to take that as the way it is. Months are rushed by so quickly in this book as well, with the only notion of time passing being when Valentina tells us time has passed. This also counts towards the flawed character building. Are we supposed to gather that in this passing time there has been many interactions between the characters and Valentina which is why she knows them so well while the audience barely knows them at all? Valentina herself was not particularly well thought out as a character. One minute, without rhyme or reason, the most well off girl in the city is acting like she hates everything about her spoilt life, even though she has never known anything else and therefor that lifestyle should be nothing but normal to her. And then the next minute she’s acting like a spoilt little “bitch” who’s too good for everyone and blah blah blah. It didn’t make any sense. Basically this isn’t much of a review, I couldn’t get far enough into this book to enjoy it (if it gets better later on, it might not). Maybe if I was 12 and dipping my toes into the dystopian genre this would be a good book to read; but I’m not and I cannot review it as such. I expected more character development and better pacing from an author with an MA, MLitt and PhD. He should have either fleshed his characters out more, not dumbed down his work for his audience, or wrote the book in 3rd person. One of those would have made this book better, all of them may have made it pretty brilliant. This just feels like a first draft, not a finessed novel which is what I expected from Kevin McDermott.