This is a young adult fantasy novel set in a world where monsters are created from violence (Like, out of the shadows of an alleyway where a violent fight took place, a monster is born). Kate's father is in charge of one part of the city, where monsters go free, and the humans have to pay for his protection. August wants to help protect innocent people, but he's a monster. The book starts as August is sent to keep an eye on Kate.
I read this book in one sitting. It was so good. I've liked Schwab's other books before (The Archived still has one of the most interesting plots I've ever heard), but this one is my new favorite. Why?
First of all, Kate is fantastic. She wants to be ruthless, like her dad, so she threatens people and kills monsters who've done bad things. But she's not a bad person (minor spoiler, maybe?: one type of monster can only hurt those who have harmed others, and that type of monster can't hurt her).
She still has some of the best lines I've read in a while.
"What are you doing?" came a voice, the words like a whine. Rachel. The girl who'd cornered her on the way to the gym.
Kate forced her grip to loosen on the counter. "Praying," she said, straightening slowly, composing her features.
Rachel arched a brow. "For what?"
"Forgiveness," said Kate. "For the things I'm about to do if you don't get out of my way."
Also, August is adorable. Well, also really scary. But adorable. He doesn't want to hurt people, and at one point (minor spoiler) he brings home a stray cat. How can you not love that??
But the best part about this? It's a YA book, and these are your two main characters, and you've so obviously got a Romeo/Juliet thing going on, but does Victoria Schwab put these characters in a star-crossed relationship? NO, SHE DOES NOT. There is no romance in this book. There is just plot and friendship and family. And I am so grateful. So many times, I've read books where the romance seems forced, and takes time away from the plot, so this is just wonderful. Less romance, more monsters, that's what I always say.
I'm also really into the whole monster world-building, too. It's not that the monsters are just there and have always been there, it's that they come from the bad things in the world--violence, tragedy, etc. (Look, I don't know if that's a spoiler or not, but it mentions it in the Goodreads synopsis, so I think it's okay to say? Sorry!) Anyway, that's really cool and added something extra to this story.
I could go on about this book for a while, but then I'd have to get into spoilers, so I'll stop here. Have you read this yet? What did you think?
(ALSO, sorry about the extra-long time between posts. Transitioning to college life is hard! Forgive me if posts are super sporadic for a little bit here.)