Author: Elana Johnson
Publication Date: 06/07/2011
The book starts off with our Goodie main character, Violet, meeting up with her friend Zenn one evening in the park. Nothing sounds out of the normal here until we realise that both of them are breaking a handful of rules each to even meet each other, let alone the fact that a girl is meeting a boy, even if he is her match. Zenn has a present for Violet but before she can open it they are spotted and Violet is arrested and put into prison. At her completely fixed hearing she meets Baddie Jag and it's instant sparks between them, even if she is sentenced to be exiled in the Badlands (and even if she was just meeting with her longtime boyfriend a day or so before).
I was all set out to like this book. And, don't get me wrong, I did like it, or the idea of it. However the story was all over the place and not consistent enough to allow me to follow along. From the very first page we are thrown into Violet's word with only her occasional explanation to help us understand what's going on. It's action action action right from the start which wouldn't be a problem if it were explained somewhere along the line, which, for me, it wasn't. We get more questions than answers as we find out more and more about why a simple trip to the park evoked such a strong reaction from her government.
The relationship between her and Jag seems incredibly unsteady and almost rushed and at numerous times do they run away from each other with proclamations of never speaking to each other again, only for Violet to be mollified when he calls her 'babe'. (That alone threw me off every. single. time.) Violet was completely in love with Zenn, but forgot about him rather quickly, although thought about him often enough that it really made her relationship with Jag seem untenable.
I wanted to like this book but too many elements didn't work for me. I feel like I'm in the minority, though, so please try it out when it's released. The ideas are there and when they are they're good - such as the very end; I give Elana credit for that ending. The writing and story otherwise were just not my cup of tea.