It has been nearly two decades since the breakout of the Third World War, and Manhattan is now a prisoner-of-war camp ruled by island native Rolladin, who controls the city’s survivors with an iron fist. For Skyler Miller, Manhattan is a cage that keeps her from the world beyond the city’s borders. But for Sky’s younger sister, Phee, the Central Park POW camp is the only home she’d ever want. When strangers arrive in the park, carrying a shocking message, Sky and Phee discover there’s more to Manhattan—and their family—than either of them had imagined. As disturbing secrets about the island begin to surface, Sky and Phee have no choice but to break the rules to uncover the full truth of their long-shrouded history. When their search for answers erupts into violence, the girls must flee into Manhattan’s depths, where their quest for a better future will force them to confront the island’s dark and shocking past. (From Goodreads)
***Possible spoilers you’ve been warned***
This book was pretty good for a dystopia. The background story on how it came to be was interesting and set it apart from other stories of this genre where most of the time it’s vague and no one remembers a thing because it was that many years later. So this was nice to read about. The plot alternates between Sky and Phee, but also some parts here and there from present to the past. I prefer reading about Phee because she’s the all around tough girl who can hold her own whereas Sky is more on the romantic idealistic side of things.
The flow of the story is good with stops here and there for character development and plot hooks. It’s engaging and interesting for a good part of the book until you read a little more than half of the novel. This is where the eye rolling instances come on. You knew the love triangle was going to happen. It got pretty nauseating and petty (but then again, Ryder was practically the only guy these two girls have met that they actually liked) and it severely hampered the plot. I didn’t care for this too much as it brought the plot to a complete halt and made reading it not as enjoyable. I begged for something better to come along.
To be fair, it got more interesting towards the final story arc, where you find out more truths about Sky and Phee’s family, and what happened in the past. Everything came to a nice close towards the end. The cheesy romance was still there and induced more eye rolls, but it was toned down for the latter part of the book.
Character wise, Phee would have to be the most interesting as she’s more aggressive of the two sisters and of a more stronger personality. She wasn’t a good match for Ryder anyway as they were just two very different people and completely incompatible but you kinda wish she found someone who’s just as tough as she is.
The romance nearly killed the book for me in this one. I’m glad I went through it as it proved to pick up the pace and went back on track. It’s a hidden gem and if you can get past the obvious, you’ll find a good dystopian story worth reading.
I give it 7 out of 10.