I am still a bit emotional as this was a terrific book, so bear with me while I try to write a review.
This was an absolutely delightful, charming, magical book, with mystery, with wonderful characters, and beautiful worldbuilding (I could just imagine Perfect, No-Man’s-Land, everything, I saw myself walking through the town, running alongside of the orphans, Boy, and Violet) . I already loved the book just for the cover, but now I can say I also love the inside of it.
Right from the bat I knew something was up with Perfect, but what? Well, the writer slowly builds up and shows us hints, little secrets, little twitches in the characters, mysterious events. It was never a slow or dull moment, instead I just hungrily ate it all, I wanted to know more. I wanted to figure out everything there was about this town, about its residents, about the Archers.
I did know what caused the blindness (quite soon in the story), and had a laugh that the characters took 200-300 pages before they figure it out themselves. It was just so obvious that it was that. There was just nothing else it could be.
Violet was a wonderful character, though at times a bit too impulsive, and also a bit selfish (though I do get why she acted like that, I would probably have done the same if I was her age + it was my dad). But most of the time I just liked her a whole lot. She had a giant imagination, and she was also the one with the biggest plans. She never gave up, even when everything seemed hopeless. I cried along with her when her mom totally changed.
I also liked that she got braver with each page, with each event that happened. She really grew in this book. Plus her love for her parents was so beautiful. A lot of kids may just be happy without parents, but she saw their love, she longed for them to hold her, for her to just be a kid a bit longer.
Then we have Boy. The second really important character. A boy without parents. A boy who lives in the No-Man’s-Land part next to Perfect. At times he was a bit too much, at times he didn’t feel like a kid, but then again, I guess that happens when one has lived in the No-Man’s-Land for all their life. You just can’t be a kid there, only sometimes.
I loved the interaction between Boy and Violet. They made a good duo. Bouncing off ideas, helping and saving each other. Plus their jokes and snark had me in stitches. 😛
One of the biggest charm points would be the fact that this takes place in a time without cellphones, with wifi/internet. There is one mention of a game console, but that is it. I just adore it when an author writes a book without the modern conveniences. The characters have to really rely on wit, bravery, brains. They can’t just google their way out of here. Oh no. And I love that. It really brings out the characters and shows just how great they are.
The Archers’ plans? OH MY, those guys really need to be locked up tight. Couple of jealous, creepy, psychotic guys. They make a perfect villain duo though. What they did to Perfect, how their plan evolved as time continued. The things they did to their own family. To anyone who didn’t fit their perfect little vision.
The ending? Gosh, I just cried so much. It was absolutely beautiful.
And I guess we will be getting a second book squee. I was already hoping for it given the ending, but it was confirmed on the last pages. cheers
The only thing that would have made the book even more gorgeous is illustrations. A bit in the style of the chapter headings.
There may be a few things I missed, but I think I got most of the things I wanted to say in my review.
I would highly recommend this book to everyone!