Author: Victoria Foyt
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Sand Dollar Press
Release Date: 1-10-12
In a future where those with dark skin are considered superior, Eden is a Pearl, a fair skinned person of a lower class. She is desperate to find a mate before she is 18 lest she run the risk of being cut off from society all together. Her only hope is Jamal, but she soon finds out that almost nothing is as it seems, including the person she considered her enemy.
This book started out as an intriguing dystopian where the destruction of the environment has led to certain physical characteristics (dark skin) being valued and creating a class system. I thought it was an interesting twist on the question of the social status and different skin colors. However, as the book progressed, it became more fantasy, and then it sort of lost me completely. Eden’s character was despised for her fair skin, yet she had hopes of being mated with someone who had dark skin, despite the terrible consequences and intense prejudice that “Pearls” endured. I understood the reasons as they related to the plot, but it kind of blew a hole in the world building. As the story progressed, it turned more fantasy as a genetically engineered cat-person came into play. The second half of the book took very odd turns and seemed to completely veer from the original story. Perhaps it’s because the transitions weren’t smooth, but I felt like I was reading two different books, almost.
The character of Eden was particularly troublesome to me. She was selfish and her behavior was erratic to the point of disbelief as her actions put her own father and everyone in her world in grave danger more than once. The book was full of sexuality between Eden and her love interest, but there was a darkness to it that makes me a tad uncomfortable when it’s in YA. I get squirmy when I feel that the female is in repeated sexual situations where she has little or no power, and that situation is supposed to be with the person she loves or with someone who loves her. Obviously, this wasn’t the book for me. It started out as a promising tale of social order gone mad, but it’s overall story became confusing and a little strange.
I received this book as a galley from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.