Coming from a race of highly-evolved humans, Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. The perfect family. The perfect destiny. But there’s something rotten beneath the surface—dangerous secrets her father is keeping; abilities she was never meant to have; and an elite society of people determined to keep their talents hidden and who care nothing for the rest of humanity. So when Julia accidentally disrupts the Jaynes’ delicate anonymity, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school.
Julia’s goal is to lay low and blend in. Then she meets him—John Ford, tennis prodigy, all-around good guy. When Julia discovers a knack for reading his mind, and also manipulating his life, school suddenly becomes a temporary escape from the cold grip of her manipulative father. But as Julia’s powers over John grow, so do her feelings. For the first time in her life, Julia begins to develop a sense of self, to question her restrictive upbringing and her family prejudices. She must decide: can a perfect love be worth more than a perfect life?
What a strange and convoluted book this was!
I suppose I expected it to be a bit more fantastical, a bit more whimsical, a bit more sci-fi, and a lot more exciting, but... it wasn't. I started and stopped it many times because I kept getting bored.
I really just failed to understand a conflict early on between Julia and her father that ends up with her going to public school. I could not buy that premise and had a lot of negative feelings and questions as to why this was happening.
None of these characters felt particularly well developed to me. There was potential, but from a strange sibling relationship to a forced family dynamic to an almost suicidal friendgroup, all of the connections in this seemed very artificial and unreal. And don't get me started on the John/Julia thing--there was zero substance there. I couldn't get involved.
I like the idea of highly-evolved humans, but again, the backstory wasn't developed here and the future story wasn't really either. I think I'd be far more interested in reading about a character set in the future of these people. There was potential for a lot of commentary on the environment and on society, but these were all overlooked. It ultimately came off as having a cult-like feel and I couldn't really root for anyone.
There are far more exciting and engaging YA books upcoming that deal with important themes, and I'm not too fond of this one as a stand in for those.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.