I saw this book and though I'd check it out considering it has really good reviews, then I see it's based partly on Les Mis and I'm gone, there was no way I was not buying this book and of course I loved it.
Marie Lu has said that she wanted to recreate the conflict between Valjean and Javert in a teenage setting, and as soon as I read that I had no idea why anyone hadn't done it before, it was such a interesting and complex conflict that this reworking of it was equally as interesting and complex to read about. This book alternates chapters told from June and Day's perspective and I really enjoyed both of them a narrators and as the book moves along and there are more parallels between them it's really fun switching between them. Although I love a good villian, I found that Commander Jameson and Thomas were so ruthless and uncaring that they were way more scary than loathesome and I think I'll just be relieved rather than satisfied when they get their justice. The only real problem I had with this book was that I found the conspiracy, for lack of a better word, pretty predictable and June's refusal to acknowledge it until she thought Metias also thought it was true was a bit frustrating. My favourite character in this book was probably Day, if June wasn't so ignorant for part of the book it would've been her, but Day was kind throughout the whole novel and even after June betrayed him he never truly hated her which I really liked. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes dystopian fiction and to any teenagers that want to read a good rivalry/military vs. civilian type story.
June is a prodigy, the only person to have ever scored 1500, full marks, on her trial and at fifteen she has almost graduated to be a soldier. Day is an outlaw who makes trouble for the government and who was supposed to die five years ago when he "failed" his trial. When one of Day's brothers gets the plague he breaks into a hospital to try to steal a cure and when he's leaving, after learning they had no cures left, he throws a knife at Metias, June's brother, to get away. June is told by Thomas, her brother's friend and fellow soldier that Metias is dead and when she goes to see the body Commander Jameson says she'll speed up her graduating process and she can join her unit and start tracking Day, who supposedly was the one who killed her brother. June goes undercover on the streets and soon accidently starts travelling around with Day and his friend Tess, her and Day have mutual respect and attraction for each other but after they share a kiss June realizes who he is and turns in him and his family. He is then sentenced to death and June learns that all he told her about the "labor camps" where people who fail their trial are sent is true through her brother Metias leaving her a hidden message. She also works out that Day didn't kill him when he threw the knife at him, Thomas killed him later on Commander Jameson's orders because he knew that Metias was planning to rebel after learning all this information about the government. June then plans to help Day and his brother John escape, but when the Commander moves his execution up by a day she can't execute her original plan. Instead, when it's time for his execution she frees John and gets him to hide in an airvent until she comes back past with Day, before she can free Day Thomas tells her she's under investigation and he takes her down to the weapons lab where she'd stolen an electro-bomb, which disables all guns for two minutes, from but before he can do anything to her, Kaede sets off the electro-bomb and she runs to get Day. She and John are carrying him out but they don't have enough time before the guns reactivate to get to the door so John grabs the blindfold that was on Day and runs back towards the execution block to give them time. The patriots are waiting for them outside and they take them to the outskirts of town and leave them there and when Day wakes he learns that they executed his brother in front of the crowd and called it him for the public's sake. He and June then plan to go check on Tess before returning to save his other brother, Eden.