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Saturday, August 30, 2014

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Review: Pentimento by Cameron Jace

Pentimento by Cameron Jace

Cameron Jace
Publication Date: December 17, 2013
Publisher: Self Published

The day Iris Beaumont turns seventeen, she is threatened to be taken by the Beasts, the rulers of the new America. After the destruction of the world, the Beasts provide citizens with whatever they need in exchange for the one teenage girl they enslave every week. They call them the Brides, and they never comes back. Iris isn’t the worrying type though; she’s been defying the system since she was ten and never cared for the Beast’s rules.

Then she meets Colton Ray, who is not like any other boy she’s ever seen. His confidence and dominance are otherworldly she can’t rationalize the attraction she feels for him. Colton had one slight problem though. It’s rumored he is one of the Beast, and Iris could be the next on the Beast’s list.

It's so nice not to be reading another of Cameron Jace's works that's NOT The Grimm Diaries or The Grimm Diaries Prequels. Pentimento is a dystopian retelling of Beauty and the Beast, it's a stand alone with a cliffhanger, and I finished it within hours of starting it.

I'm pretty sure the last part doesn't matter much. Pentimento is actually the first retelling set in a dystopian world that I've come across, which was what first got me interested. I wanted to see how this was going to play out, and it actually played out extremely well. Basically in a futuristic United States – known as the Second United States – mysterious creatures called Beasts rule the country. Every few days, a girl is taken as a Bride and never come back. It's a world I don't really want to live in, having to live at the edge of my seat every day in hopes that when the Call comes, it wouldn't be me. Although I would like the see the technology... the holograms are really cool.
"The last thing any of us wants is to be taken by the Beasts. Isn't it enough that one of us has to be taken every once in a while, and we can't do anything about it?"
Iris Beaumont is one of the girls living in the Second, and spends most of her time being a reckless person. On the bright side, her best friend Zoe, who isn't as reckless, manages to balance Iris out. While Iris plays pranks on her teachers, Zoe tries to step in and makes sure the prank backfires so Iris doesn't get in trouble.
"Mrs. Wormwood's wig isn't going to be glued to her head by the way," Zoe said, waving the tube with the glue in the air. "I switched it so you only pasted some gel on her wig."
The book focuses mainly on Iris trying to figure out who the Beasts really are and why the Beasts are only taking girls but not boys, which she has been doing ever since her father showed her examples of pentimento in art. In a nutshell, a pentimento is basically an illusion, and this book is FULL of illusions.
All I'm saying is that, from a cosmic point of view, it's really hard to tell who is beauty, and who is beast.
Jace blends in art, history and fairy tales in Pentimento – it's an extraordinary retelling where sometimes the truth is hidden under a layer of lies.
Maybe in order to truly see anything, we had to experience a temporary blindness.

4.5 Owls

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Sophia is the owner and founder of Bookwyrming Thoughts, but also found on various parts of the internet. She's a 19-year-old communications major who has weird humor and doesn't fit the Asian stereotype (maybe a little). Books, chocolate, technology, and music are among some of her favorite things. For more of her work, visit her personal website.