Alright, onto my main point! I LOVE Schwab has continued the discussion about what makes a person a monster and what makes a human. In the acknowledgements, and I’m sure most fans of Schwab have noticed, she actually quotes a character from her adult book Vicious.
"Plenty of humans are monstrous, and plenty of monsters know how to play at being human."In the middle of it all, she has provided a character who overwhelmingly wants to be human, and possess all the characteristics we associate with being human including but not limited to: self-doubt, anxiety, hesitancy, nervousness but with a clear moral compass to do good, make the right decisions and keep people safe. August is a likable character, you’d be hard pressed to look at him and not see how his experiences have shaped his way of thinking and actions today. You'd also be hard pressed not to like him.
Then we have another character who is an unreliable narrator and often seems at odds with herself, her decisions and her desires. I found myself questioning many of her decisions. I sometimes felt uncomfortable with some of the things Kate chose and felt confused by some of her desires. Did I agree with them? Did I think they were moral? Is this actually for “the greater good” (notwithstanding the serious reservations I have with this phrase) as she often believed, or is it something else she’s trying to prove?
That all being said, not more than once in this book I found myself asking “Who are the real monsters and who are the real humans?”
- The high degree of music puns was enjoyable, but a lot.
- Favorite quote: “We are the darkest acts made light.”
I give it 4 owls because of the reasons listed above and it was a completely enthralling, yet also entertaining read. As far as the writing goes, it’s Victoria flipping Schwab. Her writing is engaging with a high degree of fluency and enjoyability. The plot is a whirlwind, fully fleshed out and well executed. It’s like watching the end of The Sixth Sense and being like, “Oh yeah, that was hecka planned out.” I would totally read this again, and probably will again when her sequel is published next year.