My rating: 4 of 5 stars
First Published: January 2nd, 2018
Recommended Age: 12+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Fantasy, Royalty, Family History, Love, Friendship
In the kingdom of Sempera, time is currency—extracted from blood, bound to iron, and consumed to add time to one’s own lifespan. The rich aristocracy, like the Gerlings, tax the poor to the hilt, extending their own lives by centuries. No one resents the Gerlings more than Jules Ember. A decade ago, she and her father were servants at Everless, the Gerlings’ palatial estate, until a fateful accident forced them to flee in the dead of night. When Jules discovers that her father is dying, she knows that she must return to Everless to earn more time for him before she loses him forever. But going back to Everless brings more danger—and temptation—than Jules could have ever imagined. Soon she’s caught in a tangle of violent secrets and finds her heart torn between two people she thought she’d never see again. Her decisions have the power to change her fate—and the fate of time itself.
I almost didn’t read this book, but then I discovered that my university has an online library from which students can borrow up to thirty freaking e-books at a time. So when I found this particular title on it, I thought, ‘‘Well this must be fate.’’
And indeed it was.
Like everyone else, when I read the premise, I immediately thought of the movie In Time. But aside from the fact that in both works time is literally money (how ironic), they are two very different unputdownable creatures.
This is a story that caught my interest from chapter one. The world-building is original in a way that makes you want to know more about it, and you don’t get lost every time the author explores it further because the reader is in sync with Jules. We know as much as she does, no more, no less.
I won’t lie, Jules is not going to become one of your favourite heroines of all time. She is reckless enough to infiltrate the house of the powerful family she despises, naïve enough to pin for a boy she hasn’t seen in ten years, and makes countless mistakes.
But then again, she has a personality that comes off the page, which made it very hard to go to sleep at night, seeing that I was rarely bored. Not only that, but she is a likeable teenager. She doesn’t pretend to know everything, and more often than not she understands her missteps once she’s made them, but she’s willing to learn and ready to take control of her destiny.
And never fear, while Jules does believe she has feelings for her childhood friend now grown up and ready to marry a princess, she doesn’t spend every waking moment thinking about him. And neither did I—certainly not when Liam was around.
I know we’re all supposed to hate him, and as expected I did in the beginning and middle, but he’s one mysterious dude whose soul is not an easy one to figure out. Sara Holland knew what she was doing when she created him.
A fast-paced YA fantasy book with a lush setting, a determined heroine, and intriguing family dynamics. I was ready to hate it, but I was bloody surprised time and time again. Oh, snap!
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