Thursday, October 4, 2012

Mystic City by Theo Lawrence

Book:  Mystic City
Author:  Theo Lawrence
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Date:  October 9, 2012
Source:  Publisher via Edelweiss
My grade:  A

Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself. (cover and description from 


Initial reaction
What a refreshingly different take on a dystopian……and on Romeo and Juliet.

Title and Cover
I have great love for both of these.  The title is catchy and I like the cover.  It’s eye-catching and just different enough in this flood of “girls in dresses” covers.

What’s the Story?

So, this is sort of like a Romeo and Juliet story set in a New York City of the future.  The deal is that global warming has caused ocean levels to rise and a big chunk of New York is under water.  This is an alternate universe story in which people with magic, called Mystics, live openly and people know that the magic exists.  The people who live above the water are the high class society and then the people who live in the Depths are poor people who serve the upper class or they are drained Mystics.

What was really awesome about this book is the way that the reader sees from Aria’s point of view.  At the beginning of the book, Aria Rose has just recovered from what is supposed to be a drug overdose on Stic, a drug made from mystic magic.  She has experienced a memory loss and has been told that she is engaged to Thomas Foster, the son of her family’s political rivals.  But, as the story moves along, she finds that things are not making sense and she meets some mystics from the Depths who are unregistered.  Of course, things start to really get fun at this point!

It was a cool perspective because I didn’t know any more than Aria did, so I got to discover everything along with her and try to unravel the mystery of what had happened.  Another I liked about the novel was that the characters were very interesting.  I wasn’t sure who were the good guys and who were the bad guys and in some cases, it ended up being a little ambiguous, which is how it is real life, right?

The plot line was very compelling and I did not want to put this book down.  I couldn’t wait to see what Aria would uncover next and who would surprise her and what strange thing was going to show up.  Even though there were some things that I suspected as the novel moved along, there were others that were complete surprises. 

I don’t even really know how to sum up my experience with this book.  In ways, it feels like slipping on your oldest pair of jeans because the story of star-crossed lovers is so familiar.  Yet, it also feels like a brand new outfit, one that I’m excited to wear because it is new and different.  This book gave me both of those experiences, so in the end the experience was really one of utter satisfaction.

The Soundtrack

Kissing You by Des’ree

The Blower’s Daughter by Damien Rice

Look After You by The Fray

Perfect by Simple Plan

Empty by The Cranberries

The Final Grade

My grade for this book is an A.  It’s a unique twist on both dystopian themes and Romeo and Juliet.  I loved the characters and the fast-paced plot and I’m pining for the next installment.

1 comment:

  1. Great review! The cover is really appealing and your review made me want to check it out! Especially interesting that it is dystopian and based on Romeo and Juliet.