Author: Avery Hastings
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin, 272 pages
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
*ARC received from publisher via NetGalley
For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.
Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.
Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world…
Each chapter alternates between Davis's and Cole's POV, which was well done. Davis is a Prior, one of the beautiful and the rich. Priors apparently have been genetically engineered to be beautiful, smart, and talented. They're segregated from the Imps, who are basically normal people who are poor.
The world-building could have been stronger. It wasn't entirely clear, but it seemed as if the Imps have the manual labor and service type jobs while the Priors are the politicians and the lawyers (although Imps also work in the hospitals and I wasn't totally sure what jobs they held there). They live in zones but mix for work. It's illegal for them to have a relationship with each other. There were also references to different natural disasters and cities that weren't livable anymore, but I did have questions about the history of the country (and the rest of the world) and how the two groups came to be, why they were segregated, etc.
Cole is trying to buy his way out by winning the FEUDS championship (apparently if you have money you can go away to college; again, not completely clear) so when his sponsor asks him to get close to Davis, he agrees. He hates the Priors, he thinks they're cold and like lab rats, but when meets Davis he feels this connection and realizes that what he thought he knew about Priors was wrong. Davis thinks Cole's a Prior, she also feels a connection, and they fall for each pretty quickly. Davis has no idea that Cole is keeping secrets from her and Cole's pretty conflicted so he runs hot and cold. Even though the romance was fast, it was sweet. I'm a sucker for the forbidden romance books.
Then some of Davis's classmates start getting sick, but people are pretending it's not happening. That creates an urgency to the situation and to their relationship as they both work together to try and figure out what's going on. The action really picks up at that point, but the ending…a cliffhanger. Absolutely nothing is resolved, which was very frustrating, I have to say. I enjoyed this fast-paced and entertaining read with a Romeo and Juliet romance.
Posted by: Pam