A fresh spin on Romeo & Juliet, but still not fresh enough

Mystic City
Author: Theo Lawrence
Genre: YA Dystopian/Sci-fi
Rating: 3/5
Content Rating: PG (Some
drug use/make-out scenes)
Cover Love: So in love
Instalove Factor: Not really
Spoiler Alert: None
Publisher’s Summary:
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.
My Review:

There were a few pretty impressive things about Mystic City.
  1. This is Theo’s debut novel
  2. It’s a female progtag POV written by a male
  3. The world was pretty impressive

The idea behind the story, to me, was intriguing. I loved
the idea of a Romeo and Juliet-esque story set in a dystopian/sci-fi future
Manhattan. I got a very good visual sense of the Waterworld-type setting with
the lower half of the city underwater and everything pretty much being built on
cat walks.
I loved that Aria woke up one morning, remembering nothing,
but being told she was in love with their family’s sworn enemy’s son. I loved
that, while she trusted her family and what they told her, she still was unsure
of a few things and wanted to pry.
But that’s where the loving stopped and reality busted in.
Do away with the prequel. Just skip it. I got the wrong idea
from reading it so had an incorrect mindset while reading the whole rest of the
book. It doesn’t have any “need to know” info so just don’t bother.
The MC was pretty weak. She really didn’t take much action
at all, just kind of stood there and let life (read: abusive father,
overbearing mother, superficial best friend, back stabbing brother, and  lying fiancé) push and pull her around. It
wasn’t until the end of the book that she actually started making her own
decisions that I really got into it.
More of Tuck. There wasn’t nearly enough page time for this peripheral
character. As it stands, I don’t know why he was even in the book except to act
as a chauffer when Aria needed one and no other character was available. I
think he would have added A LOT to the story, so I would’ve liked to see more
of him. In fact, I would have liked to see all the characters fleshed out more.
They were too two dimensional for me.
There were too many times where I got this strong sense of déjà
vu about Harry Potter while reading this. (ie - Aria’s looking for an address,
but the houses skip over the number she’s looking for. She does something that
triggers the “door bell” and the two houses spread apart and there appears her
missing house. Order of the Phoenix, anyone?)
Ugh. It’s a series. And it’s a long book. Probably about a
quarter of the book didn’t need to be included. Nothing happened. She would be
at work. Or out eating with her friends. Or just filling space with text on a
page. There really was a lot of filler in here. And I’m sure not invested
enough to pick up the second book. Sorry.
I originally wanted to give it a 2.5 but decided to up it to
a 3. Don’t ask me why. I guess because it wasn’t entirely bad. But, as always,
pick it up and decide for yourself, you may be thoroughly impressed.

Happy Reading!

Her name is JULIET with no extra TE.


Nothing happened and what if it did?