Expected Publication Date: October 9th, 2012
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Page Count: 352 pages
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*
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.I didn't really know what I was getting myself into when I started Mystic City. I admit, the majority of my want to read it came from how gorgeous the cover is. Once I picked it up, however, I knew I was going to be in for an interesting ride. While there are some elements in Mystic City that weren't incredibly original, Lawrence's writing style really held my attention. That and I just had to know what was going to happen! The continuous plot twists and forbidden romance that weave their way through Mystic City really captured me and my heart!
The characters are all really different and fantastic in their own way. Some I hated, some I loved, but I enjoyed reading about all of them. Aria has had her memories replaced with some that just don't make sense to her and she's determined to find out what's really going on. Her perseverance throughout the story is really admirable, and I loved how she was willing to risk her life just to do what was right. She's going to be with the boy she truly loves, no matter what the cost. I seriously fell for Hunter within the first few pages of meeting him. He's strong, independent, loyal, brave, all of the delicious qualities I like my boys to have. Thomas was sweet in his own way, but he also had a tendency to be a total jerk. The other side characters were all really amazing and I loved them (or hated them) in their own ways.
The story is fantastic, although it did tend to become a bit predictable at some points. I definitely guessed what was going to happen on several occasions, but then Lawrence would pull the rug out from beneath me. I read a good portion of this book at work or on the train to school which was probably a horrible idea because I'd find myself laughing out loud or suddenly crying. Those kinds of intense emotions are hard to hide when you're in such a public place. Several events occurred and I didn't know how to process what was going on and I would just sit in stunned silence. The romance developed at a nice pace, Aria was constantly questioning her feelings and trying to figure out what the correct choice was and I really appreciated that. I do feel like the ending was a bit rushed; it was almost like the story was building up towards something and when that moment came it just flew by me in a fit of rage. I think that if 50 more pages were added the ending could have been wrapped up a bit more.
Overall, I really enjoyed Mystic City. It wasn't completely original and some things were incredibly predictable, but the story itself was executed wonderfully. Romance, political intrigue, backstabbing, and death all weave themselves into Lawrence's intricate story. Reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet with a touch of The Godfather, and just a splash of magic thrown in. If you're a fan of dystopian worlds with a magical touch, Mystic City is for you!