TW: death of parent, grief, body image
Living in Saintstone, Leora is part of a society that believes in marking your skin. These marks represent parts of your life, and whilst some are compulsory, some are chosen personally. What this society fears is the blanks, a group of people who are unmarked and unreadable. Leora knows the legends, she knows that unmarked people are dangerous…but does she know everything?
I am going to start by admitting that I have been conflicted about my feelings towards this novel. I initially bought this book because of the stunning cover design and the intriguing premise. Unfortunately, as I began reading the novel, I didn’t experience the level of intrigue that I had hoped for. I found that I was predicting some of the plot points, and I wanted more twists and turns.
That said, I think that the narrative itself is clever and different. The story that this novel tells is imaginative and the society that Broadway creates has history, legends, and complexities.
The protagonist, Leora, was a great character to follow, and her struggles with friends, family, and her beliefs / faith were relatable to being a young person. Broadway also uses Leora to look at bodily concerns, growing up, and hints at feminism.
For me, I think that this novel is a case of the writing style not being for me, but the story itself being something that I enjoyed.
I’m not sure yet if I will read the rest of the trilogy, but time will tell.
If you have read the rest of this series, please let me know what you thought!