Short synopsis (Goodreads): Aerin Renning is a scarred fugitive, Dane Madousin a rebellious son of privilege. On the surface, they have nothing in common. But the two most competitive freshmen at Academy 7 share an undiscovered bond. Both harbor a dangerous secret that threatens their own destruction. And while their safety depends on their staying apart, the two are inexplicably drawn to each other. Even as unknown forces conspire to separate them, their competition turns to friendship, and their friendship to romance. Now not only their lives—but their hearts—are at stake. To survive, the two must unite all their knowledge, skills, and gifts to uncover a secret bigger than either could have imagined. A secret as big as the entire universe...
My Review: This was a good enough book to read at least once. There isn’t a lot of depth to it, though some things don’t make a lot of sense until the end. The relationship aspect was there, but not that deep either. Truthfully, this doesn’t feel like it should be a stand-alone book. Even as the beginning of a series it should have been more complicated. Things tie up alright at the end but…it’s lacking that pizzazz that would have given it a 4 or even a 5 mustache rating.
I didn’t dislike Aerin at the beginning, she was just a little harder to get to know, but plenty of personality. She also reminded me of Katniss, just with how slow she was to trust and how obsessed with survival. (Katniss will always be the standard of survival for me, crazy, but true). Dane was easier to like. All throughout he seems more real of a character for me, easier to understand and sympathize with. They both have their faults, but Aerin is more distant of a character even though quite a bit about her is revealed.
The world is easy enough to get used to. I was a little confused for the first few chapters but was able to catch on fairly quickly after that. Supporting characters aren’t that fleshed out but decent enough.
I’ve looked up on Goodreads and it doesn’t seem like there is more expected for this book. It’s a decent enough filler book but not something you should go out and read right away.