I probably ought to start out by stating that I am kind of a big Sarah Rees Brennan fan.
It would be a problem if I felt like my literary preferences could ever be a problem, but I knew going into this that I was going to really like it or be horrifyingly let down because of how high my hopes were.
Fortunately, it ended up being the former and not the latter.
I somehow, perhaps because I may possibly have insta-clicked when I saw the author, knew almost nothing about this going in, and certainly did not realize it bears some intentional resemblances to another story. For the sake of having the same nifty realization moments that I had, I'm not going to mention which story, but it tied together really well and genuinely felt like it was worth of its predecessor, which I loved.
The characters were actually well-done, and I enjoyed that, for all that everything seems very black and white (and is certainly painted as such for a bit), that is certainly not so. I'd never expect such from this particular author, but it is always nice to see a book where in the end I kind of understand everyone and am fully aware that there is no real way I am going to be completely happy about the ending. Please note the difference between being happy with the ending (I was very pleased with it) and happy about the ending--it could not have ended any other way, I feel, but it was a rough ride.
The titular arc words were quite beautiful, and I loved them coming back again and again. The strength they personified throughout this family was inspiring and made me smile every time, even when I was actually upset about what caused their repetition.
Lucie is a bit divisive for me: I understand her quite a bit, but her view on things is occasionally oddly simplistic given her background. She does learn from her mistakes, though not always in time, and I liked that. The only thing I couldn't quite forgive her for was her love interest, who is a Nice Guy. I like nice guys as love interests, I honestly do--I've never been a "bad boy" kind of girl. My problem here is that I don't really know that much else about him. He's really...nice? And he does nice stuff. To be nice to her.
Fortunately, the focus is more properly on the plot and less on the romance, or this might not be getting the score it is getting from me just because of that.
As far as I can tell, this is a stand-alone novel, which I appreciate in these days of sequels and prequels and sidequels and all the other bits and pieces we get of a universe. It has a solid beginning and a solid ending. It doesn't need more to finish the story in a satisfactory way.
Having said that, however, if the author ever wishes to revisit her very divided New York, I would certainly be willing to poke my head back in and see what is going on there...
This book was provided to me for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.