- The political themes. The premise and blurb promised a book filled with thought-provoking ideas: mob mentality, the overwhelming presence of technology in every aspect of our lives, the use of digital information, privacy. This book had so much potential and the points it tried to make felt particularly relevant in the world we live in today, where everything about us is stored in some database or website somewhere--digital medical records, Facebook profiles, an online credit card statements, blogs. Who you are is all over the internet. Unfortunately, the book failed to see its ideas through.
- The love interests. The love interests in this book were horribly introduced and developed. I did not care about either of them or the triangle they created. None of the conversations or actions felt real or at all believable. The book would have been better if Weyn had eliminated this part of the story altogether and focused more in the interesting aspects of the story. It seems like every YA author since Twilight came out feels like they absolutely have to include some kind of romance--usually in the form of a love triangle--in order to get published.
- The government actions. The escalation of crazy shit the government gets away with in the second half of the book is ridiculous. Maybe I am being a little naive, but I find it hard to believe that any American would support, let alone participate in, half the initiatives that are introduced--particularly those at the hospitals. Of all the people involved, it's impossible that everyone would just keep quiet and go along with this stuff--someone would talk or get "eliminated". The fact that the only "rebellion" referenced in the book at the hospitals involves people quitting because they refuse to perform the tasks assigned to them seems highly unlikely.
- The hippies. Without giving too much away, let's just say that the magic hippies felt extremely out of place. I generally enjoy magic and paranormal, but the way these characters are presented in this book does not make them look strong and rebellious--it makes them look stupid, weak, and foolish.
- The writing. The overall writing style throughout the entire book was very primitive. The book read like the rough draft of a high school student, not the finished book of a published author.
You become the monster you fear the worst, so the monster won't overtake you.
2 - This book was just not very good, which is a shame because the ideas it tried to present were really very interesting. The writing was pretty bad and the characters were awful. I'll be reading the next book in the series with the hope that Weyn's writing style matures and her interesting political commentary will have the opportunity it deserves to shine through.