Warning: Some cursing ahead. Spoilers hidden under tags. Also, gifs.Chris Rock has a great routine in which he talks about how guys should ask their wife/girlfriend about their day and just act like they're listening:"Get out of here. Go on! I don’t believe it! You don’t say! Really? Get out of here! Go on. I don’t believe it! You don’t say? Get out of here. I told you that bitch crazy!"I had a similar reaction while reading this book. There were moments that were written well, with cleverness and unexpected twists. They were interspersed with snippets of unnecessary asides, bad dialogue, and dull descriptions. So this was me as I read this book:"Nice line. Now that's dumb. Oh, excellent development. Mara, stop with the inner dialogue. Hey, Noah's being decent! Now he's a douche. A twist! Didn't see it coming. Ugh, that was convenient. Now what is this person doing here? Oh, nice. Oh, shitty. Good description. No one talks like that, ever. Noah, shut up. Great character development! That was ridiculously stupid. Nice! Oh, for fuck's sake, why is THIS happening? Duh. Cool! Hey, wait, that's just silly. Awesome twisty! Meh. Mmkay. Hey! COOL! Aw, fuck you. Wait, what?"Et cetera, et cetera, repeat.If I listed every single thing I liked and disliked about this book, this review would become its own book. In a nutshell, I did like how Noah did demonstrate how much he cared about Mara. Mara, however, doesn't seem to have much of a personality, and there's too much of this:"Good to see you Mara."Not good to see you. "Thanks.""It's a nice day, isn't it?"No, it's terrible. "I guess."I understand that wanting to convey a character's true feelings while showing her trying to act normal is the point here, but this happened a lot, enough for me to notice and to find it excessive.For the most part, I liked Mara's family, but the part in which her mother infodumped a bit about Jung was a bit much. Noah and Mara's romance is a big whatever for me. I don't care. Too much fawning over Noah, too much of him leaning his lean body leaningly somewhere and smirking. I do like that he became more of a fully formed character in this book, but still. Meh. I don't care about them as much as I care about June and Day in Legend.The book has its spooky moments, and maybe it's because I'm a horror veteran/junkie, but it didn't have me wanting to turn on all the lights and clutch my husband in sheer terror. I'd read a twist, and I'd feel like my reaction should have been:...when it was more like:and ultimately leading to:That's not to say I didn't care at ALL, but for example, when it's revealed that all those teenagers at Horizons were gathered there because they were testing their abilities, I thought, "How did they get them all there? Did they wait until Mara's family moved and then built a residence house for mentally ill people, or did they find a way to 'nudge' them to Miami? And how did Noah end up at the same place as Mara if his rich dad, who obviously has a lot of power, doesn't approve of them together? This makes no sense."I care about this story, but to use a phrase that's popular with me and my dad, I don't "care care". It's like when my husband and I miss an episode of The Office. "Aw, damn, we didn't record it. Well, we'll see it when they show it again, or we'll Netflix the DVDs or something." If we missed Supernatural or WWE Raw, we'd react more severely: "OH SHIT! Goddamn it to fucking hell...check the internet! Check it! CHECK IT! What did we miss?! Oh fuck, tell me there's a clip of that. Holy shit. GOD FUCKING DAMMIT WHY DIDN'T IT RECORD? Fucking FUCK! Damn it all. Fuck."Speaking of "fuck", I was happy to see it in a YA novel. Before you get all pissed off about that, I mean that teenagers in the situations Mara and Noel were in would curse. They wouldn't say "fiddlesticks" or "darn". Hodkin kept it real. The sexual tension was meh, but that's probably because I don't love M&N. Plus there's the "reason we can't have sex". You could argue it makes sense, and in a way it does, but still. YA needs more realistic sexual situations for teenagers, because that is realistic and I don't want young YA readers thinking there's something wrong with sex or wanting to have it. As far as the ending goes, it was good but didn't keep my interest. My husband had Casino Royale on and I didn't ignore it completely to read the last few chapters, even though I've seen the movie a few times. My thoughts were "Might as well finish this now" rather than "OMG WHAT IS HAPPENING". To be fair to Hodkin, though, it WAS Casino Royale, and Daniel Craig:But I feel like I should have been so into the book at that point that everything else got ignored.I don't know. This was a good book, it had a lot going for it, but I wasn't riveted. Still, I am interested in how this will end, so I'll read the next book.Hodkin is a good writer, much better than Stephenie Meyer, Becca Fitzgerald, Lauren Kate, and Cassandra Clare. Still, this book could have used a heavier hand at editing, and she could work on a few things. That being said, I wouldn't call myself a fan, but I'd be interested in reading more of her work. She's intelligent and it comes across in her writing. Bonus: If you take Mara and Noah's initials, it spells out M.A.D.N.E.S.S. I tried rearranging Mara's name, with and without her middle name and her mother's maiden name for anagrams, but found nothing. The only thing I found was: "I am a dear martyr" but that doesn't work...but there's something about Mara's name that seems...off. I know in the first book that it's supposed to be a pseudonym, but my word puzzle brain keeps poking at it.