So this is my review of Black City by Elizabeth Richards. (You're welcome from the earbug in the title, by the way.)
This book follows Natalie who is the Emissary's (like the governor of their "state") daughter and Ash who is a twin blood Darkling (basically a vamp) and their journey of insta-love and bringing down the government in true YA fashion. I enjoyed the two main characters for the most part. Ash is pretty BA is his hot vampy way who is a Haze (vamp venom) dealer. Basically he is the bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks. Natalie is also pretty awesome because she basically says EFF ALL THIS and does what she thinks is right in most situations.
Anyway, so these peeps live in this city called Black City which is basically this city that has a huge wall down the middle dividing the living people from the Darklings (or Darkwing ducks as we like to affectionately call them). Their country is ruled by this guy name Purian Rose who thinks he is all YEEZUS and is basically trying to eliminate all the Darklings and all other sinful things. The plot twist (not a spoiler) is that Ash isn't fully a Darkling. He is a half blood which means his human dad hooked up with his vampy mom and they made this cute little half human/half Darkling thing. It's way more complicated than my explanation but I'd give away some major spoilers if I went too indepth.
Natalie has some pretty awful things happen to her family which causes them to move away for a while and eventually come back to Black City after this big war and the death of her dad. Natalie's mom (the Emissary) makes her go to this public school which is LIKE OMG AWFUL to set an example of her daughter going to school with common folk. Really though her mom is a total B and gets worse as the story goes along (no spoiler). She has this could-be hottie guard who is basically her body guard and has to follow up around every where, but he is a major jerk and to add insult to injury they used to date so now it's just totally awkward. So Natalie makes friends with this really sweet girl named Day who basically shows her how the blue collar people live and brings her down to earth a bit. Day also used to date this druggy dredlock hippie named Beetle (yes, Beetle) who is best friends with Ash. Day and Beetle broke up and now Day hates Ash. Well, of course this means that Natalie an Ash totally have to date. Cue lots of drama. Add in the fact that there is another war brewing between the humans and Darklings, so you know all that is going to happen when the story is taking place. I'm completely over simplifying the story on all of this because I'd have to give away a lot of spoilers to tell y'all what really happens. Let me just say go buy this book and read it for yourself because some cray stuff goes on. For real.
I will say this book had one of the biggest WTF twists that I've read so far this year. Most of the other "twists" I was able to figure out at least somewhat what as going to happen, but there is one BIG one that completely caught me off guard. After it happened I was like "well, that complicates things..." That alone boosts my rating of the book up.
There were some parts that were a little snoozefest for me, but it mostly had to do with the instalove and cheesy romance that comes with it. Normally I don't mind the insta-love, but this one came on a little thick in the I WILL SACRIFICE EVERYTHING FOR YOU way. Especially after the big twist, I was like "I bet you guys wish you would've thought all that through a little more, huh?!" I will say Evangeline was one of my favorite characters (I love a character who you can't figure out if they are good or evil) and cannot wait for her to reappear in later books.
The ending was a little strange to me as well. It goes from ZOMG GONNA DIE to Oh ok, cool not gonna die really quickly which I thought was a little bizarre. I texted Angela and was like "this chick is like the Mockingjay." Trust me, you'll get it and think the same thing with the end... even down to their version of President Snow coming and dropping threats and leaving weird presents. It left it wide open for the rest of the series to develop, so I am really excited to start the next two books.
All in all, not a bad read. Not my favorite book I've read, but I think the series has a lot of potential. I am a sucker for vampire books (pun intended) so I love the darkness the story has. I plan on starting the second book in the series Phoenix tomorrow, so stayed tuned for the review in a few days.