Valentina is the president's daughter living in the Citadel with the high and mighty families of the island. The island is the only place in the world still habitable for humans and it is divided up into three zones: the Green Zone, the Amber Zone and the Red Zone also called the Badlands. The people in the Amber and Red zones are mostly refugees, terrorist and antiterrorist groups fighting each other. The government in the Citadel only controls the people living inside the Green Zones, but it doesn’t try to help the refugees in the Badlands.
Valentina is oblivious to the world outside of her protected Citadel. She is arrogant and only thinks of herself. Until someday two of her friends take her outside the capital, outside the Green Zone and into the Amber Zone. There Valentina is faced with the life of the refugees and with things she never thought she would have to face.
There are two things this book was lacking, first the writing style and second description. The way McDermott wrote this story is on the one hand fitting to the story, but on the other hand you missed a lot of the story. This is also the effect of the lack in description. Characters were hardly described, so were the events and the world the book is set in.
Three things that I very much enjoyed about this story are the story line, the pace and the characters. The story line was very interesting. Valentina’s journey from the Green Zone to the Badlands comes with many adventures and her trip back doesn’t go smooth. The pace this story is medium to fast, something that can be expected since there isn’t a lot of description. You move through events very quickly. The characters aren’t described much, but they do go through huge developments and they all learn something from each other.
In the end if you’re new to dystopian fiction and you’re looking for a quick read than this is the book for you. It has fast pacing and a good story line, but if you want description and a lot of world building than this book is not for you.
I would love to give this book a 3.5 star rating since it really is in between 3 and 4 stars. However that is not possible here so it has to do with 3 stars, because it is not worth the extra 0.5 star.