Summary (from Goodreads):
“In a city divided between opulent luxury in the Light and fierce privations in the Dark, a determined young woman survives by guarding her secrets.
Lucie Manette was born in the Dark half of the city, but careful manipulations won her a home in the Light, celebrity status, and a rich, loving boyfriend. Now she just wants to keep her head down, but her boyfriend has a dark secret of his own—one involving an apparent stranger who is destitute and despised. Lucie alone knows the young men’s deadly connection, and even as the knowledge leads her to make a grave mistake, she can trust no one with the truth.
Blood and secrets alike spill out when revolution erupts. With both halves of the city burning, and mercy nowhere to be found, can Lucie save either boy—or herself?”
This was my first Sarah Rees Brennan book (I KNOW!) and I was completely blown away. In an author’s note, she mentions that it was inspired by Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, and you can definitely see the parallels. At the same time, you don’t need to have read that book to like this one. (As proof, I haven’t read it since my senior year of high school and don’t remember it that well—well enough to get the most obvious references, but it didn’t feel like anything was over my head.)
I love Lucie. She’s smart and resourceful, but she’s also determined to fulfill her own ends and not just be used as a pawn (this will make more sense when you read the book, which I hope you do soon).
Bottom line: this is a clever and fantastic reimagining of a classic novel that also works on its own merits.