Penelope Landlow has a rare blood disorder that causes her to bleed and bruise easily. Because of this, she is treated as a delicate, fragile princess, while her family sells and trades organs on the black market. Because of this, she is forbidden to leave her residence, doomed to spend her days in boredom. Because of this, her mother has forbidden her from spontaneous human contact, something she is tired of living without. Penelope craves human contact, a walk outside and knowledge about the illegal family business, yet the instance she is allowed to try, her world begins to crumble.
When her family is murdered, and she is presumed dead, Penelope begins to uncover hidden family secrets. Confused and lost in a city she has never entered, she meets Char, who supposedly is also running away from his family. Weaving around the city, Char shows her sights she will never forget as Penelope relearns the meaning of trust and love. But Penelope cannot find peace yet, especially after reuniting with an old family friend, who tells her of dangerous family secrets. Caught between trusting strangers and betraying her family, Penelope must unravel the mysteries presented before her own body destroys itself.
Although every description of the book (as well as the cover) seems to give off a dark, mysterious feel, the text itself is more simple and open. While Penelope is often described as week, fragile, and useless, the author portrays her as a curious girl grieving for her family, trying to stay alive while looking for their killers. Some characters have a 180⁰ personality spin halfway through the novel, and a moral of the story could definitely be “Everyone has 2 sides to themselves.” The writing style is mostly straightforward, but can be very descriptive.
I enjoyed the book, as it fits into many genres. It can be hard-core while describing action, but realistic and sweet when inducing romance. It is simple and easy to understand. Some parts drag on and on, but there is a pot of gold at the end of every insanely long rainbow. Even if you find the beginning boring, it’s best to endure it instead of skipping to the better parts in the middle, as the beginning explains important characters and background information about the story.
I would recommend this book to ages 13+, as it does contain some violent themes, but would totally rate it 8/10! The overall story stuck to the plot, and everything makes sense. It really is a great book that I would totally recommend, time to time again.