"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Friday, October 26, 2012

A "Buzz Worthy" Review AND Giveaway: Mystic City by Theo Lawrence (YA)

(Mystic City Novels #1)
by Theo Lawrence
Release Date: October 9th, 2012
Published by Delacorte Press/Random House
Genre: Young Adult - Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Romance
Format read: ARC (provided by Random Buzzers)


Aria Rose, youngest scion of one of Mystic City's two ruling rival families, finds herself betrothed to Thomas Foster, the son of her parents' sworn enemies. The union of the two will end the generations-long political feud—and unite all those living in the Aeries, the privileged upper reaches of the city, against the banished mystics who dwell below in the Depths. 
But Aria doesn't remember falling in love with Thomas; in fact, she wakes one day with huge gaps in her memory. And she can't conceive why her parents would have agreed to unite with the Fosters in the first place. 
Only when Aria meets Hunter, a gorgeous rebel mystic from the Depths, does she start to have glimmers of recollection—and to understand that he holds the key to unlocking her past. 
The choices she makes can save or doom the city—including herself.

BOOK TRAILER - The Mystic City


"He has the kind of face that takes you by surprise. Earlier, on the street, I thought it was one thing - handsome in a conventional way, like porcelain or the colored diamonds my mother keeps in the Rose family vault. But now I see it is quite the opposite, a face too hard to be pretty, too mysterious. It is the kind of face that sucks you in, makes you want to surrender all that you know, all that you are, just to capture its attention.

~ Mystic City ARC, page 45

"And that's what life is for: to love, to create, to blend, to harmonize.
And to die."

~ Mystic City ARC, page 356


This an amazingly well written futuristic retelling of Romeo and Juliet!
There really is no other way for me to describe it...

This story takes place in a an apocalyptic-Manhattan known as Aeries, where the upper elite live in apartment buildings built on high stilts above the Depths, which is what the city used to be and is now drowning and decaying, where the poor and outcasts live. Just like in the original Romeo and Juliet drama, Mystic City has two feuding families - the Rose family and the Foster family... but wait, there's more! A third party is trying to join in the war of who will rule the city - the Mystics. But more on them in a bit.

Aria Rose wakes up one day, and has no idea what is going on and how she got into her current situation. Confused, she doesn't remember what caused her "accident", why she doesn't remember anything and most of all, she has a fiance?! And to make things even more complicated, her fiance is Thomas Foster! Wouldn't she remember having a secret love affair with their family's nemesis! And how is it that both families have taken to their deceit and love affair so easily and quickly. And how is it that she can remember everything except for the last week of her life, and him - things just don't add up...
Aria is desperate to make a connection with Thomas - shouldn't she be able to feel her love for him even if she can't remember anything? When he looks at her, or even touches her arm - shouldn't that touch burn through her and remind her of what they had? or have? She decides that if she did it once before, she can do it again - she must sneak over and speak to Thomas in private. Maybe then, going through what she has supposedly done may times before, will help her regain her memories.
As she's trying to sneak through the city by going through the Depths and tries to remember what paths she would have traveled to get to Thomas, where they must have hidden and met, she gets into some trouble... and then she meets Hunter - a rebel Mystic.
Mystics are humans with magical powers - they have been outcast-ed as dangerous and uncaring, the government has forced them to register and their abilities are drained and used to power the city.
Aria has been taught in school that these people are menacing, dangerous and to be feared. But when she meets Hunter, and others, she sees for herself that the things that she has been told since the day she was born has all been a lie... and why does Hunter intrigue her so much? Why is it that every time he touches her, it burns right through her? Is it because of his powers...

I have to admit, I was a teeny bit disappointed in the love story here. Led to believe that there would be a love triangle of some sort, no, no there isn't. So for those of you who hate love triangle, rejoice!
There was so many clues as to what really happened to Aria and who her true love is - and she failed miserably so many times to realize any of it. Could it possibly be that she buried her head in denial, unable to accept what her family is capable of? Perhaps. But, there was just too many instances and it made me really frustrated with her... I would have liked to have seen more passion in the end. I was a bit disappointed with their "undying love" moment. BUT, I do have to admit, that after all is said and done, Aria does come into her own and completely owns up to everything. From the beginning she was determined to discover everything on her own, and now that things have changed, she is determined to face what has happened and take on full responsibility.

I am SO looking forward to the next book in this series! Overall, Theo Lawrence did a fabulous job - I really enjoyed the storytelling and world building he did here. And the gorgeous cover really does have an impact and represents Mystic City perfectly. Can't wait to find out what will happen to Aria, Hunter and their families.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Theo Lawrence

Theo Lawrence is a graduate of Columbia University and the Juilliard School. A Presidential Scholar in the Arts for Voice, he has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, and Off-Broadway.


Now is your chance to win an ARC of MYSTIC CITY!
There are TWO up for grabs!!! 

Sorry, U.S. and Canada only...
Giveaway ends November 16th, 2012.  

Thank you for stopping by today, 
and good luck :)


  1. WOW! Awesome review! I also feel a bit disappointed when there's not enough passion in the love story. And when the main character takes too long to figure things out :) I enjoyed reading your review!

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  2. I've been seeing a lot of great reviews for this one! And how did I miss that the author is male! LOL

  3. I love the concept of this! A dystopian Romeo and Juliet retelling with a twist? That sounds so awesome! Although I am disappointed that you didn't like the romance. I can't wait to read this! And love the quotes!<3 :)


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