With a past too terrible to speak of, and a bleak, lonely future ahead of her, Aerin Renning is shocked to find she has earned a place at the most exclusive school in the universe. Aerin excels at Academy 7 in all but debate, where Dane Madousin—son of one of the most powerful men in the Alliance— consistently outtalks her. Fortunately Aerin consistently outwits him at sparring. They are at the top of their class until Dane jeopardizes everything and Aerin is unintentionally dragged down with him. When the pair is given a joint punishment, an unexpected friendship—and romance—begins to form. But Dane and Aerin both harbor dangerous secrets, and the two are linked in ways neither of them could ever have imagined. . . .
I'll start with the things that I really liked about this book. I liked that it was written from more than one point of view. I think because it was written this way, it was much easier to relate to Dane and Aerin. They each had "secrets" they didn't want to tell, and they had their reasons. I liked reading how they worked though them and began to understand why things were...well, how they were. It also had a kind of "Star Wars" feel to it, which was unexpected and different, that I actually really enjoyed. I'm far from a Star Wars fan, but I've seen the movies and it made it simpler to visulalize the world(s) these two live in. I liked reading through how Aerin changed throughout the book, because she annoyed me a little at first (but I'll get to that in a minute). I like how the story was wrapped up. It could (and might) have a continuing story, but it doesn't necessarily need one. It could stand alone, which was REALLY nice after all the sagas I've been reading!
Now the things I didn't like. Aerin. Throughout the book, she started to grow on me, but at first, I couldn't imagine her as a heroine. She was jumpy and reclusive and terrified of everything. As you read, you get an explanation for it, which helped in the "liking-Aerin-department". I also didn't like that they advertise it as a "romance." They don't really fall in love, they are just good friends--maybe with a few awkward and unexpected kisses thrown in. But really, it was just a step up from the loathing in the beginning of the book. As much as I wanted something REALLY exciting to happen, it would build and build and truly had the potential, but it seemed like the author just... got sick of writing and ended the book. It wrapped up well, like I said, it just wasn't as exciting as I wanted it to be. I thought the idea for the story was great, but it never really reached my expectations, which was disappointing.
All in all, I did quite like this book, I just didn't love it. I would definitely recommend it. Happy reading!