Written by: Daniel and Dina Nayeri
Released: August 25, 2009 by Candlewick Press
Summary: One night, in cities all across Europe, five children vanish - only to appear, years later, at an exclusive New York party with a strange andelegant governess. Rumor and mystery follow the Faust teenagers to the city’s most prestigious high school, where they soar to suspicious heights with the help of their benefactor’s extraordinary “gifts.”
But as the students claw their way up - reading minds, erasing scenes, stopping time, stealing power, seducing with artificial beauty - the side-effects of their own addictions. And as they make further deals with the devil, they uncover secrets more shocking than their mostunforgivable sins.
At once chilling and wickedly satirical, this contemporary reimagining of the Faustian bargain is a compelling tale of ambition, consequences, and ultimate redemption.
It took me forever to read this book in its entirety. Seriously. I started reading it some time this summer and then dropped it in favour of reading something more interesting. Not that this wasn’t an alright book, but it took over half the story for me to even really get into the plot and the characters.
However, I thought that the characters themselves were really well written in the way that they certainly made you emote feelings towards them while you’re reading. I felt sorry for Bice and Christian, I hated Victoria, Valentin was a jerk in epic proportions, and Belle was just so shallow and yet there was something that really made you feel for her as the book continued. I think that the real motivation for me to finish reading this book was to find out what happened to them and whether or not they got their just desserts. Then there was Madame Vileroy who I just wanted to see wither into a mass of green goo a-la Wicked Witch of the West. I really disliked her, which is what made her such a good character.
The premise of the story was one that you don’t usually find and it was written in a way that I’ve never read before. Normally I’m not one for multiple points of view, which this book did quite well. And though I think that was the initial deterrent for me to put down the book – and it wasn’t the last – it made the entire plot unfold that much better and it added to the entire mystery. The entire idea behind a Faustian agreement is that the person sells their soul to the devil. The way that this book went about displaying how it was done was brilliant, I thought, and very relatable to modern society. I don’t want to give anything away just in case you haven’t read it, but let’s just say that it definitely made me think about things.
But at the end of it all, I just didn’t care for this book. At least not until the last 100 pages or so (at that point I couldn’t read fast enough) and that wasn’t enough to redeem the first 300 pages. So I’m giving it a 4.5/10 though I do want to read Another Pan... when it comes out in paperback or if I can get it from the library. Then again, I’m a total sucker for Peter Pan, so hopefully it’s better than this one and I won’t be disappointed.