Mystic City by Theo Lawrence | Book Review


Pages: 416 pages

Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Source: Library

Age Group: Young Adult



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.

Rating: OK Read

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Mystic City is a love story. While there was some great world building, I felt like the focus of the story gravitated towards the romance. Aria Rose is engaged to the son of her family’s sworn enemy and rival, but she has no recollection whatsoever of him. Apparently her memory loss is due to a Stic (drug) overdose which seems seriously suspicious since Aria never took Stic before. But, all Aria can think about is how strong their love must have been to defy their parents. It kind of reminded me of Romeo & Juliet. They were like star crossed lovers. Except, Aria isn’t really feeling it for Thomas Foster, the guy she supposedly fell in love with, but instead finds herself attracted to a rebel mystic named Hunter.

Like I said before, the world building in Mystic City was very well done. Theo Lawrence created an unique dystopian society which captivated me from page one. It’s futuristic Manhattan divided into two parts: the rich, Aeries, and the Depths, the poor, lower level. Then, there’s the Roses and the Fosters who have been in a political feud for who knows how long. The only thing they see eye to eye on is the Mystics who are people born with magical powers. And, there’s the plummet party where the privileged watch unsafe buildings being demolished. Theo Lawrence captivated my attention with her beautiful description of this intriguing party.

The romance with Aria and Hunter seemed a bit like insta-love, but I actually didn’t have too big of a problem with it. Aria is a sweet girl with a kind heart who is an undeniable hopeless romantic. All she wants is to fall in love. Hunter is the kind of guy Aria is supposed to stay away from, but she’s instantly drawn towards him. He has a charming demeanor and it was entertaining to read about Aria falling in love with him while he failed to try to push her away. Their romance was a cute one that made me smile and it reminded me of an innocent first love.

What really bothered me throughout Mystic City was some of the unrealistic aspects of this book due to how naive Aria could be. At a point in the book, Hunter reveals a secret to Aria about her family and she doesn’t even argue once with Hunter. Not even one complaint that her family was innocent or that he got it all wrong. It was Hunter, so it must have been true. I’m not exactly sure why, but this really annoyed me!

Mystic City was a story filled with romance, an interesting dystopian world, and plenty of surprises to keep you on edge. I would recommend it to those readers who love nothing but a cute romance.


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