Hi, there! I’m back with a review for a book that destroyed me. Seriously, this book just grabbed my heart, squeezed, stomped on it and left me. Just like that. I’m talking about the painful standalone 27 Days to Midnight, from Kristinne Kruppa!
I’ve received my copy from YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Everyone in Dahlia’s world knows when they’re going to die. Except her.
Her father has never shown her the pocket watch counting down the days she has left to live. When he sacrifices himself to save her from her scheduled death, Dahlia abandons her comfortable home and sets off after his murderer to uncover the secrets her father died to protect…and the time research that could bring him back to life.
Then she meets Farren Reed. She should hate him. He’s an enemy soldier, a cowardly deserter, and the most insufferable man Dahlia’s ever met. Still, she needs all the help she can get, and Farren is the only chance she has to find the man who murdered her father. But Farren has only twenty-seven days left on his watch.
In that time, Dahlia must recover her father’s time research, foil a psychotic general’s plot, and learn to survive in a world that will never be the same. But the research holds secrets more dangerous than she had ever imagined. She will have to choose what is most important: revenge, Farren’s life, or her own. And time is running out.
Just remembering that those were my impressions and opinion as a reader 🙂
Did I mentioned that this book destroyed me? Seriously, it did. The notion of having your exact lifetime engraved in a watch was so romantic and so creative! I loved the world building, the characters, the narrative style, the humor, the drama, the steampunk element, EVERYTHING! I fell in love with both Dahlia and Farren and I couldn’t get enough of them. The end was so perfect that led me to tears in my second confirmed case of tears due over-perfection. Five stars is not even close to watch this book really deserves: A MILLION INFINITE STARS!
The narrative style was third person with switching points of view. We follow Dahlia and Farren most of the time, but we can also see the story from the POV of other characters whose identifies will be kept a secret due spoilers. Despite being a mystery book, the switching is very well done and helps the reader to have all the pieces to put together. However, Kruppa waits until the very last moment to give us the glue, haha! You saw what I did there.
Kruppa’s writing also was wonderful, as the book had a good pace, was packed with feelings, a lot of humorous moments to break the dramatic and desperate scenario of both Dahlia and Farren, and a fluid language that made the reader fly through the pages without noticing it.
The plot was BRILLIANT AND A WORK OF ART! Ahem, ok, I’m controlled. I think. Maybe not. Let’s move on? Hahaha!
I loved how Kruppa slowly eases the reader into her world, without rushes or endless pages of explanations. Each time that she switches POVs, the author manages to bring her own world in a new way, on the way in which that particular character sees it, giving more importance to some elements over others. For example, when we follow Farren’s mind, the nature and the freedom are the main themes, because those are the things that matter for him. Isn’t this magical?
As I already ran myself over, let’s get deep on characters, haha! Talking about Farren: he is one of the sweetest boys ALL TIME and made it to my bookish boyfriends list with ease since his first scene. I love smooth talkers, oops! Also, come on: the guy is gorgeous. You have to give me a break, haha!
I loved how Kruppa portrayed his struggle to accept his eminent death and how not okay he was about it despite the brave face he put on. Farren gives value to every breath that he has and he honestly loves to be alive, so it makes us think. Would he be like that if he didn’t know how much time he had?
Oh the other hand, we have Dahlia. She didn’t know how much time she had until the incident with her father and she lives as if life isn’t a present, but a granted deal. A scene that really dug on my heart was right on the beginning, when a street lady freaks out because her watch is about to stop and asks Dahlia for help. Dahlia has a very immature and selfish behavior towards the woman and never gave her a second thought. I was so shocked then that I swore I’d hate Dahlia. Well, I didn’t know how much she would grow as a person during her adventure or how much Farren would change her for good. I just wished Dahlia had remembered that woman at some point after her change, to seal it, but I guess she doesn’t need closure as I do, haha!
Also, I thought it amazing of Kruppa to come up with a heroine that wasn’t white. YA books are notoriously in need of more diversity of gender and race without the big drama behind being anything other than straight and white. Double round of applause for Kruppa, that managed to have a non-white heroine and not make a big deal about minorities at the same time!! ❤
I fell hard for the villain, as he was crazy, sexy and murderous at the same time, haha! Oh, and beautiful. I love beautiful, crazy and very fictional men on those circumstances ;D And he took the final steps into the madness hole for love. I find this so romantic, in a dramatic and gothic way! I may need therapy.
Everything has been wonderful, everybody is happy, the book is perfect and made me cry and I need more. Cool, nice. HOWEVER, I did have some problems with it. As I mentioned above, I’m one of those people that need closure in life, of any sort. It just needs to close, seriously. And there were many loose ends on this book AND THE END SHOT ME IN THE HEART AND KICKED ME IN THE BACK WHEN I FELL ON THE FLOOR. As it is a standalone book, I got really angry and cried more, as I’ll never see this characters again in new situations. I may re-read and find new bits, it’s true, but nothing major. Not straight forward answers. I DON’T KNOW HOW TO LIVE WITH THIS.
Also, I didn’t like the fact that the chapters had titles. THEY WERE HUGE SPOILERS D: Sometimes, this works in books. This isn’t one of those cases.
Okay, I’m good now. Let’s go back to the place where this book is all perfect and move to the cover, because I decided to always make a meaningful comment on the covers now. (#what) The cover was what drawn me to this book in the first place. Then I read the summary and was done for, haha! I usually am not a fan of illustrations, but this one was so delicate and romantic and mysterios AND BEAUTIFUL that I couldn’t bring myself to be a bore about it. I just want to hug it, haha! Also, the golden details really matched the blue shades. This one made it to my personal list of beautiful covers ❤ (Yes, I have lists for EVERYTHING. Judge me)
However, despite the dramatic and brilliant title, this book may be misjudged for a children’s book easily, especially the ebook version in which you can’t see how long it is. Just saying.
Now, I took the liberty of selecting some of the most awesome quotes in the book for you to understand how cool it is 🙂
“Dahlia tried to ignore him (as much as anyone could ignore an eight-foot-tall cyborg). She was too busy putting together a few choice phrases to use in her argument once he [the cyborg] quieted down.”
“The physical wounds were infinitely more manageable than the emotional ones.”
“He was back at the beginning, more alone than he’d been before he knew what it was like to not be lonely.”
And this killer dialogue:
Farrren: You okay, sweetheart?
Dahlia: Yes. I was just thinking.
Farren: Ah. Dangerous stuff.
Dahlia: Dangerous, yes, but necessary. It’s a pastime you might want to consider.
If you ask me, the strongest points on this book are the steampunk element, the characters construction and the humor behind it 🙂
Overall, this book had some flaws, but nothing that shadowed its perfection. Kruppa made a hell of a job here and I find it hard to believe that this is her debut novel. If you like steampunk, adventure and heart shattering books, you need 27 Days to Midnight in your life. NOW.
Thanks for reading my review and thanks so much to YA Bound Book Tours for my review copy and spot on this tour!