From Goodreads: 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 started out thinking I wasn't going to like this book. It seemed too far outside the world that I was familiar with (through Aurelia, also by Anne Osterlund). Luckily, I didn't give up. This book was AWESOME. One can only hope that there's a sequel planned. (although, technically, this does work as a stand-alone...it just leaves a lot to your imagination.)
I really liked the way that Dane and Aerin interacted. It was probably good for Dane to have someone who didn't know who he was and hadn't ever heard of him. It was probably good for Aerin to have someone like Dane for competition. I really liked the way their relationship progressed. No insta-love here, and no love triangles.
No love triangle?!
NO to both!!
Yes, it IS possible to have a big, glaring lack of insta-love AND love triangles in YA! Hurrah!
Okay, enough of the sarcasm. You get the point that it pleased me to have a relationship without either.
I liked the action and storyline a lot. I definitely would have liked MORE of the story, which is why I'm hoping for a sequel.
Overall, I'd say it's 'Pick Me' worthy, for being a nice, refreshing take on a YA relationship.