Secrets, teamwork, betrayal, and friendship are all elements discussed in this novel, and although it's short in comparison to other young adult literature, the fast-paced story and first-person detail from Elena's perspective creates a bond between the reader and the characters in the story. It's not a traditional sci-fi novel because even though the technology is advanced, there's not a lot of information on how it got this way. This is understandable, though, because the entire story takes place over about five days, with most of the story within one 24-hour period. It does have some dystopian elements in that the society is greatly surveilled to the point where even small items (like the size of a pen) can be tracked by the government, and there is the staggering disparity between the wealthy and the poor (Future-Adam's house vs. the Wombat's).
What I like about this novel is the mystery element. I was trying to figure out who was responsible for the young people's future erasure throughout the novel, and the tension that builds during certain moments was pretty amazing. I also really liked Elena's character because she had faults that she tried to suppress instead of confront, something I think many of us do. I felt like there was a lot to her character other than her exterior. I also appreciated the author hinting at the racial prejudice Elena faced. When she applied for the job at the beginning, and when she meets Adam's mother, it's easy to tell that people often judge her because of what she looks like. Lastly, I liked how the setting was in the future, but it wasn't so far in the future that it was completely unbelievable.
I was disappointed by the fact that Elena needed a boy to tell her that she didn't have to be like her father, though, and I also hated the fact that many of the other characters were underdeveloped. I feel like there was so much more the author could have done with Elena's allies. The most information I had about them was in the conversation they all had about why they accepted the Aether Corporation's offer, but those stories alone prove that the author could have delved more deeply into their identities.
- The main character is a young Latinx woman;
- Diverse secondary characters such Chris (Black young man) and Zoe (Asian, young, bisexual woman)
- Almost all of the main characters are in the foster system, and each has a different perspective of the environment, but all want better for themselves and for their future.