Synopsis from GoodReads:
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying experiences that others in her hometown of Salem take for granted, which is why she is determined to enjoy her first high school party with her best friend and longtime crush, Tristan. But after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class, Lily wishes she could just disappear.
Suddenly, Lily is in a different Salem—one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruelest of them all is Lillian . . . Lily’s other self in this alternate universe.
What makes Lily weak at home is what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. In this confusing world, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can’t hope to shoulder alone and a love she never expected.
This is definitely added to my list of favourite books, it had everything I love in it. From witches, magic, adventure, friendship and sacrifice. It was definitely a page turner, and once started I couldn’t stop, after finishing it at around 4am. I did however stop on chapter 3 before everything went knee deep in guessing and wondering what was going to happen next. The political sides to the story were very interesting and Josephine has definitely put all of her heart and soul into creating the ‘government’, which is really all I can think to call it. It’s like no other book I have ever read before, especially with the mixture of magic and science. They definitely went hand in hand perfectly.
The main character of the story, Lily, she was definitely the one I was drawn to the most. I know that sounds cliché because she was the main character, but she reminds me so much of myself and she is such a strong character that readers can relate too. Despite everything going on in her real life, whether it be good bad or in the middle, she pushes on through and still sees the good in people. There was one line from the book that had stuck with me, that she says to Lillian; “I can be a selfish person sometimes, but in the end I’d rather help my friends than help myself.” Which not only explains me as a person, but it should be how everybody else is. Look out for everybody else, especially the ones you love most in the world.
Tristan is another character that at first I wanted to kick so hard in his shins, it was unbelievable! Though when I got to know Tristan it’s both happy and heartbreaking, because that’s how he really should have been. The best friend that stuck by her no matter what, never mind doing what he did too Lily. All I will say is New Salem Tristan is the best friend you could ever ask for, along with Caleb. (Who actually reminded me of Hector Delos from her Starcrossed Trilogy.)
Then there is Rowan, the ultimate bad boy, with the angry look on his face 24/7. I guess every book has one of these men, whether it be Jace Herondale from The Mortal Instruments, Dimitri Belikov from Vampire Academy and Four from Divergent. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a great character and makes the story flow indefinitely, but he’s not a favourite, purely because the brooding bad boys never are. Though the bond he builds with Lily is lovely. For him sticking by her, it’s brilliant!
There was nothing really of this book that I didn’t dislike, though I do really want to punch Lillian in the face, or possibly hit her with a shovel. Her morals are all wrong, and I’m going to shh before I go off on spoilers. Gideon is no better, though he didn’t deserve what he got really. The complete story was spectacular and the switch between worlds was breathtaking and a wonderful way to take a twist on old and new. I love New Salem.
My favourite part of the entire book was actually the ending, despite it being left on a cliffhanger. So this paragraph will be rather short to keep away from spoilers, but the ending was both beautiful, yet heartbreaking. It was nice that Lily finally got what she wanted, but what was even more better was that certain someone managed to tag along. Which was amazing, and it left it open brilliantly for the sequel Firewalker to be released in September 2015.
* * * * * 5/5