By: Jacquelyn Mitchard
I decided to review these two books together because the plots were so closely linked. It would have been hard to review the second one in a separate review from the first one. First, I just want to say that I think the covers are absolutely beautiful. I think the silhouettes and the colors are really pretty. I also think that the the number of silhouettes on each cover is interesting to think about after reading the books.
The idea behind these books is that there is a genetic disease called XP, which is basically a fatal allergy to the sun along with other symptoms. Most people with XP die young. As a result the three characters in the first book Allie, Juliet, and Rob decide that they don't want to miss out on life and do things that push the limit of existence. In What We Saw at Night, they learn parkour (this is the first one). However. What the book is really about is a serial killer. Allie, the main character, sees this man with a blonde streak through his hair several times with a dead girl in his hands. Allie makes it her mission to find out more about this man. Even though Rob and Juliet don't see the man they believe her even though many people don't. The second book has a lot to do with what happens at the end of the first one. What We Lost in the Dark focuses more on the relationship between Rob and Allie, which starts in the first, and Allie's effort to catch the Serial Killer from the first.
Overall, I would give the duology a 2.3. However, individually each book would be very different. The first book would probably be a 1.35. It had some good points to it but some bad as well. It had an interesting idea but everything worked out just a little too nicely. Everything went just a tad too fluently for the serial killer. Also, I didn't feel very connected with the characters. I felt removed from the book. It was as if I was watching someone read it rather than actually reading it myself. Also, whenever something more fast paced happened I found the writing confusing. Even after reading the passage two or three times I still would be confused. However, What We Lost in the Dark was much better. I would give it a 3.25. I found the characters more interesting and the plot was a little more clear. The first one lacked direction and the second one didn't. That being said, the climax of the second, which was the climax of the duology, was sort of anticlimactic. It just sort of happened and then it was over. And then the book was over. This book was like somebody else's strawberry short cake. It has the potential to be fantastic, light, fluffy, and delicious, but, unfortunately for you, someone else is eating it. The strawberry short cake's potential is just out of your reach.