This past summer, I organized a book swap, and I had so much fun doing it! I met an awesome blogger named Valerie who is as much of a YA novel and Sarah Dessen book lover as I am. One of the books she sent to me for the swap is Icons by Margaret Stohl, so of course I was excited to read and review it!
The book is about a girl named Dol who lives a simple life apart from the rest of society. The only thing she remembers about her past is the tragic deaths of all of her family members on The Day, when much of the world lost their lives to the Icons, an enemy they had no idea was coming.
When Dol and her best friend, Ro, are captured by the people of the Embassy, their lives become an even bigger mystery. Soon, they meet a fellow hostage named Tima who, like Ro, uses anger to express herself toward her captors in the Embassy while Dol finds herself drawn to Lucas, the son of the Ambassador who is responsible for her, Ro's, and Tima's presence at the Embassy. Soon they learn that they may have more in common than they thought.
I have to admit that this book started off pretty slow for me. When I pick up a book that doesn't instantly entice me in the first few chapters, I usually put it down and read it whenever I feel like, and I end up not finishing it for several weeks because I pick up other books that I find more interesting. This was the case with this book. The first few chapters didn't really catch my attention, but I still muddled through.
I wasn't a fan of any of the four main characters. Dol made a lot of foolish decisions when it came to both love and life in general. She sold off the one thing that truly connected her to past, and it ended up being good for nothing. She gets caught in a love triangle of sorts, but nothing intense happens in either case, so that didn't add anything exciting to the plot. Tima was just a bit on the pathetic side in some ways. The times that she was sassy and intelligent, I really enjoyed her character, but the parts where she pined after her crush and hid within herself, I just wasn't too fond of. Lucas grew up privileged as the Ambassador's son, and he turned a blind eye to many of the horrible things that Embassy did. I was instantly not a fan. Ro was just too much for me. His anger was exhausting, and I couldn't handle it.
One thing I did like about the book was the interesting bits of documents that were included at the end of each chapter. It gave insight into a world that was lost when the Icons invaded Earth. At the beginning, I found them to be rather pointless, but as I kept reading, I started to enjoy them more. It gave some more information about things that you wouldn't know about from Dol's perspective. I feel like this book had a lot of information in it, but the organization and telling of it was a bit too confusing. I feel like the author had this vast idea in her head, but it didn't quite transfer over to paper because her ideas were so big and her written descriptions too vague. It was hard for me to picture anything that she described.
I give this book a 2.5 out of 5. This is actually the first book in the Icons series, but I don't see myself reading on to find out what happens next. The book didn't particularly peek my interest because so many things were left unexplained; things about the history of the Earth and even the descriptions of what they looked like (I couldn't really get a clear picture in my head from the way she described them). This book just didn't suit my fancy.