I loved this book! There's really no other way to say it. The stakes from the very beginning were set very high. Slow burn romance, enemies to lovers, a parent who isn't dead, and a wonderful platonic friendship. This book is all the tropes and subverts all the tropes. It's all the things we love about YA and hate to love about YA.
The worldbuilding is beautifully French, and I loved all of the little touches that really helped immerse you in this world. Bastien's character was challenged and flawed in so many ways and I love that in a male lead. Men/boys in YA books tend to be relegated to the land of love interests or side kicks or villains and rarely have any true depth but I was pleasantly surprised by how invested I was in his character arc. He wasn't quite as well developed as say, Kaz Brekker in Six Of Crows, but he wasn't ignored either. The author took time with him.
The enemies to lovers was a wonderful slow burn, no insta-love here folks! And for those of you like me who LOVE to see two characters hate each other and realize they really love each other... this is all the enemies to lovers feels while not throwing away the sweet slow burn elements. Masterful really.
The plot twist, in hindsight, I anticipated. However, I got so caught up in the action on page that I completely forgot about that theory and was surprised when it happened. It's been a while since I've actually been surprised by a plot twist in a YA novel.
The chapters are kept relatively short which kept me turning pages, however my only criticism is the pacing. The characters go through a LOT and you never really get time to breathe or digest anything that's happening. The stakes are set high and just keep getting higher and higher. I prefer to have a more varied pace so that I can really enjoy the tension built by the author. When you keep the tension and stakes so high without any sort of respite it undermines some of the tension for me. Despite that, this book still gets a resounding 5 stars. I can't wait for the next one. It's already in my 'Want To Read'. Truly one of the best YA books I've read in 2020. I was so impressed.