Book Review

THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT by Charlie Jane Anders

Rating: 3.5 / 5

THE CITY IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT is set in a unique world. Without any rotation, the planet is divided into a zone of endless day with baking temps and a zone of endless night which is a frozen wasteland. In some distant future, people have settled into this world, living in the zones along the borders where things are somewhat temperate. Things in this world are heavily regulated with the government imposing strict laws controlling access to light and livelihood.

The book follows two alternating points of view. Sophie is in love with her best friend Bianca and winds up taking the blame when Bianca steals. She is brutally dragged out into the night which is a death sentence. Instead, she finds a way to survive and return. Mouth is our second POV, a girl who is the last known survivor of a nomadic people who lived outside of the governed communities and she’s trying to find a way to fit in now that her people are gone.

This was a mixed feelings read for me. I thought the writing was good and the world building was very interesting. The book kept me hooked and wanting to read more. I liked Mouth’s perspective having come into society from the outside, seeing the good and the bad of this world she doesn’t feel a part of.

Sophie was a bit of a struggle for me. Her relationship with Bianca was so obviously one sided even in the beginning. Bianca wanted to be a rebel and the center of attention which didn’t fit with what Sophie wanted from her. I expected this to lead to some character growth for Sophie, but that was missing for me in this story and the ongoing relationship remained frustrating. Some of the twists that come later in Sophie’s timeline that I don’t want to spoil left me underwhelmed.

Overall it was an interesting read with a unique premise, but it didn’t quite live up to my hopes for the story!

Reading Challenges:

#PopsugarReadingChallenge – a book by a trans or nonbinary author

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