For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
"In the dystopian future of For Darkness Shows the Stars, a genetic experiment has devastated humanity. In the aftermath, a new class system placed anti-technology Luddites in absolute power over vast estates—and any survivors living there.
Elliot North is a dutiful Luddite and a dutiful daughter who runs her father’s estate. When the boy she loved, Kai, a servant, asked her to run away with him four years ago, she refused, although it broke her heart.
Now Kai is back. And while Elliot longs for a second chance with her first love, she knows it could mean betraying everything she’s been raised to believe is right."- summary from Amazon
I put this book off way too long. I finally read it because I was seeing Peterfreund at an event, and even though they're not related, I wanted to have it done before the companion book came along. I absolutely adored this book. I've never read Persuasion but looking over its summary, I can see the similarities. It's also written in a similar style to Austen, I felt; not completely, but there is more of a formal nature to the prose.
Elliott is a wonderful main character and I really enjoyed reading her story, especially the bits in between chapters showing letters between her and Kai over the years. It was really cute to see those and really get a glimpse into their interactions and friendship. I also want to say that I hated her father and wanted to just kill him throughout the entire book.
I thought Peterfreund did a good job setting up this post-apocalyptic world and explaining everything without it seeming like slogging through a ton of details. It's an interesting world and there's some great reveals throughout the book. I liked seeing Elliott and Kai together and Peterfreund wrote their back-together scenes beautifully, really showing the tug of war inside each of them. They obviously both want the other, but there's a lot of hurt and pain to get through before that can happen. It's handled so well.
Overall, a fantastic book and I strongly recommend it. I'm excited to read the companion book, which is based on The Scarlet Pimpernel (another book I've never read, lol).
FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.