It is the author's parting words that just killed me, 'When you forget that those you disagree with are people, not just your faceless opposition, you don't end up proving who is right or wrong. You end up with a body count.'
The way she's laid both sides out- what either side of the divide was feeling, what each was motivated by is made clear. Like the frustration both felt in how things were, the same leading either in choosing to do one thing or another for essentially the same goal. Coupled that with the inability of either to put themselves in the other's place, only to become more and more confused (and frustrated) about why the other was doing whatever they were (or weren't)... it's in this aspect where this book shines because the Red then White perspective? They're both clearly presented here.
Sadly, Tsarina felt woefully superficial when it came to the more personal connection of Natalya and Leo. They left me... underwhelmed. Frankly, the two leads here were each predictable on their own; that blossoming thing between them, likewise. Thus, where the context their story was happening and the tragedy we knew was too unfold, both had me tearing up, the two MC's failed to rouse any strong positive emotion in me.
It was Natalya who frustrated me most. I confess, I was strongly tempted to chuck this one early on, given her failure to THINK about the ripples her actions would cause. The easy way things are done by her, it was a thoughtlessness almost. A flaw that's thankfully, quickly shed by necessity. So credit where it's due: at least she changes.
As to Leo, hmmm. What to say? What to say? The words typical and predictable come to mind... and little else. I could say more, like the connection between the two being a smidge too baseless ...but where's the good in that?
I will say that the moments of this had me crying--- more because of the actual tragedy that the story pivots around and less because of the leads.