Lines like these were nice:
'"Wen, don't do this unless you believe me. Don't betray yourself like that."' and 'Melik moves slowly, giving me all the time in the world to pull away.'
Juxtaposed with the constant (and realistic, thankfully) threat of sexual harassment and sexual assault Wen faces, these simple lines of Melik honoring and respecting her boundaries speak volumes.
I'm not sure how I feel about the author drawing "inspiration" from real-life ethnic issues (that is, Uyghur oppression by the Chinese government) to make a story about fictional ethnicities. It feels kind of tactless.
The socialist story of banding together and uprising against the oppressor class is nice to see in YA, even if it doesn't go as planned and the "revolutionary change" doesn't happen the way you would expect.
I'm hoping the (apparent?) sequel will focus more on the political plots and less on the romance (and no more love triangle.)