[Review] Daynight by Megan Thomason: Unique Dystopian Worldbuilding with standard tropes

All in all, it’s an YA dystopian with a unique premise and flair. Give it some time to work up and if you don’t mind the usual trends, it should work out.

Apparently I started this before and gave up on it. No notes on why. Perhaps I wasn’t in the right mood. Whatever it was, I didn’t have abandon it again and am most likely going to continue the series.

However, it didn’t immediately hook me and it was a slow build up. In the beginning, I could’ve put it down then and shrug it off. But it was easy to read and hoped it would pay off.

It did. In spades.

Rape, Forced medical procedures, and terrorist violence including forced artificial insemination and pregnancy, a bombing and execution murders.

Series: Daynight #1
Genre: Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Romance
Age: YA
Format: Paperback, 342 pages
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Recommendable? For Dystopian Fans
CW: Forced medical procedures, terroism

Meet The Second Chance Institute (SCI): Earth’s benevolent non-profit by day, Thera’s totalitarian regime by night. Their motto: Because Everyone Deserves a Second Chance™. Reality: the SCI subjects Second Chancers to strict controls and politically motivated science experiments like Cleaving—forced lifetime union between two people who have sex. Punishment for disobeying SCI edicts? Immediate Exile or death.

Meet Kira Donovan. Fiercely loyal, overly optimistic, and ensnared by the promise of a full-ride college scholarship, Kira signs the SCI Recruit contract to escape memories of a tragedy that left her boyfriend and friends dead.

Meet Blake Sundry. Bitter about being raised in Exile and his mother’s death, Blake’s been trained to infiltrate and destroy the SCI. Current barrier to success? His Recruit partner—Miss Goody Two Shoes Kira Donovan.

Meet Ethan Darcton. Born with a defective heart and resulting inferiority complex, Ethan’s forced to do his SCI elite family’s bidding. Cleave-worthy Kira Donovan catches his eye, but the presiding powers give defect-free Blake Sundry first dibs.

Full of competing agendas, romantic entanglements, humor, twists and turns, daynight is Megan Thomason’s debut young adult dystopian novel and first in the daynight series.

The Good The Bad & The Other
Unique Worldbuilding Instalove Triangle
Really liked Blake Kira & Ethan were lackluster until the very end
Welldone standard dystopian society Saw somethings coming


Daynight is very unique. It’s like a parallel alien world connected with Earth with weird-ass “afterlives” under a dystopian regime tangled with our government, genetics, and a bunch of shit still to reveal, I’m sure. Like how the fuck Kira became such a special snowflake.

I honestly don’t know where to start and wouldn’t want to ruin it. It’s not all very clear yet but it’s amazing so far. No holes or misses that I remember/saw.

With all the talk about cleaving and the uniqueness of the world, I figured there’d be something special about it. But it appears to be just another word (view spoiler)

I have an older edition of the cover that’s all black. While the new cover is prettier, it also shouts about the opposite Earth type location. I’m not sure how I feel about that. That new discovery was a big part of my reading experience.

Perspectives & Characters :

Daynight is told through alternating perspectives from Kira the Special Snowflake Virgin, Blake the Dark Rebel Boy, and Ethan the Privileged Puppet.

I loved how the perspective switched between the three so we got to know them all. Believe me when I say if we only saw the outside, Daynight wouldn’t work as well or at all.

Blake is definitely my favorite for standing up for his beliefs. He made the difficult choices (IMHO the right ones) and I respect him for it. His tale of training and survival is heartbreaking and rage inducing. His perspective is unique for giving insight that is sorely needed.

Kira: meh, alright for a Snowflake Virgin I guess. She’s not bad but it’s mostly about her being the New Star Girl. It’s all about love angle drama and woe. That is, until later when she gets a backbone, starts becoming a person and making her own choices and experiences.

Ethan: Ugh. He was only a suave pretty boy until the end. All the love at first meeting emo antics didn’t sway or matter to me. Then it got interesting. (view spoiler)


The dystopian society has the standard totalitarian state with harsh environments, which isn’t a complaint. There’s plenty of flair and pizzazz. I only bring it up to advise: if you’re familiar with the genre, there are certain things you’ll be able to predict.

Beyond that, several events were obvious like the Secondchancers (this was intentional, I believe with the prologue) and what/why of the medical procedures. And I wanted to smack Kira SF Virgin so many times for the romance mess with Ethan. So oblivious.

On the other hand, I certainly wasn’t expecting the twists with Privileged Puppet Ethan though. Or the [Redacted] Mastermind.

Blake kept upping the ante and seemed to be the main cause behind plot movement besides The Bad Guys. Besides Devious Blake, Ethan and Kira were The Wimpy Duo for the majority of the book.

Lust & Love Angles

In the end, it’s kinda, sorta, not really, maybe resolved. What I hated it most about it was again, Kira’s obliviousness. Besides that, I wasn’t against it as it seemed reasonable for Kira to have feelings and lust after Blake. Listening to her whine about her instalove connect with Ethan was tedious though.

Anime Hair & YA Eyes

You know how people joke about main character’s outrageous hair color and styles in anime?

I swear to gods, YA books have the same shit going on with people’s eyes. Especially romantic interests.

On pg. 11 we find yet another boy with “turquoise flecks” in his beautiful eyes. I’m honestly tired of it. Not only do you have to be extremely close to them but it also comes off weird and fake. I don’t bother picturing it and any references to it make me groan. A ring of color I can buy, but not magical sparkles.

It’s not like Anime where it’s part of the medium and style. While everyone is aware, it’s hardly a topic of conversation between the characters or noteworthy, it’s simply cosmetic. Here we have to wax poetic about eye color and their expression while taking it seriously. And I can’t.

Oh look, I have something in my eye. It’s…


Recommended For: 

Fans of dystopians, especially if you’re looking for a unique world and are okay with the typical tropes

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