And now I’m torn over the villain…
I think that this book brilliantly shows how it is possible to both pity and loathe a person at the same time. Levana and her sister are both entirely despicable, yet at times I certainly felt bad for Levana. This is a young woman whom is a product of many things: (a) her upbringing and environment, (b) her terrible treatment at the hands of her sister, and (c) her own naivete, which leads to a dangerously obsessive emotional core.
It is the last element that makes her the most compelling, and the most terrifying. Levana as a young teen is naive — very, very naive — and while naivete is not in and of itself a wholly dangerous thing, what grows from it with Levana is terrifying. She is obsessive. She will stop at nothing to get what she wants, all the while deluding herself that she is not only doing nothing wrong, but doing nothing at all. What she wants is love — romantic love — and while that is not a terrible thing, the manner in which she sets about achieving the object of her obsession is wholly despicable.
Levana is a terrible being. But she is a complex being as well. And that is what makes her so compelling as a villain.