Araby Worth lives in a time that is overrun with a plague. All the wealthy (and some of the poor) wear masks to protect against the plague. Araby is the daughter of the scientist who invented the mask, and she wishes she wasn't.
The masks were designed with a flaw... only one person can wear them. Once that person puts the mask on, it adapts to their breath and will not work for anyone else. Araby took the mask that was supposed to be her brother's, and because of this, he died. Araby blames herself for his death.
Araby's friend April introduces her to the club scene. It is just what Araby wants... a way to forget. She goes to the club for alcohol and drug so she can forget... even if it is for a brief period of time.
It is at the club that Araby meets Will. She quickly falls for Will, and eventually meets his brother and sister when he "saves" her from the club. Araby quickly grows attached to the family, but there is a problem. She is wealthy and he is not. His siblings don't even have masks of their own, as he cannot afford them.
April's brother, Elliot, soon plans a meeting with Araby to gain her assistance in the rebel group he has building. At first all Araby has to do is steal the plans for the masks from her father's lab. But it quickly grows from there into having to pretend that she and Elliot are engaged as to save her life from the Prince.
Araby is now torn between staying with Will and helping Elliot on his quest to take back the city from his Uncle, the Prince, and bring it to its former glory.
The main character is very annoying. She is a rich selfish brat who goes to clubs during a massive plague to drink and do drugs. All she and her friend April think about is what they are wearing and the club.
Araby then gets involved in a big plot to overthrow the Prince. Part of the plot is her pretending to love someone when she really loves someone else. Oh... and she is still self-centered and entitled at this point.
A lot happens and her father gives her a vaccine for the plague. Tells her to drink half and give the other half to someone she loves. What does she do? Does she give it to Will, the guy she loves? Nope, she give it to freaking April! Then, tries to give the other half to the guy she is having to pretend to like... but he makes her take it.
It is only about in the last 2 chapters when she starts to not act so entitled.
I also wasn't expecting the book to be steampunk at all. I was expecting a medieval style plague book. Not a steampunk fan, and was disappointed after being so excited to read this book.