First of all I would like to point out that it absolutely ridiculous that I hadn’t heard of this series till a few months ago! I well and truly must be living under some kind of rock. With the movie adaptation right around the corner I definitely wanted to read the book first, because lets face it… the book is ALWAYS better. So I was super lucky to be sent a copy of the newly released editions by the wonderful people at Harper Collins NZ to review for all you lovelies!
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Published: 30/04/2018 by Harper Collins
Genres: Young Adult, Dystopian, Fantasy
Souce: Harper Collins NZ
When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a government ‘rehabilitation camp’. Ruby might have survived the mysterious disease that killed most of America’s children, but she and the others had emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.
Now sixteen, Ruby is one of the dangerous ones. When the truth comes out, Ruby barely escapes Thurmond with her life. Now on the run, she is desperate to find East River, the only safe haven left for kids like her, and she joins a group of other runaways who have escaped their own camps. Liam, their brave leader, is falling for Ruby, but she can’t risk getting close. Not after what happened to her parents. When they arrive at East River, nothing is as it seems, least of all Liam. But there are also other forces at work, people who will stop at nothing to use Ruby in their fight against the government. Ruby will be faced with a terrible choice – and one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living
When I first picked this book up, I will admit that my hopes were high. With a movie adaptation right around the corner of course I assumed that it was going to be a good story, even though that isn’t always the case… But I was relieved to find out that my assumptions were right all along. I absolutely adored this book! Now, I’m going to admit here that I am a big fan of Dystopian story lines. I know that they may be cliche or played out at this point, but I seriously love them! Which is why I can’t believe it took me so long to find this one. A disease spreading across the USA giving kids powers, if it doesn’t kill them first that is… HOW DID I MISS THIS!?
Even though the concept and plot of this story is wonderful and exciting, it is the characters that really had me hooked. In the start I did find it a little hard to connect with the main character Ruby, however she develops so much over the course of this book that it became easier along the way. Once I was introduced Liam, Chubs and Zu, I was drawn so far into this world there was definitely no backing out. These characters felt so real, and that is exactly what I love most about a book… characters that feel real. I could close my eyes and picture myself there with them. Falling in love, finding a best friend, becoming a family… developing an emotional attachment to a Mini Van!
And then we are introduced to another kind of character… The kind of character that draws you in but leaves you hanging. The kind that leaves you wondering if you should love them, or hate them. The kind that you aren’t quite sure if you can trust. I love love love this kind of character. You never know what to think of them and it keeps you on edge. We definitely meet this character along the course of the story and they kept a tight grip on me all the way through.
The politics in this story is something that surprised and delighted. We weren’t just given a bunch of kids with powers, and a bunch of adults who either wanted to protect them or kill them. We were also given the politics of the situation. A president in hiding. Opposing parties fighting for the right to the government. Underground societies desperate for change, corrupt media and terrorists. And all of this tying into the children and the mystery illness that caused all this to begin with. It gave a depth to the story that I find is sometimes lacking in YA Dystopian stories, and I feel like once all the information is presented to me over the course of the series the result is going to blow my mind! Fingers crossed anyway…
As much as I loved this book, it definitely wasn’t perfect. I do think the powers could have been explained a little better, as it took me way too long to figure out exactly what each category could do. I don’t know if the powers were meant to be a mystery that slowly played out or not, but it didn’t feel that way. It felt more like I was supposed to understand everything but wasn’t quite getting it for a while, and that left me a little confused. Obviously everything becomes clearer, and that helped me with the flow of the story.
However despite the few flaws, in the end I really really enjoyed this book. It was exciting and emotional, and as soon as I finished the last page I was reaching for the next in the series. I smiled, I swooned, and I definitely cried (if you know me, you’ll know I’m a crier so that part isn’t really a surprise, but the ending really did rip my heart out). I felt like I was on the edge of my seat for most of the book, and that kept me from wanting to put it down. If you are a fan of YA Dystopian books, then I definitely recommend this one! And now I am eagerly awaiting the movie adaptation, which is being released here in New Zealand on 16th August 2018! And in the mean time you can find me curled up in my arm chair devouring the rest of the series.
To find out where you can get your hands on a copy, head on over to Harper Collins NZ!