Reviews

The Jewel by Amy Ewing

Ruth West - Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Title: The Jewel
Author: Amy Ewing
Publisher: Harper Teen
Published:Sept. 2, 2014
Genre:YA, Dystopian, Romance



The Jewel feels a bit like The Handmaid's Tale without the story being nearly as heavy. Though the author does create a world that is dystopian and well-crafted, there seems to be the oppressive sense of fear and terror missing. Being slapped isn't great, by any means, but it's not the constant concern of ever-present death either. Yes, living in the Jewel where royalty is and Violet, a mere number no longer a name is nothing more than a slave, auctioned as a surrogate is dark and a dreaded thought, the book is still far lighter that one might think and that could be perhaps because it was written for young adults. That's not to say there aren't deaths that occur, but being only an outsider to the deaths (hearing about it but not witnessing it makes them seem far less horrific). Whereas a book like The Hunger Games found itself to be controversial due to the violent nature of what was depicted, the story also was darker. That's not to say The Jewel isn't a good story. At the end of every chapter I dreaded putting the book down. I wanted to read more, even when it was time for bed and I knew I wouldn't get enough sleep. The story flows nicely, the plot moves along quite well, yet it took more than 150 pages (paperback version) for me to finally meet the potential love interest of Violet. The Jewel is a strong book, the biggest flaws to me were engrained in the lack of fear in what should be a dystopian society and the world itself.
Reviewed by Kate

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Premonition by Leigh Walker

Ruth West - Friday, August 11, 2017

Title: Premonition (The Division Series Book 1)
Author: Leigh Walker
Publisher: CMG Publishing
Published: July 19, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian



Wow! What an intense thrill-ride. Premonition starts off with a typical story of a teenage girl that's joined a boarding school summer program as a work-study so that she can aim for an Ivy League type of education. Riley soon discovers that her work-study isn't what she thought, tasked with joining an elite and secretive division of the FBI known as "The Division." The writing is quick and breezy, forcing me to finish this book in one day, because I could not for the life of me put it down. I would have liked to have seen one additional round of edits done, I found two blatant errors that slowed down my reading but didn't take away any of my enjoyment of the story. The characters of Riley and Finn have a blossoming relationship that is full of emotion. Premonition brought tears to my eyes, forcing me to cry while reading about Riley's family. The author has created strong characters, a solid backstory, and a ground-breaking plot that will keep you on the edge of your seat. I highly recommend this book.
Reviewed by Samantha Peters


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The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

Ruth West - Monday, August 07, 2017

Title: The Gender Game
Author: Bella Forrest
Publisher: self-published
Published: September 24, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian




From the first chapter, as a reader I was drawn to Violet's character. She's flawed in a very dark world that is tasked with a mission in order to "save" her life. The writing is strong, making me easily like Violet, even though she's been in Juvenile Detention. Her actions have proven they have consequences and while she isn't happy with her current situation, she has made the best of it, given her circumstances. As the story progresses and we meet Lee, Violet still down to her roots is the same character from the beginning, recognizing consequence and not just jumping right in blindly without having a conscious for her actions. Violet's character is strong, she's in a world that has a strong influence of women and forced into the strong male dominated society. The world building was quite incredible and well-thought out. There were some things I'd have liked to see more of, but my hope is that we will in the next book.
Reviewed by Katherine K.


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Grounded by G.P. Ching

Ruth West - Monday, July 17, 2017

Title: Grounded
Author: G. P. Ching
Publisher: Carpe Luna Publishing
Published: November 11, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance



Grounded is a phenomenal story that goes places I never saw coming. It is a fast read that is filled with excitement and energy, especially as the story progresses. Hemlock Hollow is a small town where Lydia, an Amish girl, has the opportunity to experience the English world on rumspringa. With its roots in a a strong world-building in Hemlock Hollow, this futuristic story explores the power of electricity in a way that is creative and satisfying. Lydia grapples with the government, her new relationship with Korwin, and her identity as a 'Spark'. Prepare to be enlightened by this electrifying dystopian while reading Grounded. I eagerly await snatching the second book in the series. With likable characters, an engaging plot, a fast-paced but well-developed story, and twists and turns at every corner, this book is sure to satisfy. 
Reviewed by Samantha Peters

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