Before I read this book ,as I do with many books, I browsed some reviews to see what people where thinking. The consensus was that it was something that anyone who enjoyed The Hunger Games would enjoy. I definitely enjoyed HG, so I gave it a try. It was definitely interesting and I can see where the comparison comes from, but it just doesn’t live up to the awesomeness that is The Hunger Games. That being said, though I had a few issues with it, it was still a good read and I do think most HG fans will enjoy it.
This story follows Alenna Shawcross in the UNA, which is a new country made up of Mexico, America, and Canada. This new government is highly controlling of it’s population and at 16 everyone must be tested for their unconscious inclination towards violence and aggression. This isn’t a test you can study for, you just go in and sit down and they put straps to your head to see what’s going on in there. Alenna has no fear of failing the test, she has always been shy and quiet and though she doesn’t agree with everything the UNA does, she certainly doesn’t harbor any rebellious tendencies towards them. So she is beyond shocked when she wakes up on Island Alpha, the place where the rejects are sent. Island Alpha is a barbaric island where the kids literally kill each other to survive. And so begins the fight of her life.
There were a few things about this that irritated me. The main one being the main character. She reminded me a great deal of another main character from a highly popularized book series…
Though there are some differences, they are both “plain” girls with a shy, mouse-y personalities who change locations and suddenly are hailed the crème de la crème because all the guys want them. Then, they both go all badass battle mode within an unbelievably short amount of time and with very little training. It really does irk me. And this book contains that horrid insta-love because of a “connection” both parties feel.
Beyond those two things, this novel was a pretty good read. It kept me interested and I was fascinated by the world as I am with almost all dystopian novels. I won’t give away too much, but I will say it had a twist I didn’t see coming. I found the dynamic between Alenna & Gadya a little boring because of the whole “we’re in love with the same guy” bit, but I was glad that they do overcome it in the end.
I enjoyed this novel and think plenty of people will love it, but it just didn’t spark my love. I don’t know if there was something wrong with the book or if I’ve become more difficult to please because I’ve not read a book recently that’s left me completely satisfied, but either way, I felt it was good, but not great.