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 brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others 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. She is on the run, desperate to find the only safe haven left for kids like her—East River. She joins a group of kids who have escaped their own camp. Liam, their brave leader, is falling hard for Ruby. But no matter how much she aches for him, Ruby 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 its mysterious leader. But there are 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, one that may mean giving up her only chance at having a life worth living.
This book…ah. Not impressed is the best way I can put it.
I can’t say I didn’t enjoy this book, because I did. I had to otherwise I most definitely would not have finished it. Bracken gets applause from me for her writing, I enjoyed the style and the way she works with her characters. But that wasn’t enough in this case.
Dystopia stories suddenly became extremely popular at some point in the last few years, I never got sucked in too much. I’ve still read quite a few, Hunger Games and the Divergent series are both under my belt. Neither, though are high on my list of recommendations, or even there at all really. I figure by now the problem with Dystopia genres is they go one way or the other, amazing or a shadow of all the others. Bracken’s book, for me, ended up being the latter.
The idea wasn’t overly original in the first place. Wow, suddenly all the kids in the world are dropping dead. But wait! There’s more! The ones left behind have these strange new abilities! And the adults are horrified! So what do they do? Ship the future generations of the human race off to dystopian concentration camps where we can label them by colour based on their power as the economy of North America utterly collapses.
So, beginning yea, not much. Except that I did enjoy the main character. Ruby was interesting, if childlike. Perhaps I was able to let that go because put in the camp at age ten her education cut off after that. Despair was the main maturing factor there I supposed.
Then, lookie here, we had the next brilliant unoriginal idea. There’s a rebellion against this. Except guess what? They’re corrupt too. Everybody is! Wow, who would have thought of that. Not very surprising, new or anything really. Too typical especially in a style of book that has potential for so much more.
The only idea I’d say I truly enjoyed and found original was Ruby and the twist on her own ability. Fascinating and intriguing. So cool and the controversial part, the conflict on using it or not. But then again, this internal conflict isn’t very different either. A character has a power that they’re afraid to use and think they’re a monster because of it. So again, interest levels go down. Then the ending was ridiculous and just (not pulling punches here) a cheap way to try and pull at the reader’s heartstrings. It irritated mine. So many different solutions and just made it far too stupid for my liking.
Nonetheless, I will say again. I enjoyed reading this book. I wanted to know what would happen enough that I finished and it pulled me in. I recommend it if people are looking for a quick read and a decent dystopian novel. High expectations though…I advise against them. Ultimate ruling?
Could have been so much better.
Until next time,