Special thanks to Netgalley & the book publisher, for allowing me to read and review this book, in exchange for my honest opinion.
Pre-review note: I wanted to write a better review than this… but I can’t find anything good to say about this book — based on the story, or the writing. I am not sorry. No more time need be wasted on such wasted space.
Wow…. And it isn’t what you think. I did not like this book. And I tried! I begged it to give me something to love, just one small nugget of light… but nope. It could not, and did not.
This book was identified as a Young Adult story. No problem – I read plenty of them, and like them quite fine — no prejudice against it (me not being a YA.) My biggest gripe with the story — is that it is opposite of being a good role model for young people. The main character, a 17 year old girl named Seven; was weak, indecisive, apparently not the sharpest knife in the drawer, and painfully bland. On top of that, 90% of the story takes place in which she is essentially a captive (either in fact, or perceived), in a misogynistic community; where all the men treat all the women as Less Than, and not capable of anything more than birthing as many babies as possible. Forcing them into marriages at the age 14, with the life goal to pop out as many infants as possible. Yeah, awesome, right? Read on! (UGH.)
Our main girl, Seven, joins the group, under duress. Not a good choice. And pretty much just gives up everything she ‘is’, wants, and has been, and goes along with this nonsense. She ‘wants’ out, but she is so pathetically incapacitated in her thinking, so does not. — It’s as if once there she also lost the ability to think for herself (this character, who rumour has it was ‘awesome’ and strong, and warrior-like, in book 1 of this series.) So she doesn’t leave, she just accepts this whole monstrosity of a future. Ok, well yeah, that seems… like the right things to do? Um, no.
So, I want my young adult kids to be reading this? Nope. There are no good role models here. No healthy stories. No great learning lessons… Just negative drivel.
On the YA front, there isn’t any sex, and the language is clean. But there are assaults, and inference of rape coming, not to mentioned forced marriage (rape). Abuse. And the unforgivable misogyny…. Not to mention the lesson that it’s better to give in and accept your fate — no matter how horrendous.
And then there is the writing. The story is written from the first person real time perspective (which in my opinion is incredibly hard for anyone to do well), from Seven. Sure, in part it’s a reflection of her character (which will make you want to drive nails into your eyes), but wow… this was so painful to read (*spoiler: it was not done well.) Like being trapped inside the head of a low IQ, indecisive person, who thinks the same thing over and over and over and over and over…. I wondered if it would ever end, it was so painful to read. Morbid curiosity is why I finished the book — would it ever turn itself around? Or after the first 70% of the book dragging on in the most boring manner, with nothing happening — maybe something would!??! I like a challenge, and I’m not a Quitter. So I read every damn, painful, yawn-inducing, word of it. These are hours of my life I will sadly, never get back. Bad decisions, to keep reading.
Would it have helped if I had read the first book in the series? Maybe. But I’m more inclined to think I would have been even more disappointed with this book — based on my current feelings. (Because I read the comments… see nest paragraph.)
So just before I started reading Fragmented, I popped on to Amazon, and saw it has quite a high star review. (Sweet! Excited to read it now!) And read So Many reviews that gush about this story. (And it’s continuation from book 1.) And how Fast Paced it is! I literally tripled checked my double check to see if I was in fact reading the same book. Clearly I can’t be reading the same thing all these people think is fast paced? Did they not have the same first half book I did?
It brings me no joy to write so negatively about a fellow writer, and their published work. I do it with no malicious intent, for real. But I cannot in any bit of good conscious — recommend this book. 1 Star – for forcing me to read every page, hoping it would deliver; when it did not.