Tuesday, 11 June 2013

Review: The Ward by Jordana Frankel

Title: The Ward (The Ward #1)
Author: Jordana Frankel
Release date: April 30th 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Format: ARC
Pages: 485
Source: Publisher

Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

You would think that after reading so many dystopians, I'd get tired of the genre. But no, every new dystopian I read has such a unique and refreshing plot and premise, and The Ward is no exception! I was so excited when I received an ARC this book from HarperCollins, because I'd been looking forward to reading it. And it did not disappoint. I loved Ren's character, and the plot is definitely very gripping. Also, the cover is so beautiful! It's not that clear on a digital version, but looking at the actual book in front of me, I realized how striking the cover really is. And I love that it shows us exactly what the Ward looks like.

It took a little while to get used to the complex setting, but once I did, it amazed me! This book seriously has one of the most incredible settings ever, as you might be able to tell from the cover. After the Wash-Out, everything is covered in water. And not freshwater. Muddy, saline water. Freshwater is extremely hard to come by. Ren is a mobile racer, the only girl racer, in fact. She races for a living, to make ends meet for herself and her foster sister, who is sick with the Blight. But what no one else (other than Aven, her foster sister) knows is that Ren is actually a mole for the government, a.k.a. the Blues. She hates it, but she has no choice, since they pay her enough to buy Aven's medicines. But when she encounters Callum, a guy claiming to be someone he's not, Ren discovers a huge secret - something that can change the lives of everyone in the state.

Ren is definitely easy to like, and I took to her right from the start. She gives off this badass vibe that says, 'Mess with me and you'll be sorry, regardless of the fact that I'm a girl.' It's so admirable how much Ren loves Aven. She'll do literally anything for her, as she shows throughout the novel. She puts Aven above pretty much everything else, and even though her loyalty is amazing, it does cause a lot of problems. Ren has a strong and good heart, and even though she makes choices she's not proud of, it never gets tainted. She has so much potential in her. Her character develops a lot over the course of the novel, and I hope we get to see it blossom even more in the sequel.

I loved so many of the other characters in this book, too. Aven is such a sweet girl, it broke my heart to see her lying in bed with that tumour in her head almost all the time.. She deserves to have a life. Despite the fact that she has the deadly virus, she's so positive! Her personality is contagious, and I think it's seriously impossible not to like her. I also really liked Terrence, another mobile racer who's good friends with Ren and Aven. Well, more than friends with Aven, I think. They could be so good together! Anyway. Ter is an awesome friend to Ren. He's really supportive of her and Aven, no matter what. Ren is so lucky that Ter always has her back!

Derek and Callum, though I liked them, are a lot less open, and very enigmatic. Derek is Ren's bookie, but she's had a crush on him for ages. When Derek starts showing an interest in her, Ren is ecstatic. But she realizes that he's hiding something, and she doesn't know what to do about it. It's clear in the book that Derek really cares for Ren. But I don't know where their relationship could go. The end does leave me pretty hopeful, though! They have a lot of differences, but if they care enough for each other, I think they can overcome them. I think I liked Callum more than Derek, but he frustrated me quite a bit. He was so secretive most of the time! Callum is a scientist, and a pretty genius one at that. There was a little something between him and Ren, but I doubt it will become anything. Which makes me a bit sad, because I do think they'd also be good together. Callum opens up a bit more towards the end of the book, and I loved seeing that. And I love the fact that he's a scientist!  There are way too less of brilliant-minded guys in YA literature.

I don't want to say too much about the plot, because I don't want to give anything away. There's definitely a LOT of action, on account of the mobile races. There's danger throughout, and loads of suspense. I liked the little mystery touch to the plotline. As with all dystopians, nothing is what you expect. But trust me, there is a lot of unpredictability in The Ward. This is an amazing debut from Jordana Frankel, so intense and thrilling. I absolutely cannot wait for the sequel to find out what happens to all these characters I've grown attached to!

*Thank you to Sarah at HarperCollins International for sending me an ARC for review*

Rating: 4/5

1 comment:

  1. I've heard that this book was a disappointment for some readers so I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it :)


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