My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Goodreads: As an obedient orphan of the U.N.A. (the super-country that was once Mexico, the U.S., and Canada), Alenna learned at an early age to blend in and be quiet—having your parents taken by the police will do that to a girl. But Alenna can’t help but stand out when she fails a test that all sixteen-year-olds have to take: The test says she has a high capacity for brutal violence, and so she is sent to The Wheel, an island where all would-be criminals end up.
The life expectancy of prisoners on The Wheel is just two years, but with dirty, violent, and chaotic conditions, the time seems a lot longer as Alenna is forced to deal with civil wars for land ownership and machines that snatch kids out of their makeshift homes. Desperate, she and the other prisoners concoct a potentially fatal plan to flee the island. Survival may seem impossible, but Alenna is determined to achieve it anyway.
My thoughts: This book ranks high on the young adult dystopians. The book is non-stop action and surprising. I expected none of what transpired. It is also surprisingly violent, although not detailed.
What I liked:
- The story first and foremost. It is something interesting and compelled me forward.
- The friendship between the girls. As the story develops, the complicated relationship of girls plays out as there is a common hottie boy.
- The uncomplicated romance. Yes, there is a triangle and it causes some problems, but the honesty of the characters makes it bearable.
- The romance is not the main event. It's simply part of the story.
- The action.
- Description of situation. I felt desperate when the characters had obstacles and weather to overcome.
- Unexpected twists and turns.
Small pet peeves:
- Referring to the rest of the occupants on the island as "kids." They were, mostly, but in my experience, teens don't call themselves "kids."
- Contrived important action points. The book and descriptions are well written enough that adding italics is redundant.
See? Just personal pet peeves. Also, I read an advanced reader's copy which is much rougher than the finished copy. But the story itself, the writing, character introduction is excellent.
*I received a free copy of this book from publishing company in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed here are my own.