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Vi knows the Rule: Girls don't walk with boys, and they never even thinkabout kissing them. But no one makes Vi want to break the Rules more than Zenn...and since the Thinkers have chosen him as Vi's future match, how much trouble can one kiss cause? The Thinkers may have brainwashed the rest of the population, but Vi is determined to think for herself.
But the Thinkers are unusually persuasive, and they're set on convincing Vi to become one of them...starting by brainwashing Zenn. Vi can't leave Zenn in the Thinkers' hands, but she's wary of joining the rebellion, especially since that means teaming up with Jag. Jag is egotistical, charismatic, and dangerous--everything Zenn's not. Vi can't quite trust Jag and can't quite resist him, but she also can't give up on Zenn.
This is a game of control or be controlled. And Vi has no choice but to play.
Wow! Where to start. I am a character lover first and foremost. If I can't get behind a character, well I'm probably not going to like the book. So this book presented a bit of a problem for me. The majority of the people we run across are villains, plain and simple. You know them, they always have the power. But Vi has some pretty natural power of her own that she never knew she had and from the very moment she was probably born, she's been manipulated. She gets arrested for taking a walk with her "match" Zenn who is in Special Forces training. Does he come to her aid? No, he steps back from her as if he is trying to hide out. (Excuse me while I cross out some negatives in the books as I just put two pieces of the puzzle together). Vi is pretty straightforward. What you see is what you get. It's just that she has no idea that she has any kind of special talents so when she uses them, she doesn't realize she's used them.
Anyway she gets locked up with-wait for it remembering she's been arrested for walking in the park with a boy, her government chosen "match"- again, she gets locked up with a BOY! And not just any boy, but a really bad boy. From the badlands. He's a baddy. (yes the book does use that word often). So there's a toilet in the corner and she's stuck with a boy. I found that part a bit hard to swallow when the government preaches no touching even between mother and child. But they don't mind her taking her clothes off and doing her business in front of a "baddy." As I'm reading my notes, and I had a copious amount of them, I'm finding they make sense now that I've read the complete novel. So I'll just say hang in there. I wondered why there are twice as many guards around Vi than Jag, just read further into the novel.
Jag was okay, but only just. He kept ditching Vi at crucial moments. She saved his butt busted him out of jail only for him to get miffed that she called him different and he leaves her wandering around in the woods trying to make it out of the city into the badlands so she can be free. When she shows up two days later he's all excited to see her. He says he looked for her but I'm not buying it. Later he says he loves her, but when all things point to her betraying him, he quickly believes that's exactly what she's done. So quick to not trust her. And Jag cries. Sobs I believe the word was used. I cannot take my hero sobbing. I can take a tear or two, but not sobbing. Especially over something that happened a long time ago. So I'm not team Jag.
Zenn, oh Zenn. You sound gorgeous you traitorous bastard. Giving gifts and kisses and all the time using Vi for one purpose or another. And then not even going to her aid when they arrest her for walking with him when he made the date. Jerk! I cannot tell who's side he is on. First he seems to be on one side then the other. His eyes are glazed over and that means he's being controlled, then he'll break through and you see the guy you thought he was. But it's so hard to figure out.
With all the mind control and gifted and non gifted and more powerful and less powerful, it got confusing reading the story. I wrote on page 204 "I have no idea what's going on." But I never stopped reading. It's fascinating. Mind reading, manipulation, reading technology, wiping memories, that is all such fascinating territory to me so I absolutely loved it. I eventually found my way back.
So, the novel is not without it's problems, lots of what? And overuse of words or phrases-baddies, perfect white teeth- but none of it was enough to make me not finish the novel. In fact it was a fast read. And yes I would recommend it highly. Tomorrow I will review Surrender the second novel and I can already say that the problems I had in the beginning with the first novel aren't in the second.
I received a copy of this novel for a fair and honest review. I was not compensated for my review. The opinions expressed are my own.
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