March 27, 2013

Latest Read: The Ward

Here are the basics ...
The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Category: Young Adult - Dystopian
Source: Edelweiss (Thanks!)

Summary: 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. (Adapted goodreads.com)
My thoughts…
The good: With all the dystopians out there, I think it's a challenge to come up with something visually different and original. And even though the idea of NYC being submerged in water has been introduced before, it's how the author uses this image that makes her story unique. In the Ward, a good portion of Manhattan is water-logged and completely lacking in freshwater but what really divides the people is the fatal illness plaguing nearly half the population. Ren allows herself to become a secret agent for the government (who's basically hated by everyone except the rich) to search for a freshwater source because she wants money and a potential cure for her sister, Aven, who's ill.

I think the most unique take that's incorporated is through Ren. Who I adored! She's a drag racer but because of all the water, people race by propelling themselves from rooftop to rooftop. Their cars can switch from driving on the ground to being submerged like a submarine. It was really cool, action-packed concept. This not a safe sport by any means and since Ren is the only female racer, it's extra difficult to get the respect she deserves. But she does it. She does it for the thrill and for the freedom it gives her and she does it for her sister. She may put on a tough girl act (although I do think it's genuine) but underneath it all, she's also the girl hopelessly crushing on her bookie, Derek. Her inner monologue when she acted like a spaz around him always had me chuckling or smiling. I think her voice in general played a big role in my enjoyment of the book. But I also loved all her relationships with the secondary characters. She had a father figure through her mechanic, a sister in Aven, fellow racers who became her friends and the scientist who helps her in the search for freshwater.

One other thing I have to mention is the writing. I ended up highlighting so many passages. The author really had this beautiful way of using metaphors to describe Ren's feelings that would make me pause and reflect. With a story like this, where it's meant to be all action and twists (which it certainly had!), I appreciated the detail that went into how Ren felt.

(Super minor) reservations: Basically an issue I find in most first books - unanswered questions. On the plus side though? This is a two book series which means we'll get answers soon! (I hope.) I also struggled at times to visualize everything but it didn't bother me too much.

Do I recommend?: I do! If you're into dystopians and love books set in NYC like I do, check this out. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Happy reading!

3 comments:

  1. Oh this is fun! I haven't read any thoughts on this book yet but I've seen it around quite a bit. You know, as much as I've seen dystopians done and done and done, I'm not sure that I'll ever get tired of them. I just probably won't. I love that you mention that this book is a two-book series. I never will shy away from a series, but I admit that I like it when authors break the mold and make them two books instead of three. Thanks for the review - I honestly had no idea what this book was about but I'll likely read it in the near future at some point. :)

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  2. AH! Im super excited for this one!

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  3. I basically agree with your entire assessment of this book. It was a pretty interesting novel, and I do think it was a fresh take in the genre. My favorite part, of course, is Ren, who is an awesome character :)

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