Rating: 3.5 stars
Note: I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Huge thanks to the author for the opportunity to read her book!
So when I looked this book up to check out some reviews and read the synopsis, I got a little worried that it was set in the world of a 13 year old girl. I haven’t been 13 in quite a while, and I wasn’t entirely sure that I could connect to Elena. And at first, it was hard. I’ve forgotten how naive and kind of immature thirteen years old can be. It kind of felt like I was reading my little sister’s diary or something. But Elena doesn’t act much like a thirteen year old in most situations in this book, so it didn’t take long to adjust. And once I did, I found Elena’s world quite intriguing.
This book has a futuristic setting that reminded me of a mix of Uglies and Divergent. And even though I did feel some similarities because of the settings and government situations, Wood’s take on this dystopia was a breath of fresh air. The story felt original and it seemed like Wood did a lot of research and imagining for this story. It turned out really well. I’ve never read any other work from Wood, but I was pleasantly surprised. The writing was pretty smooth except for the occasional wording that threw me off a little.
I wasn’t totally in love with Abria having to say “like” in almost every single one of her sentences. Even though she is a supporting character, I actually enjoyed her a lot because beyond her dimwitted, beautiful exterior, she was a really sweet girl who took time to compliment literally everyone who she came in contact with. I really hope that throughout the series we see some character development with Abria and that she’s written to be a little less stereotypical (she’s the “dumb blonde”).
Beyond Abria, I loved all the kids in the Firebird Unit. They are a quirky, sassy group of 13 year olds who are going to make for a really good series. Had this book been a stand alone, I’m not sure I’d like it as much, because this first book is definitely setting up the rest of the series, and doesn’t have much action until about the 75% mark. I think these books have the absolute potential to be popular among all YA lovers, especially those who love a good dystopia series (but then again, who doesn’t?). I’m excited to see where Wood will take us readers.