Sponsored post: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Casey Hays.Blurb (from Goodreads):
Beyond the Village, nothing exists ... except devastation. A war waged by men and their hateful weapons long ago made it so, and my people--the women of the Village--are the only survivors. This is what our history lessons teach us, and this is what we are to believe. But I am sixteen now ... and I question everything. The Archer has spoken, but I have no desire to heed his command. I long for more. In a world demolished by war and ruled by the hands of Fate, individual choices have become obsolete. Essentially, there is only one requirement: Bow the knee to the wisdom of the Council without question. Many of the women in the Village have acquiesced to this mandate, including some of Kate's closest friends. But Kate longs for something more; she hears the call of another life. On the day of her sixteenth birthday celebration, the reality of what this means invades her with a vengeance, and she is forced to contend with her own moral conscience. Kate's destiny has always been the Pit--the life of the breeder--which she is expected to embrace without complaint. Her rebel's heart, however, refuses to comply with Fate's demand, and what she finds in the Pit draws her one step closer to finding the truth about herself and the Village. And it changes the course of her destiny for all eternity. Ages 14 and up.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Source: I received a digital copy of this book for free on a read-to-review basis. Thanks to author Casey Hays.)
“I know what breeders have to do in my village,” I whisper after a moment. “But my body should be mine to give or keep as I see fit.”
This was a really good YA dystopian about a girl who didn’t want her life to be dictated by the stars, and who was brave enough to stand up for what she believed, even if it meant risking her own life.
“I don’t believe in Fate.”
I really liked Kate in this story, although she did take longer to catch onto things than I expected her to at times. She never lost sight of what she thought was important though, and she stood up to the leader of the village, either through stupidity or bravery, even when it meant taking a beating.
“Please. Give me another role, Mona.” I whisper with the rawness of an animal being led to the slaughter. “Please!”
My supplication lays me flat against the ground at her feet, humbled to the lowest level I’ve ever been, but she ignores my tears; disregards my pleas. Her answer is a hard kick to my jaw that sends me flailing backwards.
I have to say that Kate’s friend Mia’s attitude really annoyed me! She followed so blindly, and had no idea that fighting back was even a thought never mind an option! I really wanted to shake some sense into her!
She lowers her bowl to stare at me in irritation. “Why do you do that, Kate? I don’t understand you.”
“Get to know your mate so personally. It’s disturbing.”
I liked Ian too, although his love for Kate made him act rashly at times. He too stood up and made trouble though, and wasn’t content to allow himself to be treated as less than human.
“I won’t breed with anyone,” he says, and his eyes are empty. They shift toward me, deliberate and sure. “I’m not an animal!”
The storyline in this was pretty good, and I liked the way new problems kept cropping up. I did feel like the pace was maybe a little too slow, but that could have been because I was desperate to find out what happened next! I thought it was quite awful the way the village was run though, and the way the men were treated was awful.
“The stock do not have personalities, unlike our complex gender. Therefore, do not attempt to find one. You will only be disappointed, and your mandatory time in the pit will be unfulfilling and regrettable.”
I hated how the people in this book treated their babies too. Diana clearly loved her daughter, but the way Mona would so easily ‘dispose’ of babies she didn’t like the look of was shocking!
“Disposed of? Is that your solution for everything?” All the pent-up anger raging inside me against this woman bursts forth. “Why don’t you just call it what it is?”
The romance in this was really sweet, and I loved Kate and Ian together. They were just so right for each other, and it was clear that they were in love, even if Kate didn’t really know what love was.
“His eyes dance in the moonlight. They pull me in. He smiles, and then… he kisses me. I struggle against it for only a minute before I sink into him and just let it happen. His lips are warm, and they quiver slightly as he eases away and then presses in again. And I can’t think. Everything around us disappears into this kiss.”
The ending to this was really good. I loved the tension, the action, and the question over what could possibly happen next! Have to say that I am really looking forward to book 2 now!
His words sting me, as beautiful as they are. They stab at my heart right in the very place where all my love for him sits. Yes. I know it now. I love him, and I want to tell him. I want to tell him that I never, ever want to cause him to suffer, but the words stick in my throat.
“I will respect whatever you decide. But just know…” He dips his head to look into my eyes. “I will never stop loving you.”
Overall; a heart-breaking story of rebellion, determination, and love.
8.5 out of 10