Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication: June 7, 2011
Source: Publisher via Book Tour
Synopsis:Vi knows the Rule: Girls don’t walk with boys, and they never even think about 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.Thoughts: Violet has just been arrested for being caught outside with a boy, which is against the rules. There are many things that are against the rules and with her match, Zenn; Vi has broken eight of them. However, this crime doesn't fit the punishment, she is being sent to the Badlands and until then she gets locked up in a cell with the strange boy, Jag. She finds it odd that the very crime she commits, that they would do such a thing...nothing makes sense but she will soon learn that everything is much more complicated than they seem. And her cooperation is important for those that want her to gain power, yet Vi has other ideas.
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.
I like the characters, though they are extremely moody and cry a lot. Vi comes off as an explosive character with a short fuse. She can go from happy to angry in seconds then to crying the next. Jag is an intriguing character, though he is more of a puzzle. He closes off his emotions to Vi and then sometimes he opens up to her, leaving himself raw...he also cries, too. I like the scenes with the two of them together and watching their feelings blossom, though it happens rather quickly. They both are important because they have the ability to manipulate people with their special talents. Vi appears to have more sensitivity to technology and the mind controlling. I did find parts of the dialogue confusing, specifically when she was in Jag's dreams but the way Violet describes it as if she is Jag and I don't feel like the transitions into the change in perspective flowed very well with the pace of the rest of the book.
I really like the idea of this world, though I am curious how the fact that the people can control minds, so why do they need the tech? I do want to know how this is going to pan out in the next book. Overall, though slow at times this is an okay read about a unique dystopian world.
Author: Elana Johnson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication: June 5, 2012
Source: Publisher via Book Tour
Synopsis: Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…Thoughts: In this installment of the series, Vi has been brainwashed into forgetting about Jag and Raine, her new roomie, is responsible for making sure that doesn't change. Raine along with Zenn are playing both sides as that is the best way to gaining control and the key to helping Vi remember who she is. Gunner, the boy Raine has been attempting to recruit forever holds the clue to spearheading the resistance against the government control. As the get closer to finding the answer, things start spiraling faster out of control and lines start to blur...making it even harder to decipher who is true to the cause and who is just playing the game.
Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....
Raine is not as outwardly strong a character as Vi, though she does toe the line of being a good citizen and a rebel, she is afraid to leave Freedom. It feels like she still trying to discover where she fits into all this chaos. Raine has such an emotional battle that she goes through in this book, which is understandable because she is living a secret life that she is trying to keep hidden from her father. I did like this one part where she showed some fire towards the end. Gunner is okay, though the romance between him Raine is sweet, the constant battle to gain some control of their own circumstances seems to interfere with them getting to pursue it more. Basically, the rules forced upon them keep them apart as well as the fight to be free. The most well played character would have to be Thane Meyers, who is also Vi's father. He is an enigma, and he surprises me in this book, I just don't know what to expect from him and I'm wondering what he has planned for the crew in the next book. The ending was okay, though it seems similar to the how the first book ended. Overall, though the pace is slow, this is an okay read for those that like a technological aspect mixed into a dystopian theme.
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