I’ve been struggling with reading recently. I’ve started lots of books, and got quite a way into some of them, got interrupted by life and just never really felt like going back. I hate it. It’s kind of untidy in my head, half started stories, but none of them dragging me back, all feeling rather more like hard work than I want my reading to be. It was putting me off starting anything else, but then, I got accepted to review Acid by Emma Pass via Netgalley.
I’ve seen a lot of good feedback on this one, and I’m sure I’d read an excerpt somewhere, though I couldn’t tell you where. I know I enjoyed it anyway.
Here are my goodreads updates as I got going:
Immensely readable, I was instantly drawn in and desperate to find out everything. There are lots of twists and turns, Jenna is catapulted through a chaotic journey from imprisonment to freedom, hiding from the state, to attempting to overthrow it.
Unlike many other heroines about at the moment there’s little self doubt or loathing in Jenna and that makes a refreshing change. She’s strong and self reliant but not averse to the idea of friendship or love, and it’s good to come across a female lead who is someone I think I’d actually enjoy spending time with.”
I loved this. It’s first person present tense, which seems increasingly common at the moment, but I didn’t actually notice until chapter 22. I was too busy just enjoying the story. Unlike much other dystopian YA, there’s not an awful lot of soul searching going on – the world around is drawn bleakly but clearly, and while there were a few small holes (just where *does* the money/food come from for the anarchist group if everything is so tightly controlled by the state?) none of them were so glaring as to interrupt my enjoyment of the story.
Jenna is a fairly normal teenager under the hard shell she’s grown to survive the environment she’s found herself in. (A top security prison at the start of the book.) There are glimmerings of romantic feelings beginning to break through, but unlike many other YA I’ve read, they aren’t the be all and end all, nor do they have to be consummated (!) instantly regardless of what else is going on. Nice to meet a girl not controlled by her hormones or peer pressure in the form of expected behaviour. Expected by readers that is I think, which is why very often these things feel falsely forced into the story. No dissonance of that type here, so nothing detracting from the narrative.
There are a couple of twists, not least when Jenna receives a completely makeover into a new person. Another thing that isn’t explained is how come people’s faces can be changed so easily and completely, but I suppose we have to assume a future world would have come up with some new technologies. Odd to have focussed on these though I think.
My verdict on this one – a great yarn, far more suitable for younger teens than a lot of dystopian fiction I’ve read recently (some violence, couple of deaths but not graphic, threatening behaviour and hints towards sex but none actually occurs. As always, if you’re concerned about what your children are reading, read it yourself first!) Really looking forward to seeing more from this author.
Disclosure. I received a ecopy of this book free from Random House for review via NetGalley. Book link above is an affiliate link to Hive. If you buy via it you are supporting independent bookshops as well as me