From the second I saw this in the Tor Teen Book Buzz at ALA Midwinter, I wanted to read it. Not only did it sound fantastic, it looked fantastic (see (1) below). So color me excited when I got my hands on a sweet ARC to read!
RENEGADE by J. A. Souders (Tor Teen, November 13, 2012)
Here are five things I have to say about RENEGADE:
1) I adore this cover! It's seriously one of the most intriguing (and beautiful) covers I've seen in ages. From the colors to the hair, dress, and body language of the girl, it completely drew me in and made me want to read it.
2) There is repetition in the novel done for effect, and I loved it. Seriously, it brought a smile to my face as I turned the page and started the new chapter. I enjoyed looking for the small changes and seeing where the story diverged. And it totally helped me understand and sympathize with the main character, Evelyn.
3) So I'm guessing this is the start of a trilogy, and lots of times, in the first book of a trilogy, we're left wondering at the end, "how did things ever get like this?" It made me so happy that RENEGADE explained the world and how it had come to be in its current dystopic state. Sure, that may change or we may not have the whole truth, but for now, I have my explanation and am happy.
4) I have to mention the romance, because I really loved seeing how the main characters were pushed/pulled together. I enjoyed watching their trust of each other grow alongside their feelings. Neither character is perfect. Both have some serious issues. But together, they are fabulous!
5) It's like MATCHED meets SERENITY, under the ocean. RENEGADE is packed with adventure, betrayal, deception, and romance. Highly recommended for girls (and boys who enjoy this type of book), seventh grade and up, fans of dystopian fiction!
Source of book: From publisher by request
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she's believed that everything is perfect. Her world. Her people. The Law. But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into Elysium's secluded little world, Evelyn comes to a startling realization: Everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren't under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster. Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb...and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.