I’m thrilled to be part of the Renegade Blog Tour hosted by Mundie Moms. I absolutely loved this book. Be sure to enter the giveaway at the end of this post!
Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been 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 thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.
But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come 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. ~ Goodreads
I was in no way prepared for the roller coaster ride that debut author J.A. Souders took me on with Renegade! I could barely tear myself away from this book when required to do important things, like go to my Dr.'s appointment. I seriously considered rescheduling lol
The tension is off the charts in Renegade. Tension within the plot, between the characters, just everything. I was almost always on pins and needles wondering what would be revealed next. Asking how this could possibly end well for anyone?
We just KNOW when we meet Evelyn that things aren't quite right. The very first line is this:
“My life is just about perfect.”
Two things. Life is never perfect. And I noticed she said "just about perfect". Life does seem kind of perfect at first but then…..
All hell breaks loose and Does. Not. Stop. Until the bitter end.
I'm not going to delve into the plot too much in my review because I'm so rarely surprised when I read these days and this book kept me guessing. I don't want to ruin it for anyone else.
At first I didn't think I could relate or like Evelyn but she is so much more than the barbie doll cutout from the cover she appears to be. I adore her. She's brave and intelligent when it would be much easier not to be.
Gavin, her love interest is another great character. He lets his girl take charge. He didn't feel cookie cutter YA boy to me. He doesn't have superpowers, he just does what needs to be done. I really enjoyed his complete trust in Evie and occasional awkwardness.
I've read a few reviews that mentioned there was insta-love (which I hate) between Evie and Gavin. I didn't see it that way though. I felt they had insta-partnership due to life threatening circumstances. It does develop into more of course but I think what they do for each other to survive says something about them as people and how could you not form a connection?
The world building is phenomenal. I was torn between wanting to stay in Evie's world because it was this beautiful undersea, magical utopia and hoping Evie and Gavin could get the hell out of there knowing that there was darker side of that beauty.
The dark side of utopia. Oh man, this got real dark at times. Because of one person. A very, very, very, evil person.
There were quite a few instances where I was getting impatient, thinking this moment/statement doesn't make sense or match up with what I already knew but then the next chapter would whip me around and present a new truth to me and all the pieces clicked.
Despite all the darkness, there was also a generous amount of levity sprinkled throughout. A few scenes regarding certain "coupling" duties had me falling off my couch laughing. It is seriously one of the best paragraph's I think I've ever read.
Rating: 4 out of 4 Renegade is a brilliant, intense, chilling debut. Set aside a good chunk of time when pick this one up. It is unputdownable! I was left with dozens of questions but the main adventure for this book is wrapped up nicely.
Author: website | Twitter | Blog | Tor Teen
Source: Review copy provided by the publisher for my honest review
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Tor Teen is giving away one finished copy (hardcover) of Renegade. Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter.
US/Canada only | Ends December 16th 12:00am ET a Rafflecopter giveaway