You Read What? Book Review: Linked

Author: Imogen Howson

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

  • Imprint: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Date Published:  June 11th 2013

Format: ARC (Advance Reader’s Copy). Paperback.

Source: From the publisher for an honest review

Synopsis:

Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.

Number of Days It Took to Read: 2

Cover: 

Linked

This cover is a serious contender for best cover of the year because…LOOK AT IT! I normally don’t like covers with people on them because they always seem to come across as editorial or just mundane. Loving this one though.

The Writing Score: 4 out of 5

Recommendation: Must Read

Memorable or Forgettable: Memorable

Rating:  4.5 out of 5

Review:

I loved this book so much. It’s been a while since I’ve read a straight science fiction for young adults rather than a dystopian novel dressed up as sci-fi. Everything worked in this book and I’m seriously wondering how I can write a coherent review right now…

…Ok. This book is awesome on so many levels that I’m just going to list the ways:

Bad Ass Heroines: One of the discussions in young adult literature (and I guess in literature and media overall) is whether or not “bad ass” status of female characters should be evaluated solely on being able to kick ass physically. People have argued that there are other forms of strength and I agree completely which is why this book rocked so much. Elissa had great instincts, savvy thinking (aka street smarts) when it came to being on the run and keeping Lin safe, fiercely loyal and resilient beyond belief. Lin was so incredibly smart, caring and could put on a scary persona with ability to back it up if you pissed her off. Both of these ladies grew so much throughout the book which made all of these attributes shine so much brighter. They earned our admiration.

Less Lovey Dovey and more Sisterly Bonding: In young adult, there always seems to be this requirement to have a love story subplot no matter what the story is about. I’m not a huge fan of it but I also can’t deny it when it’s done well. In this story, there’s a bit of it but it’s so sub sub sub-plot that the relationship between Elissa and Lin outshines it and was just so much more interesting. I was really happy with this because I don’t see sibling relationships as a central focus often enough despite the fact that we live with them for most of our lives (unless you’re an only child). There was an issue that I had with how the lovey dovey stuff was handled in the book but I’ll get back to that later.

SCIENCE FICTION-Y STUFF: As you can tell from my all caps, I LOVED the world in which this story was based in. Thousands of years into the future. There were human colonies on different worlds/planets. Cool gadgets like a HAIR STRAIGHTENING SERUM THAT YOU JUST SQUEEZE INTO YOUR HANDS, RUB INTO YOUR HAIR AND INSTANT STRAIGHT HAIR (this needs to be a reality). There’s also the unique way in which Howson uses the concept of twins that was just…awesome. I wish I’d thought of it.

3rd Person Narration: Most of YA is written in 1st person but this book was written in 3rd person which was extremely refreshing. You don’t realize how much of something you get until you get something new. Linked was a much needed refresher. It was 3rd person limited so it still gave us the YA feel since we’re seeing everything through Elissa’s perspective. Howson’s writing made it so that I could relate to and feel what Elissa was feeling whether it was her anger or embarrassment (these are strong feelings for me in this book).

Overall, it was a great. I would have given it a 5 out of 5 but the very end felt a bit rushed or was cleaned up too nicely. Might have had something to do with the handling of the lovey dovey situation (can’t say anymore in order to avoid spoilers).

Definitely check this book out. 🙂

A. A. Omer

The opinions expressed here are mine and readers are welcome to disagree. In fact, I encourage it! I never believed in putting particular books or authors on some sort of universal pedestal but you’re free to put it on your individualized pedestal because I most certainly will.

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