Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3442
Mother knows best
Overall rating 
 
3.0
Plot 
 
3.0
Characters 
 
3.0
Writing Style 
 
3.0
Generally speaking, YA dystopians and I don’t get along. I hold every dystopian novel I read up to the measuring stick of A Clockwork Orange, and really, there’s no way to beat that, especially in a book intended for a 15-year-old audience.

I was informed, however, that Renegade by J.A. Souders has a strong mind-control/psychological manipulation theme to it, which I was all over. Kids killing each other in an arena? Cool. Somebody taking over another person’s thoughts and focing/compelling him or her to think a certain way? I am ALL OVER THAT. For serious.

Renegade is about Evie, who’s basically a princess in an underwater bubble. Evie has some memory loss issues, and when a boy shows up from the Surface, she begins to question her life, and after like, two days, she and the boy fall “In love”. Except for the memory loss, this all sounds like typical dystopian fare. However, I must say that Renegade was actually quite good.

The mind control and memory loss were definitely the big attractors with this book, and I thought J.A. Souders delivered exactly what I was hoping to find. Evie’s thought processes were well done and realistic. As little layers of Mother’s real self were revealed bit by bit, things became more and more clear, and I found the whole scenario to be fairly fascinating.

Evie, Gavin, Mother, and all the others were decent characters. I wouldn’t say that Souders potrayed anything “new” or “exciting” by way of personality types, but I was never upset by Renegade’s characters for being shallow or unrealistic.
Souder’s writing was also good, though I did have issues with it. Especially in the beginning, a lot of the scenes lacked spatial awareness, which ended up making things somewhat confusing. For instance, if Evie was in Gavin’s jail cell, and she would make an action, I would have no idea where she was in relation to the door, the wall, or the hallway outside. Without that it was hard to visualize what exactly was going on in a particular setting.

Like I said, I’m not a big fan of dystopian fiction, but all in all, I liked Renegade a lot and thought it was a very good book. I had issues with world-building (I always do), and though I wouldn’t say this is a book to rush out and buy immediately, I enjoyed it a lot. J.A. Souders did a very good job here.
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