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Young Adult Indie 308
You can't outrun your destiny but you may be able to fight it
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What Worked: This book had Hunger Games vibes while creating a new world. This was a unique take on the ‘chosen one’ theme. Monroe Benson was born goddess-touched, marking her as one of ten girls that will compete to the death for the hand of Prince Cohen when he is old enough to marry. However, instead of embracing her destiny, her family listed her as a boy on her birth certificate and then moved to the farthest, poorest section of the country to raise her.
She does not go quietly to the culling and once forcibly found and taken to the Palace, she uses her new friendship with the prince to try to get him to change the culling so she doesn’t have to become a killer or a victim. There are many books where the character nobly accepts her fate. It was refreshing and realistic that she never stopped speaking out against the system even as she is forced to train and prepare.
There were a couple of convenient plot aids that I thought for the longest time were plot holes. Such as the way the Priestess knew where to look for her, in the beginning, to get her to the culling and the easy relationship the prince has with her and only her out of the ten girls. I was pleasantly surprised when they are addressed later in the book and do make sense that it happened the way it did and that Monroe and us the audience would only find out about it later.
Final Verdict: This was a book that gained momentum as the stakes get direr and the relationship deeper. The copy I have does not mention a sequel, but with the way it ended, I think there will have to be. At first, this was a casual read for me. Then everything built into a nonstop series of events that made me keep turning the pages fully engaged to the end. I believe readers will be surprised at the plot twists and enjoy the story as it unfolds.
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