After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.
When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.
Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.
The Union is a futuristic young adult romantic adventure.
Read my review and an excerpt from The Union, then enter a giveaway!
first, I’ve had a crazy busy week. NonStopRunning. I’ll post about that later…but I LITERALLY just finished reading The Union. I really don’t like reading my tour books the NIGHT BEFORE MY STOP but I literally had no other choice.
In fact, the last few books I’ve read have been less than impressive. So I was really crossing my fingers.
I didn’t even need to do that.
This book was ……pfft. pshh. I can’t even…I don’t even have a word for it. I can’t find one.
First, the writing was impeccable. It was tight and lean, no unnecessary chapters or random plot lines. It all mattered, and it was all precise. It even used one of my favorite methods, which I refer to as “chapter capping” Which is my own slang for when authors use sentences or phrases, and then repeat them later. When it’s repeated later, you have information that makes you see that sentence in a different light. It gives me tingles whenever I see these. Words, used right.
Second, was two of the main characters.
Guys, I’m invested now. Seriously invested. I need to know what happens next. (Good thing I have a second tour date for a review of Book #2 – The Ruins)
I’m team Cyrus all the way man. All the freakin way. I’m going to turn into an angry green rage monster if she doesn’t end up with Cyrus. Ok, so I know way more important things are going on in this book. I mean, we are talking about a third North American civil war here.
….But I’m allowed to have my cake and eat it too, right? I can love both aspects equally. I don’t get super attached to most fictional characters.
But these characters got to me.
Yes, Evan is a bit dramatic at the beginning (but I didn’t find it overboard at all.) Then stuff happens. I liked how Hernandez didn’t back down. She asked, what’s the worst thing that could happen right now, and she didn’t hold back the worst. She did have a line, which is necessary. She didn’t just make Evan lose all the time. But there were some pretty devastating events.
Then, more stuff happens, and she gets retrospection. Her life changes, and it’s awesome. Again, nothing barred. There was a natural progression of relationships, and the plot unfolded fantastically. It was extraordinarily well paced. It kept my attention until the very end.
I loved her Ruins family. It made me feel. I had feels, guys. I had feels. Evan learned that families can be made, and not just from biological relations. It was so fuzzy and inspiring to see this rag tag band of kids, really, become such a devoted family to each other. It warmed my heart, because I have a ‘made’ family too. I have some blood relatives, but most people I consider my ‘family’ aren’t related to me at all!
I also LOVE that Evan didn’t completely lose her mind over a boy, I love that. She didn’t fall in love and throw her IQ points to the wind, like some other YA heroines tend to do. (note: I hate this word. It sounds too much like heroin to me. I need to do something about it.) She has natural doubts and fears, which sometimes overcome her….yet… she doesn’t come off as…forced.
You know, when you read a book where you know that this super intellegent MC is going to do this really stupid thing and it’s going to fail, and you feel like it’s just been shoved in the book to make other stuff happen? Yeah, that. That doesn’t happen here.
She does have a few moments where her emotions get the better of her. She does rash and stupid things… But those incidents didn’t dominate the novel! I loved how sensible she was.
And not only how sensible she was, but how sensible Cyrus was.
A lot of the characters were actually really sensible.
Cyrus’s loyalty to his family was beautiful. I want a boy like Cyrus. Even though he was still a teenage boy (a la make-outs,) he was a hard worker, he wanted to protect his family (in a non-Neanderthal way) and he would do absolutely anything for his family.
In the end of The Union, he proved how far he would go for them.
It was heartbreaking.
I liked how even though it took place in the future, that The Ruin had a great Wild West feel to it. Love it.
I highly recommend this book for ANYONE looking for a great dystopian read.
My only other question? Why the heck didn’t I read this earlier?! Ugh.
Alrighty, you ready for the excerpt?!
Here’s a fun teaser from later in the book
Click to expand
Once the sun rises, I can make out trees in the distance. Real trees with leaves, which means there must be water nearby. I’m not sure Ruins water is safe to drink, but I do know I’ll die if I don’t drink something.
Even though I’ve been walking for hours, the trees don’t seem to be getting any closer. My legs have taken on a sponge-like quality and I stumble, but manage to stay upright. If I fall, I may never get up again.
I’m almost to the trees. They’re only a little farther now.
There’s no water here. How can there be trees without water?
Despair overtakes me and I drop down, pounding my fists on the barren ground. I stuff a soft green leaf in my mouth, seeking moisture, but my mouth is so dry, I gag on the pieces, tearing my throat like shards of broken glass.
My head spins as I lie on my back and struggle to form coherent thoughts. I take a deep breath and tell myself to think. Think is such a strange word.Think, think, think. It doesn’t even sound English.
Shaking my head to clear my mind, I try to pull myself together, remembering where I am and forcing myself to focus on my immediate situation. What do the Buddhists call it? Being mindful.
My brain works to form rational thoughts, but there’s nothing rational about this. I left home to find my place in the world, is this really where my search was supposed to lead me? It’s more like a cruel joke. If I was on a date with destiny, it just took a bizarre turn into a twisted ending I never saw coming.
God, if only I hadn’t gone to the park that night, none of this would’ve happened. I begin to cry. For my family and friends who will never know what happened to me, and for me. I’m not ready to die, I’m only 17.
I can’t help wondering if I would have spent so much time agonizing over my future if I’d known I’d be dead so soon. If I’d known, maybe I’d have done everything differently. Now I know my future. My life ends here. Alone. In the Ruins.
You can even read 3 Chapters for free on Wattpad
Now for the GIVEAWAY!
Up for grabs is:
(1) $25 Amazon GC,
(2) $10 Amazon GC,
(5) $5 Amazon GCs