Linked by Imogen Howson
Book One of the Linked series
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Rating: 4 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
What I Liked:
I'm actually kicking myself for not reading this one sooner! It's a gem in the YA science fiction world! I did NOT know that this book was futuristic, and highly dystopian. I thought it was a contemporary read with science fiction elements. That was one of the reasons why I put this off for so long - because the summary didn't seem that interesting, and I had been reading way to many thriller contemporaries at the time.
Well, I'm so glad that I eventually pulled this book up on my Kindle and started reading. I was actually in a car ride that was an hour long one way, so I had time. I was very surprised to find out within the first couple of chapters that this book is set in a futuristic society! Like, floating cars, space travel, all-electronic kind of futuristic. Like, The Jetsons, or Star Wars. I did not expect that! This fact immediately drew me in, and I began to read with enthusiasm.
So, Elissa (GREAT name, if I may say so myself!) isn't normal. She sees horrible things - hallucination, the doctors say, and it prevents her from doing so many things in life, like concentrating on school, sleeping well, and so on. What she finally realizes is that she is seeing someone else's experiences. Elissa realizes this just days before the big surgery to end the catastrophe in her mind, but Elissa decides that she is going to find the girl and save her.
Elissa finds the girl, and soon, they are on the run. They decide to leave their planet and go to another one, to hide Lin (Elissa's twin). They board Caden's ship. Caden is several years older than Elissa, and is the highly accomplished best friend of Elissa's older brother. Once, Elissa used to adore and look up to Caden - but that was before the hallucinations started - before Caden started acting pompous around her.
So, the majority of the book is based in Caden's ship. Elissa doesn't trust Caden, and so she doesn't tell him the trust about her and Lin until it is too late - and then things start to get interesting. I found that while the beginning of the book, on Elissa's planet, was somewhat dull and boring, the rest of the book (the majority) was EXCELLENT. Fast-paced, interesting, and filled with heart-pounding goodness.
The story is told in Elissa's point-of-view, and not once was I frustrated by Elissa or her thinking. She's a tough person, and she doesn't put up with much, especially from Lin. yet she's so protective of Lin, and even Caden, as she tries to keep Caden in the dark about their fugitive status.
From the summary, I was wondering where the romance, if any, would come into play. As soon as we meet Caden (the first time he is introduced to characters is very quickly from the start of the book), and we see Elissa's negative thoughts about him, and her positive thoughts from their past, I had a feeling they would meet again in this book, and the romance would start there.
While there were no (or very, very little) physically swoony scenes, I found the relationship between Caden and Elissa very sweet. They don't reconcile until the very end, and so for the duration of the book, they are at odds. BUT, there are so many small, subtle things that Ms. Howson put in the novel that made the romance so beautiful. And there is no love triangle!
The ending is... WOW. So much happens at the very end - I could read it fast enough. As a novel, the ending wraps up very well, but you just know there is going to be at least one more book. And there another book! It's called Shattered. Woohoo!
What I Did Not Like:
Like I said before, I found Elissa's time on her planet (the very beginning of the book) sort of boring. I completely understand why the author did so much explaining and describing, and her world-building is amazing, but the time on the planet was boring. When Elissa and Lin were on the ship was much more interesting.
I know I said that I loved the sweetness and beauty of Caden and Elissa's relationship, but I was hoping for a little more. Both are private, somewhat shy people, so I didn't really expect them to have more of a physical relationship, but I was left feeling like there should have been more between them, at the end. Perhaps in the next book, I can hope to see more.
Would I Recommend It:
YES! I know for me, I wasn't really interested in this book at all, based on the summary. But after actually reading the book, I'm hooked! Just jump in and read it! Don't worry about the summary.
4 stars. I honestly can't wait to read the next book!
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