Author: Emma Pass
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Acquired Via: Around the World ARC Tours
Release Date: March 11, 2014
The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary.
When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?
Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.
I've been reading quite a few futuristic, sci-fi thrillers aimed at the YA audience lately, and ACID - Emma Pass' debut - is probably my favorite of what I've read lately.
There is little that I love more than a strong heroine in a well-constructed world, and Jenna Strong is just that. Her situation in ACID sucks, but she's a survivor. She knows that she belongs in prison for murdering her parents, but that doesn't mean she's willing to be trampled by the other inmates. She works out faithfully and kicks major ass as needed. What I liked most about her is that she questioned everyone, everything, and all motives whenever her situation changed. The one strike against Jenna with me was that she became a little TDTL in the name of love and loyalty toward the end of the novel. I wanted to smack her, but I understand the though behind her actions.
The other characters in ACID didn't really stand out all that much, but I admit that I've been having trouble connecting with secondary characters lately. Max was a decent love interest, but I realized that I had forgotten where he had come from not long after his arrival to the story. Jacob is...interesting... and I'm sure there will be more of him if ACID becomes a series.
The world-building in ACID was based on an intriguing concept. England became a military police state in the future, and ACID controlled everything. There was no free press, marriages were arranged (another common YA trend of late), and your entire life was essentially assigned to you. Anyone who committed a crime by stepping outside of their box (pretty much considered treason) was imprisoned. It was a harsh world, but fascinating.
I read ACID fairly quickly and sneaked away from Life often to follow Jenna's story. I doubt that I'll ever say this again, but I really feel like ACID should have been multiple books. I do love how some YA novels rush quickly through scenes, but I felt that I was missing something at times. Don't get me wrong - I was never confused or at all in the dark. However, I would've enjoyed a little more meat.
Though I had few minor issues with ACID, I very much enjoyed the story. I think futuristic thrillers are the new black for YA in 2014, and you should defnitely check out this addition to the genre in February. (If you can't wait that long, you can order the UK edition, which released in April, from Fishpond.)
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Fishpond (US Edition)
To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book briefly for reviewing purposes through Around the World ARC Tours in exchange for an honest review. The book was likely provided to the tour by the publisher or author, which has in no way affected the outcome of my review. All opinions expressed are rambling, honest, and completely my own.