Friday, June 21, 2013

Acid by Emma Pass [REVIEW]

AUTHOR: Emma Pass
PUBLISHER: Corgi Children's Books,
  Random House Children's Publishing

PUB DATE: Apr 25 2013

Summary from Goodreads:

"2113. In Jenna Strong’s world, ACID – the most brutal, controlling police force in history – rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed – or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID – and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago."


Acid is a story told of a world a hundred years from now. This future world is controlled by the brutal, dictatorial ACID, which stands for Agency for Crime Investigation and Defense. Here, we meet Jenna Strong, the only female inmate in an all-male high security prison for a crime she can barely remember doing. She is given a chance for freedom when a group of rebels decided to break her out of prison. Now, she must learn to fight this oppressive government and eventually learn the truth behind the darkest days of her past.

The plot was very well laid out and I really liked the world building. Also, the fact that although this was a hundred years in the future, the author managed to make the sci-fi terms very simple and easy to settle in.

I also think the news clips, letters, feed updates, etc made excellent side stories and fill-ins between events that occurred in the book. It was a creative note from the usual way of having the protagonist tell the story through his/her point-of-view.

What I admire most was seeing a rebellion against a domineering government try to fight for their rights in a less aggressive way. They would go through the formal process, though it may be a slow progress, even though ACID had the upper hand. It’s nice to find a story that shows there are other ways to fight off cruelty without resulting to violence themselves.

There were a few things that bothered me about this book:

First, I think it was a little short on the love story. Although much as I like that Jenna is taking matters into her own hands and she’s a whole lot of bad-ass, I wish Max was given a bit more purpose in all this; it would have probably given a bit more foundation to the love interest between them.

Second, I wish the story about Jenna’s past was told in a more creative way than a long stretch of conversation between Jenna and her mother. Like I mentioned earlier, I like the news clips, snippets and all, they were very creative so the whole conversation was kind of a letdown. It was not that emotionally attaching as I hoped it would be.

Lastly, [I’m still torn whether this was a flaw or not] the last parts: chasing and action scenes were a bit overpowering. But I still enjoyed it, although maybe my anxiousness got the best of me that everything turned out to be a little too much.

I’ve always been excited over novels by debut authors. Each year, there would be new authors introduced and I always envision they’d bring about fresh and thrilling stories. I know it’s a lot of pressure but it can’t be helped. This year is just my second time in joining the YA Debut Author Challenge, and with all the amazing books and authors I’ve been introduced to in 2012, I was expecting 2013 to top it off.

Sadly, I started off badly with the debut novels I’ve read this year. I was starting to lose interest and I was already thinking about withdrawing from the challenge. But then, my copy of Acid came in the mail from the Book Depository. So, I thought, “let’s see if this would get me to change my mind...” Imagine my relief when I found Acid an enjoyable book to read! So thank you Emma Pass for motivating me to continue on with my DAC.

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