Author: Bethany Wiggins
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: Stung (Book 2)
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Format: Hardcover, 320 Pages
ISBN-10: 0802734200 (Bloomsbury)
ISBN-13: 978-0802734204 (Bloomsbury)
Reviewed by: Bridget
Now that Fiona Tarsis and her twin brother, Jonah, are no longer beasts, they set out to find their mother, with the help of Bowen and a former neighbor, Jacqui. Heading for a safe settlement rumored to be in Wyoming, they plan to spread the cure along the way–until they are attacked by raiders. Luckily, they find a new ally in Kevin, who saves them and leads them to safety in his underground shelter. But the more they get to know Kevin, the more they suspect he has ties to the raiders. He also seems to know too many details about Jacqui and her family—details that could endanger them all. For the raiders will do anything they can to destroy the cure that would bring an end to their way of life. Bethany Wiggins’s reimagining of our world after an environmental catastrophe won’t fail to stun readers.
Quick & Dirty: Cured was a fantastic sequel and a really fun read. It has action, romance, and wonderful characters. I would highly recommend this to anyone that is looking for a great YA dystopian read.
Opening Sentence: A person can survive on sixty pounds of beans and three hundred pounds of rice a year.
Jacqui Bloom hasn’t left her house in years. Once the bee virus spread and society fell apart, Jacqui and her family have lived to protect each other. They weren’t lucky enough to be admitted to live in the city so they have fended for themselves out with the beasts and raiders. It isn’t safe for anyone, but it is especially unsafe for any females. There is a shortage of women so the raiders will pay 7 years worth of food to anyone that captures females for them. Because of this, Jacqui cut off all her hair and became Jack to everyone.
Jack’s brother Dean left a year ago to help Fiona and Jonah’s mother get to the rumored settlement in Wyoming, but Dean never returned. Now Jack is determined to find out what happened to her brother and she enlists the help of Fiona and Bowen to make the journey. On the way they make an unlikely ally, Kevin. He helps them to escape the raiders, but there is something about him just doesn’t add up. He has extensive knowledge about the raiders and he seems to know more about Jack than he should. Can they trust him or will he reveal secrets that are likely to get them killed?
Jack was such a wonderful protagonist that I totally loved. It has been years since she has left the confines of her home, and for all that time she learned how to survive if the time ever came for her to leave. She is a good shot and can outrun pretty much anyone. I loved that she was strong and could take care of herself, but at the same time she still had lots of insecurities. She has been pretending to be a boy for years now, which has kept her safe, so when it comes to acting on any feminine feelings she feels awkward. It was endearing to watch her try to flirt and not be so boyish all the time. I also liked that she owned up to the mistakes she made and tried to right any of the wrongs she had committed. You really get to see Jack grow and come of age throughout the story. There were so many things that drew me to Jack and I really enjoyed reading her story.
Kevin was a very intriguing character that was very mysterious. I’m not going to go into a lot of detail about him because I don’t want to spoil anything, but I had to gush about him just a little bit. He is a total cutie and the way he treated Jack was so sweet. From the very beginning, I wanted to love him, but you just don’t know if you can trust him or what his motives are. I loved getting to know his story and felt he was a great love interest.
Cured was just a fun dystopian book that was entertaining to read. It has a lighter tone than most dystopian novels and to me it was refreshing. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t full of action or even some violence, because it has both of those, it just wasn’t overdone like some books are. The romance in the novel did have a tad insta-love feel to it, but for some reason that didn’t bother me at all like it normally does. I thought that Jack and Kevin were really cute together and given Jack’s circumstances, I could see how it would be easy to fall in love quickly. I was pleasantly surprised by some of the plot twists in the story and the pacing of the book was spot on. Once I sat down to read this, I got so engrossed that I ended up finishing it in one sitting. I personally loved the first book in this series, and I thought this was a great addition to the series. Cured brings a whole new cast of characters to the wonderful setting that was created in Stung, but rest assured you get to see all your favorite characters from the first book as well. Wiggins has such amazing writing that is engaging and easy to get lost in. I am a huge fan of her work and will gladly read anything she comes out with in the future. I would highly recommend this series to anyone that is looking for a lighter, yet very entertaining YA dystopian series.
He nods. “And all I could think about when it happened is what I would regret not doing if he killed me.”
The look in his eyes makes my breath come a little faster. I quickly look back at his hand and pull a thick chunk of wood out of his skin. “What would you regret? ” A drop of blood oozes out of the hole the splinter left. Using my knuckles, I wipe the blood away. Kevin leans to the side and I look at him. He is staring over my shoulder, out the kitchen door.
I whip around and follow his gaze. There’s nothing there— everything is quiet in the other room. “What are you looking for? ” I whisper, still staring out the door.
“Jack, I know you’re not twelve, and I know you’re . . .”
I turn and face him, and my heart starts pounding. Kevin’s eyes are intense, his pupils huge. He intertwines his fingers with mine and then leans in so close that our lips touch. I freeze, unable to move, to breathe, and stare at his bright eyes. His mouth smiles against mine, and then his eyes close and his lips part the slightest bit. His hand leaves mine, moving to cradle the back of my head. I lay my trembling hands fl at on the table, close my eyes, and let my lips soften.
FTC Advisory: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC provided me with a copy of Cured. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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