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I Belong

Early Review: Linked by Imogen Howson

Title: Linked

Author: Imogen Howson

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Series: Linked Series

Publication Date: June 11, 2013

FormatHardcover, 368 Pages

ISBN-10: 1442446560 (Simon Pulse)

ISBN-13978-1442446564 (Simon Pulse)

Reviewed byBridget


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.

Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.

Quick & Dirty: Very intense interesting story with some great twists.

Opening Sentence: As Elissa and her mother entered the waiting room, the sky above Central Canyon City was a chill, pre-dawn gray, the spaceport a colorless blaze on the horizon.

Excerpt: No

The Review:

Elissa would do anything to make her hallucinations so away.  Elissa is a 17 year old girl and for about 3 years now she has been having vivid hallucinations that are painful and leave bruises all over her body.  She has tried everything and gone to so many different doctors but nothing has ever helped.  The hallucinations have basically ruined her social life; all her friends eventually stopped talking to her because they thought she was doing it to get attention.  Her parents have tried everything but they don’t know what else to do.  Now there is a doctor that says he can cure everything with a simple brain procedure.  Elissa can’t wait because she is finally going to be normal.  A few days before the procedure she gets another hallucination but this one felt so real, she recognizes the place where it takes place.  She decides to go and take a look and she finds the source of all her problems.  It turns out that Elissa has a twin and they were separated at birth, but they have had a mental link that has never gone away.  Elissa’s twin just escaped from the facility that has kept her a captive her whole life.  The facility houses people that are called spares.  The spares were told that they aren’t fully human and that their lives don’t matter.  The spares go through many different experiments and when they are old enough the spares would disappear.  All the spares are electrokinetic , where they can control electric currents and other things as well.  Most of the experiments are very painful and the spares have a very hard life.

Together Elissa and Lin (the name they decide to use) need to escape.  The government is after them and their best option is to leave the planet.  Elissa grew up on the planet of Sekoia.  Space travel has been going on for years and people populate many of the different planets.  Elissa’s brother Bruce happens to work for Space Flight Initiative commonly known as SFI.  He has been training to become a pilot for years and has just got his first assignment to fly a cargo ship.  So Elissa decides to ask him for help with getting off the planet but it turns out he has been quarantined and won’t be making the journey after all.  His childhood best friend Caden Greythorn is going to take his place.  Caden has been an arrogant jerk to Elissa ever since he and Bruce left for flight school, but she honestly doesn’t have any other options for getting Lin to safety.  She makes up a story for Caden and he agrees to let them make the trip with him.  After boarding their flight they run into some problems, turns out the people that Lin escaped from want her back.  They will take extreme measures to insure that none of their secrets get out.

Elissa is our main character in this book.  She has a little bit of a “woe is me” attitude at times, but she gets better throughout the book.  She really does try to do what’s right, but at times it’s hard to decipher right from wrong in her world.  At times she is a little too trusting, but she learns from her mistakes.  She develops a strong connection with Lin, and in the end she is a strong likable character.

Lin is an interesting person, because of the way she grew up she trusts and cares about no one except for Elissa.  She has a spontaneous personality and tends to act before she thinks at times.  She has a hard time controlling her powers especially when she feels threaten or angry.  She really changes throughout the book and it’s nice to see who she develops into.  I really liked Lin from the beginning, even though she is a little rough around the edges and hard to get to know she really ends up having a big heart.

I think that Caden was actually my favorite character in this book.  Yeah, he comes across as arrogant at first but deep down he is actually a really great guy, and eventually Elissa realizes that she has misjudged him all these years.  He really tries to do the right thing even though he could lose everything in the process.  He has a soft spot for Elissa even though he has a hard time showing it.  He is cute and charming in his own way.

This book was a good read for me.  It moved a little slow a first and I got a little lost, but by the end everything came together nicely.  There is a lot of action and the world that Howson created is interesting and unique.  Right now this book is a standalone novel, but the ending was defiantly left open enough that there could be a sequel.  I hope that there is, I would love to learn more about the characters and what happens to them.  I would recommend this book to anyone that likes space books or sci-fi books.

Notable Scene

She was elsewhere.  In someone else’s body, looking through someone else’s eyes.

There was the cold, gritty feel of dried mud and grass beneath her curled-up legs, the taste of dust and metal in her mouth. All around the night pressed against her, thick, hot and full of noise. Something thundered over the bridge above her head, then faded into the distance; not the quiet rattle of a beetle-car, but the rumble belonging to a heavy-goods vehicle.

She was shivering, in bursts that hurt all over her skin. Her arm ached, the place where she’d torn her skin on the barbed fence throbbing in a pulse that kept rhythm with the pulse of her blood. The cut must have gotten infected. She’d been weak and sweaty since noon today, and now, around the hot red line on her skin, the flesh was hard and swollen, too painful to touch.

I don’t dare go back into the city; I can’t get into one of those medical centers without ID.

She’d thought she’d do better than this. Thought she’d been so clever. She was out, but she wasn’t any nearer to freedom than she’d been before she’d escaped.

She pulled her hooded top closer around her, shivering into it. But it didn’t help. The effort of moving sent another wave of cold through her body, and in her bones an ache began. She put her head down on her knees. If I sleep, maybe

I’ll feel better when I wake up.

Then a last thought, as the hazy darkness of fever-induced slumber took her. And if I don’t wake up, that will be a kind of freedom too . . .

Linked Series:

1. Linked (June 11, 2013)

2. Shattered (2014)

FTC Advisory: Simon & Schuster provided me with a copy of Linked. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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