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I Belong


Review: Drowned by Nichola Reilly

DrownedTitle: Drowned

Author: Nichola Reilly

Genre: YA Dystopia

Series: A Drowned Novel (Book #1)

Publication Date: June 24, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 304 Pages

ISBN-10: 0373211228 (Harlequin Teen)

ISBN-13: 978-0373211227 (Harlequin Teen)

Reviewed by: Zed

Synopsis:

Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

Quick & Dirty: Another unfortunately disinteresting read about the end of the world, which completely lacked humour.

Opening Sentence: I write things on the sand so I won’t forget them.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I tried to enjoy Drowned, I really did. But a book based on the apocalypse, with everyone counting down the tides until they drown to death, and in a world where everyone fights for themselves and there is no hope, is a leeeetle difficult to enjoy! The problem with such books is that the world-building isn’t believable or that it’s too realistic, and in this case the latter meant that I was beginning to feel anxious about my own upcoming doom! I could imagine the four hundred odd people scrambling around in their formation and huddling together when the tide got too close, unfortunately I could just as easily believe that some people would prey on the weak, making it survival of the fittest.

When someone disappears, we all assume the worst. Because the worst is usual.

There was absolutely no humour in the entire story, something I did not think was possible. I have no idea how so many characters manage to stay sane given the dire circumstances, I know for sure I wouldn’t have the strength. Coe is an odd heroine, in that she is not pretty, or skilled (she is the ‘Craphouse Keeper’ of the island) and has lost her arm in a ‘scribbler’ attack, but what sets her apart is her ability to love, something the people of Drowned have long forgotten.

The job of Craphouse Keeper, Ana told me when I assumed it when I was five, “always falls to the youngest person in the world.” But Tiam never had to shovel crap, and neither did Memory, the next youngest person in the world. And Fern is now the youngest, but when I pointed that out, Ana just shook her head and barked, “Be grateful.” It seems that either I am the greatest Craphouse Keeper in the world or they think shoveling crap is the best job a one-handed nobody should be entitled to.

Tiam added a teency bit of romance to the story, as well as the adventure and the spark that was definitely missing beforehand (he was probably the reason I gave this read a star at all). However, Coe and Tiam’s friendship needed much developing especially to make the romance believable. It was hard to contemplate why Tiam would go to such lengths for Coe when he hadn’t been speaking to her properly in recent years, but then why hadn’t they been speaking for years when their allocated spaces were within feet of each other? It just didn’t make sense…

I back away, grinding my teeth together so violently my jaw aches. Then without another word, I head away from him, down the shore. I know that what I need to do is stop myself from caring about Tiam. Just stay as far away as possible. Because if it hurts this much to lose a person you love, I don’t think I can live through it twice.

I found that the concept of Drowned was interesting, especially the addition of the diary that Coe reads. The problem was that my attention drifted too much whilst reading this book, there wasn’t enough to interest me to begin with so it was hard work to continue reading. If the first third of the book was more captivating and there had been some element of comedy, even if it was dry humour, I think it would have made a big difference!

Notable Scene:

I nod. My father never went anywhere without that blue kerchief. He’d tie it around his neck and use it to wipe the sweat from his forehead. Or he’d pull it over his forehead to keep the hair out of his eyes. “Where did they find it?”

“It washed ashore today.” He takes my hand and gently pools the fabric into it. It, like everything, is damp. “I thought you should have it.”

“Oh, Thanks,” I say calmly, even though the world’s crashing around me. And to think only a heartbeat ago I’d been having stupid, stupid daydreams that Tiam had asked me to go off with him because I was special to him. When, really, all he wanted to tell me was that everyone who ever cared about me is dead.

Drowned Series:

1. Drowned

2. Buried

skull1

FTC Advisory: Harlequin Teen provided me with a copy of Drowned. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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