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I Belong

Review: Feuds by Avery Hastings


AuthorAvery Hastings

Genre: YA Dystopian

Series: The Feuds Series (Book #1)

Publication Date: September 2, 2014

Format: Hardcover, 272 Pages

ISBN-10: 125005771X (MacTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-1250057716 (MacTeen)

Reviewed by: Kaitlin


In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.

For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold–and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world…in Avery Hastings’s Feuds.

Quick & Dirty: I really enjoyed this novel, though I wish the focus had been more on the plot than the romance.

Opening Sentence: It was the grand pas classique.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

In Feuds, Priors have been created, the perfect, beautiful, strong humans that have been genetically enhanced. Imps are “imperfects”, regular people like you and I, who are looked down upon by the Priors. Davis is a Prior, and her father is running for office, while Cole is doing cage-fights as an Imp, because it’s the only way he can earn money to support his family. When Cole is ordered to get close to Davis and take a picture of him kissing her — the Imp and the Prior— he enters her world, and is surprised by the strong connection he feels towards her. A deadly disease affecting only the Priors, a discriminatory society, and her father’s campaign just might tear the two star-crossed lovers apart. Or worse: kill them.

I liked the duel point of views in Feuds, though Cole’s chapters were my favorite. They were generally more action-packed, though both characters were wonderfully diverse, with realistic and relatable emotions.  In my opinion, the characters were the strongest point of this story. I really, really enjoyed them. You got to see as both of them worked through what was going on with the mysterious disease. They had different passions, and different ways of life. They were just very different people, that contrasted highly. Davis was rich, with a powerful daddy, one of the elite Priors. On the other end of the social structure there was Cole, a Gen, or “Imp”, someone who is imperfect. I especially liked how Davis described ballet, something she was clearly passionate about, and how she worked so hard for her position as a respected ballerina just waiting to earn her spot in the Olympiads.

Cole and Davis had such different lives, but they managed to work well together. Their relationship was cute, and the chemistry was clearly there. They managed to make each other better people, and being together opened eyes to flaws in their former reasoning. Being together, they developed into different, stronger people with good moral compasses. I liked their relationship, though it moved pretty fast, and was a clear case of insta-love. Gag. Thankfully enough, I enjoyed each of them as individuals to not let the love-at-first-sight thing get on my nerves too badly, and I did enjoy them as a couple. They leaned on one another, something that I appreciated. Even Cole could give his testosterone a rest for a second and cry in front of Davis. It was adorable how she comforted him.

The world-building in the book is something I wish could have been improved. There was this whole issue of the bias between Gens and Priors. Davis’s dad was running for office, his campaign boasting that he was for complete segregation between Gens and Priors. It was a world full of discrimination and I wish Davis had more of an intention to fix that. The romance was basically the main focal point of the story, which bothered me. The world’s problems faded into the distance somewhat. It was rather like The Selection series in that manner. I hope that in book two, with the relationship established, the more pressing problems like the unfairness of the world will come to light and be focused on more.

Altogether, I really did enjoy this book. It had a simple but pretty writing style with amazingly-made characters. I wish it had used the “show, don’t tell” rule more, but that barely bothered me. There were a couple of unsuspected plot twists that will obviously be explored more in book two: speaking of book two, where is it? I don’t even see a title! The pacing is a bit slow in the first half, but it speeds up a lot in the second, with Davis taking more and more risks. I wish Cole had been more honest with Davis in a certain scene, that was the only time I disliked his character. Something I will say is that the concept of the FEUDS did play a part in the story, but I felt that it faded to the background after the first couple chapters. Another comment of mine is that there were a lot of moments where things seemed convenient for the characters, as if the author didn’t want to spend an extra page where they figured out the problem. I think that people who enjoyed the star-crossed love of Romeo and Juliet will enjoy this book, especially if you are a dancer. I’m sure you’ll relate well to Davis!

Notable Scene:

It was ridiculous. It was impossible.

Freedom was one thing. It was remote, but still possible, maybe, if he could win FEUDS. With enough ambition, hard work, and drive.

But a freedom, in which he and Davis were together. Impossible.

And freedom without her took on a different meaning. It felt like just another set of trappings.

The Feuds Series:

0.5 Rival

1. Feuds

2. Torn (July 21, 2015)


FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan provided me with a copy of Feuds. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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