Title: The Hunt
Author: Andrew Fukuda
Genre: YA Dystopian
Series: The Hunt (Book 1)
Publication Date: May 8, 2012
Format: Hardcover, 293 Pages
ISBN-10: 1250005140 (Mac Teen)
ISBN-13: 978-1250005144 (Mac Teen)
Reviewed by: Kayla
Don’t sweat. Don’t laugh. Don’t draw attention to yourself. And most of all, whatever you do, do not fall in love with one of them.
Gene is different from everyone else around him. He can’t run with lightning speed, sunlight doesn’t hurt him, and he doesn’t have an unquenchable lust for blood. Gene is human, and he knows the rules. Keep the truth a secret. It’s the only way to stay alive in a world of night–a world where humans are considered a delicacy and hunted for their blood.
When he’s chosen for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to hunt the last remaining humans, Gene’s carefully constructed life begins to crumble around him. He’s thrust into the path of a girl who makes him feel things he never thought possible–and into a ruthless pack of hunters whose suspicions about his true nature are growing. Now that Gene has finally found something worth fighting for, his need to survive is stronger than ever–but is it worth the cost of his humanity?
Quick and Dirty: A boy tries to survive living with a society of vampires. Dark. Mysterious. Deep. This book has lots of questions surrounding what it means to be human.
Opening Sentence: There used to be more of us.
This book absolutely floored me. I was not expecting the plot, the characters, or the world. Phew. Very tiring book. But great world-building. Scratch that. Amazingly-awesome world building! This is a world where vampires rule. A world where humans are almost extinct, yet some can hide right under their noses. Gene (if you didn’t read the synopsis, you wouldn’t know his name until the middle of the book because nobody has names. Only designations depending on where you sit in school) is a human that hides by getting rid of anything that makes him human. All emotions, twitches, coughing, sneezing, BO, and body hair are gone. Down the drain. If someone so much as squints, they’re goners. And try resisting when you’re awake and active during the night. Vampires are the normal. Sleeping upside down is normal. So when Gene wins a raffle to be in the next Heper (human) Hunt, his life gets a million times harder. Leaving school without his supplies to keep him looking and smelling human, he’s taken to the Heper Institute that supposedly researches humans. But besides his own body, he has to worry about the girl from his school that also won — Ashley June. A girl that he’s always liked, but it would be impossible to love.
World building. I cannot get over how detail-oriented Fukuda is. He picks apart everything it means to be human. Smell, looks, personality. Then he puts a human in the middle of a vampire society and this is The Hunt. It’s about a human trying not to be human. No, wishing. A human wishing he wasn’t human. But throughout the entire book, he learns that being human isn’t despicable like everyone in the society says. He has to “remember who you are,” a rule his father reminded him of once every now and then.
Need to learn how to have a poker face? Gene has it down to an art. He’s been taught from the very beginning the rules of being a human in a vampire world. It’s the only thing he knows. The only thing that matters to him. He’s a pretty gutsy character. And strong. He must be if, really, his life has no purpose except survive. Survive and live another day. Pretty brutal, if you ask me.
So I was pretty leery about the romance in this book. Guy’s perspective and all that. But as you get to know Ashley June, she has more than just the popular girl layer. She has some backbone and isn’t afraid to show it.
Fukuda is such a witty writer! This could be part of being detail-oriented, but the descriptions were amusing and clever. The first person took some getting used to, especially if you’re used to girl perspectives. In fact, when I started reading it the first word that popped into my head was weird. But once you get used to that, the whole book was pretty good.
“You’ll answer to–”
“The Director? Sorry, but I’ve already heard this speech. Now get out.” I see the smallest and youngest of them, a girl no older than me, clutching her makeup bag. She’s afraid, and for an instant I feel a stab of sorrow for her. “Look, don’t worry. Leave a makeup kit and a mirror here; we can put it on ourselves. Now get out.”
They offer little resistance after that.
“That was close,” Ashley June says after the front doors close. A look of horror suddenly crosses her face. “Get out!”
I spin around, expecting to see one of the staffers still lurking.
“No, you! Close your eyes. Close them, I said! Now get out!”
“What’s going on?”
“You’re not supposed to see me yet. Not until I’m completely ready. Go, already!”
I blink. Ashley June: such a romantic at heart. Even in the moments after imminent death, apparently.
The Hunt Series:
1. The Hunt
2. The Prey (January 22, 2013)
FTC Advisory: St. Martin’s Griffin/Macmillan provided me with a copy of The Hunt. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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