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review 2014-11-26 01:00
DNF: Unravel (Linked #2)
Unravel - Imogen Howson

I have given up at not even the half way mark. I really, really want to like this, but Elissa's unending obnoxious internal monologue has made that impossible. 


And it's really too bad.


There is a beautiful chapter about consent that has nothing to do with sex. And some wonderful thoughts on the horror of discovering just how awful of things people are capable of doing.


But I cannot take any more of the whining relationship overthinking insecure bullshit narrator.


I think if this one had been written from Lin's perspective, I would have loved it even more than the first one. Alas.

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review 2014-07-08 23:26
Linked by Imogen Howson
Linked - Imogen Howson

Imogen Howson
Released: 11th June, 2013

Book Summary:

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.


What I like: Elissa was a very ordinary, if spoiled, girl from what we gather from before her hallucinations started to gather force. At the same time, she's different from that and we known she's fallen out from everyone because of something she doesn't understand and people have witnessed the side affects and not understood what was happening to her, so they shunned her, mocked her, and left her feeling out of what she wanted to be, ordinary. Lin is a clearly emotionally unstable and ignorant about how the world works, not to mention she seems to only seek the acceptance of Elissa, the one person she believes will help her despite being categorized as a "nonhuman". All the terms and technology we're introduced to gets explained in some form or fashion that makes it comprehensible to understand, which I really liked and the technology was actually believable.


What I didn’t like: On a personal opinion I didn't like Elissa and Lin's mother, especially the last time we see her. I thought what she did was incredibly revolting to do, especially trying to take her daughter's free will away over a procedure. I also felt like the romance was unnecessary, and it didn't really fit in to the plot very well.


Overall review: Going in to this book I didn't expect to enjoy it so much, I barely read the beginning of the summary since it was the cover that drew me in. I was hooked by the opening, I had to know why Elissa was at a doctors office, and I had to know what she seemed so afraid of. As the book progressed the fears did change, and a few new ones were added while some of them were resolved by the end of the book. The worldbuilding was done in drops, letting us know bits about the world Elissa grew up on and the galaxy she knew. It wasn't dumped onto us and we didn't learn everything about the galaxy or the planet she grew up on. We learned things when they became relevant to the plot, or are a good time to mention. The idea surrounding the book, giving twins of the far future a strange link and interesting powers, was something that I felt was different. It's a very good book, very well thought out and written.


Recommend?: Yes! I loved it so much! YA readers who enjoy Sci-Fi, and good worldbuilding should definitely read this one, but I make no promises about the sequel since I haven't read it yet!

Goodreads: 3.7/5    Amazon: 3.9/5    Barnes&Nobles: 4/5


My Rating: 4.8/5


Rated Material:

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review 2014-03-25 00:00
Linked - Imogen Howson What I thought was going to be a paranormal about twins who shared some sort of psychic link turned out to be a space opera, which was a nice surprise. I liked that Lin was flawed and she should be after the life she lived, but I also liked that she learned and grew as well. There were no super inventive ideas in Linked, but I found it a compelling, easy read.

The book is set on a terraformed planet and there were several things about the world that I liked. There were the pod motels with the vending machines where you could buy all sorts of things. There were the showers that also had built in dryers in them, the desktop in the doctor’s office that could be written on like a note pad and then uploaded onto the computer and would disappear when not needed. I liked the moving walkways everywhere, and the spaceship made out of smart metal that could repair itself with spider bots, and the skycycles. I wish the characters would have had a reason to ride one though; maybe in the next book.
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review 2014-01-05 17:30
Review: Linked
Linked - Imogen Howson

This may be the first time one of these YA dystopia novels managed to convince me that the assumed lack of familiarity with genre is a feature and not a bug.


It still has that annoyingly long starting 20% where the reader is slowly familiarized with the sfnal concepts used to construct the world. No getting around that, but through the eyes of someone coping with a chronic illness to which she is finally offered a cure. This has the interesting effect of allowing her to consider day to day situations with an eye towards what normal means that doesn't feel absurd from the perspective of a reader. In Linked, I am not left exasperated by how absurd it is that she would be thinking about any of this stuff, let alone constantly highlighting the differences between the world she's always lived in and the one where I reside. It also helps that the runaway she's tangled up with actually doesn't know anything their society. Wow, not one, but two ways to introduce worldbuilding that don't make me want to bang my head on a wall.


Then, there's this great scene where she realizes that the mysterious girl she's thrown away her chance at a normal life to save is 

a sociopath who can kill people with her brain!

(spoiler show)

 And from that point forward, it's fun adventure time with space travel, romance and evil as these two evade the authorities and figure out who was trying to accomplish what with years of torturing children.


Can I also say how wonderful it was to see Howson's take on romance? The short version might still read as "he's an asshole until they realize how in love they are," but filtered through what is clearly unreliable narration on our heroine's part. To the point where another character asks her for clarification because the jerk she describes him as is so clearly not the guy they're interacting with. 


There are things I didn't like about this book. For example, I just don't like Elissa. She's so bad at reading people and cares far too much about her hair. And I'm kind of sad that I didn't actually get a heroine with a chronic illness. And again I find some of the limitations in the surveillance technologies absurd.


That being said, I'm still paying this book the compliment of preordering the sequel.

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review 2013-12-16 02:13
Great read
Linked - Imogen Howson,Ali Smith

An action packed story with intriguing characters.  I look forward to reading more in the series. 

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