Wednesday, July 10, 2013

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Twenty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.

Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

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Book Trailer
Buy Link: Amazon

My Review:

I really liked this story! So different than anything else I have ever read. I was completely engaged right from chapter 1. An emotional roller coaster. Classic YA in a dystopian world. Definitely a welcome and earned addition to my Loved These shelf. 

The story in itself was completely heart wrenching. The emotional and physical trauma Lexi endured was epic. Her endurance, her survival is completely without words fitting enough for description. This girl was a powerhouse of strength, though she never felt that way. Her never ending mantra were words repeatedly said to her nightly from dearly departed father...

“You can overcome anything...short of death.” 

To be accused, branded a sinner without a jury, without being allowed a defense is beyond comprehension. To be sent to the Hole makes Hell itself look like a pleasure spa. The Hole is a horrendous deplorable place where all the sinners are sent for their eternity or death. Filled with the most horrible people to the most innocent. Violence, acts of utter inhuman behavior towards one another had me shuddering. The Guards who enforce the laws of the Commander are more times than not worse then the sinners. 

But through it all, the authors managed to keep the story moving at a very fast and understandable pace. I loved the world they created. 

The characterizations were really spot on. Visually I was there with Lexi. Felt all the emotions and experienced the horrors right along with her.

Branded is not all bleak. There were some very humorous sections with Zeus, a faithful and lovable Great Dane that belonged to Cole, Lexi's guard. Fatherly affections from Sutton, the hospital doctor, and amazing friendship and heart felt love from Alyssa, a sweet but dying little girl that opens Lexi's eyes to a possible future.

And let me mention Cole again.

I believe I  feel a new book boyfriend coming on. He without a doubt did not want anything to do with Lexi, let alone fall in  love with her, but he did. Their love story was very sweet and believable. His feelings and words were just huggable and left me smiling...

“I never planned on falling for you. You were just an assignment. But it just sort of happened and now... There's not a single thing I would change about you. When you smile, my entire world stops. All I see is you. I need you.” 

Absolutely loved Lexi and Cole together. Totally got how much they felt for one another.

And totally surrounding the sweetest love was utter chaos, mayhem, a rebellion, twists and turns with a super surprise ending. I kind of thought maybe at the end but was still surprised with the conclusion.

Branded is one of those stories you want more from. I can definitely see myself following along the journey of these characters.

Absolutely loved this story and will forever be stalking the author! Review will also be posted on my Loved These shelf on Goodreads.

About the Authors:

Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.
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Buy links are provided as a courtesy to the reader and do not constitute an endorsement by this blog or its owner. ARC provided by tour host.

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