Saturday, September 6, 2014

Book Review: Feuds

FeudsAuthor: Avery Hastings
Publication Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Series: Feuds # 1

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 Avery Hastings's Feuds.

The FEUDS – which technically stood for Fights Established Under Demolition Sites – were held in various arenas that had been hastily constructed in the basements of the crumbling buildings that used to comprise the city, before reconstruction and modernization efforts made Columbus one of the wealthiest and most powerful cities in the New Americas.

Heat coursed through his body. Music pounded in his ears. The kiss wasn’t what Cole had thought it would be. It was way, way better. He’d heard more times than he could remember that Prior girls were cold. But that kiss had left him reeling, his head thick and foggy like he’d had too much to drink, and he could feel a sharp wetness of his lips where the nerves were still reacting.

Winning would mean the world to her dad. It would make him smile. It would bring her mother back to life, if only for an instant. And that was everything.

This story reminded me so much of Romeo & Juliet, only the story is set in the future. Davis, the main character, is a prior which means she is part of the genetically enhanced upper class that lives in wealth. Then there is Cole, who is the opposite of a prior, also known as a gen. They are also referred to as “imps” by some of the priors, this word is meant to be derogatory. A relationship between a gen and a prior is of course forbidden, and the punishment for anyone involved is imprisonment or possibly death by hanging. A lot goes on in between Davis and Cole meeting, but inevitably they do and inevitably they realize they share an instant connection. Their relationship has to remain hidden and in the end Cole has to decide if he is willing to betray Davis and all of the feelings they share for one another.

The beginning of the story started off slower than I would have liked, but I completely understood because of the world building that was necessary. Davis didn’t jump right off the page at me, and this shocked me because usually the heroines do, but once I had learned her entire past and realized her dream to be a dancer and how much she had worked for it, she became a lot more likeable. I can always back characters if I know they have ambition and determination. Her world became interesting to me once I began to put things together and see how influential and powerful her father was within the city they lived in. The action, adventure, and romance definitely picked up towards the middle and end of the book.

Not only did Hastings have to build Davis and her story but Cole’s story as well. The story between these two characters is magnificent and I am curious to see what happens next, seeing as this is a series. The book ended with an enormous cliffhanger and I must say that I was left unsatisfied. So many questions were left unanswered and I am going to be waiting very impatiently for the next book to release. I do not say this with dislike, but rather with this overwhelming anxiousness because of the extremely complex twist that Hastings threw in right before she ended the story! This was a great series opener that kept me intrigued and pulled me in more and more as the story and the characters developed.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Griffin in exchange for my honest review***

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