Renegade: JA Sounders

I almost would say that this is the perfect cover but there just seems something off about the model’s head and neck.  Almost like it was poorly photo shopped on the body.  I don’t know it just seems off.  But other than that, love it.

General Summary: Evelyn has a perfect life, just like Elle Woods-minus all the pink and the cute dog.  But is it really that perfect?  A mysterious surface boy (no, not Prince Eric) comes to her underwater world and she gets a very rude awaking.  Because you know those surface people….



I had high hopes for this one because that first chapter.  Oh, that first chapter.  That’s how books should start off.  It started with a bang.  After that first chapter I was like hell yeah, this is the dystopia I’ve been looking for but things started going down hill….

Character and character development.  That was the weakest thing about Renegade, and in the end it’s what killed the book.

While it’s a terribly disappointing thing for me (since I spent about fifteen dollars on this book and can’t return it since it’s been sitting on my book shelf for a few months), it did teach me a valuable lesson as a wannabe writer.  Character is just as important as plot.  You really can’t be just a plot driven writer because sooner or later your lack of character development is going to show and that’s what happened here.

The plot set up itself was great.  A little predictable, maybe.  Okay, a lot of predictable.  This book is essentially Across the Universe in reverse.   And instead of being set in deep space it’s set deep under the sea.  But it had some originality to it.  The villain was just bad ass especially the way she controlled Evelyn.  And I was interested in seeing what her motives were and how everything was going to work out.  But once I got to that it’s the middle so we have to be boring section of the book I just couldn’t…because there was nothing to get invested in.

Evelyn, she’s not horrible.  I’ve read worse.  But she’s not memorable or for that matter particularly interesting.  You could say the same thing about Gavin as well.  He’s nice enough and I wasn’t given a detailed description of how he looked like a Michelangelo painting meets Calvin Klein ad meets whatever celebrity is hot sans Justin Beiber since I don’t know how anyone thinks the Beibs is anyway hot but whatever.  We still got a description on how he had purdy eyes and how the characters are boyfriend girlfriend after having two forced conversations together.

Do you see how this got annoying?

Best Feature: Holy setup.  If this book could’ve only executed it would’ve gotten a ten from me.  The set up was kick ass beyond belief.  And the first few chapters I thought I really was going to get a dystopia that I liked.  The villain is probably one of the best villains I’ve read in YA.  Mother is not above being vicious and she’s not all Disney about it either.  Not that it’s bad to go all Disney, but man Mother…..

Worst Feature: Meh characters.  God, Evelyn is such your average YA twerp of a MC it caused me to not finish the book.  It didn’t help that Gavin was pretty much a drip too.  And that they were victims of insta love.  I really don’t understand (okay, I understand insta love-I get it’s a cheap trick so that you can…) but don’t authors want to do those longing moments where the romance builds?  That’s my favorite part of movies.  Like my favorite Disney movie (well, one of my favorite Disney movies) is Beauty and the Beast because it doesn’t succumb to insta love like all other Disney movies.  And this is what the romance in this book read like to me like the rest of the Disney movies where the heroine sees her prince and automatically likes him because he’s handsome.

Appropriateness:  This is pretty violent.  The language is pretty calm from what I read.  As for sex, there’s none here though there’s talks of women simply being used for breeding purposes and sexualizing them.

Blockbuster Worthy: Even though I got bored and didn’t finish this one, I’d love to see it as a movie.  Oxymoronic much, I know.  But I’d love to see how Evelyn’s world would translate to the big screen.

Evelyn: I picture Evelyn looking like Allison  Harvard from ANTM (you know, the girl who got ripped off not only in the regular program but on the All Stars edition as well).  Oh, and interesting side note, my former hairdresser used to do her hair before she got all famous and Tyra gave her those crazy extensions.

Gavin: Alex Pettyfer.  We need a pretty face.  So I’m going to Hollywood’s IT boy when it comes to YA roles.

Mother: Charlize Theron.  Probably too high caliber for this role, but man I think she could totally nail the part and then some.

Overall Rating: I’m giving it a four out of ten because there was a lot of potential in this one.  However, meh (at best) characters and insta love made me mark the book DNF a little more than halfway through.     Maybe it’s just me.  I know that there have been lots of reviewers whose opinions I trust that love this book, so maybe it’s the dystopia phobic in me coming out.  But I got bored with this one so….I don’t know.  I really wanted to like it and….ugh.  Just ugh.


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