Thursday, November 13, 2014

Branded: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Branded:  Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki
Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. He thinks the seven deadly sins are the downfall of society. To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded on their necks according to their sins. Sinners are sent there to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are far from friendly and willing to kill them at any moment.Lexi Hamilton now has LUST wrapped around her neck. She's been accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and was sent to the Hole. She doesn't plan on letting them destroy her.

You know how you're always told to never judge a book by its cover…
Well I’m guilty as charged.

After having several people recommended this book I was a little skeptical about actually reading it because the cover to me was a little cheesy… Oh boy am I eating my words now. I read this book in just a few hours because I was so pulled in by it's story line. I loved the characters, how it flowed, and how different Abi and Missy really made this book. I am a serious lover of all ya/dystopian novels (borderline obsessed if you couldn't guess) and I really think this was such a different and creative spin on the dystopian world and how it could be.

The seven deadly sins is such a unique spin on this ever growing genre. In Branded "sinners" or people accused of sinning are automatically thrown into the Hole and forced to live and work there. When Lexi is accused of LUST she has the same fate as the rest. She is tattooed with a giant blue lace patterned strip around her throat. In the Hole ever color stands for something different.

Lust – blue
Gluttony – orange
Greed – yellow
Sloth – black
Wrath – red
Envy – green
Pride – purple

Lexi Hamilton is a character I loved. She is the perfect combination of both fierce and broken. They make it clear from the get go that she hasn't committed the crime she's accused of but where she's from it doesn't matter. Lexi is assigned her own guard, Cole. Clearly her and Cole fall in love. AND IT'S IN THE CUTEST WAY EVER!!! When her and Cole meet all he sees is her brand and treats her the way you think he would... AS A TOTAL D! He also informs her that Blues never last in the Hole. Cole, however, seems to soften and be kind to her and in such a terrible place, as a connection forms between them. She has to rely on him constantly and he literally saves her life, like all the time. As the story goes on we learn Lexi has a terrible background story. When Lexi story unfold it was really hard to read about because it's such a sad tale. She was neglected, starved, abandoned and abused. As Cole and Lexi become closer she tries to find ways she can share the "ugly" parts of herself. After a series of unfortunate events happen he discovers how she really is and the romance beginnings. Branded is a story that relies heavily on the romance, and I aint mad about it. Before I talk more about Cole I guess I should mention that relationships, of course, between guards and sinners is forbidden. So their relationship has to be kept on the DL. SWOON! Forbidden love my fav! 

Cole though... Whoosh! Even with him being a jerk at first you'll still love him. He turns out to be thoughtful, and sweet and HOT! So SO hot. The way he is always kicking butt for Lexi had me swooning all over the place. The sub characters in this book hold their own and one had me in tears (can't give out details because spoils). The setting of this story is described so well and I loved everything about it. Branded does dip a little on the dark side compared to most ya books, but it was something that I liked and it was nice to break the mundane. 

The relationships both romantic and friendly are so intense and well laid out. The thing this book really had going for it was how fast paced it was. From start to finish there is never a dull moment. There is the perfect about of twist and turn that leave you on the edge of your seat. 

Branded surprised me on so many levels and is def at the top of my favorites list. I can't freaking wait till Hunted comes out. 

10/10 Stars