Wednesday 25 September 2013


ISBN: 978-0718197421
Series: The Farm
Publisher: Berkley Trade, Penguin
Pages/File Size: 433pages, 609KB
Formats Available: Paperback, E-Book

BLURB from Goodreads
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

A hard dystopian/post apocalyptic world to exist in. Totally original and WOW! A kind sad part near the end though. 

So I guess I should start with how I came by the book, well I actually bought the book for my daughter Rachel who has yet to read it, though she has said after reading this review she definitely wants to read it herself soon!
The cover shows a young female wearing a red hoodie which is a bright colour in total contrast to the barbed wire fencing also on the cover. upon reading the book we also find out that the wire fencing is in fact electrified.
The title stands out in its font style and colour and enhances the cover rather than detracting from it. I also like the byline "Escape is only the beginning"
So would the cover alone make me pick this book up in a bookstore? Truthfully yes just on the strength of looking at the cover I would pick this book up and want to know more about it. then I'd be buying it!
So down to the book now, Life has changed drastically, these "things" called ticks exist and they seem to me to be a vampire/zombie cross. they eat humans and their blood. These ticks prefer young, teenage blood, so the government have set up "The Farms where all teenagers are taken for "their own safety". Only the farms aren't that "safe" and they are more like prison camps, where normal teenagers are called "greens" and then theirs those teenagers that turn on the "greens" and become spies for the Dean and are commonly known "Collabs".
So Lily and Mel have been sent to a camp as their parents obviously trust in the government. Lily and Mel are twins. Though Lily acts as though she is the older sister, as Mel is autistic and tends to speak in nursery rhymes, which makes the book even more interesting and at times quite ironic and humorous at times. So Lily and Mel have been keeping to themselves and Lily only trusts one other person on the farm other than Mel and that is Joe. Joe can "acquire" almost anything you want, so Lily has been trading items for the things she needs to escape from the farm with her sister. Other than for meals Lily and Mel keep away from everyone. 
Then one day a face from the past appears at the farm, Carter, the guy from "Before" that Lily crushed on at school. Carter wants to be around Lily and Mel but can Lily trust him. What is Carter really doing at the farm and who is the strange guy Sebastian? 
Mel self comforts herself with a slinky, in the "Before" she used to chew bubbly gum. Mel can't sleep without her cuddly squirrel. Mel doesn't usually speak to other people other than her sister but when Carter comes along she accepts him so easily and communicates with him too. 
At one point in the book Lily,Mel and Carter are together then they get split up, Carter disappears and Mel communicates with Lily by reciting "Little Bo Peep lost her sheep"
I really loved Mel's way of communicating and the musical references, as everyone has a "sound/music" to her except for Sebastian who is silent. 
I really don't want to tell you anymore of this story and I have purposely not mentioned some of the plot details. This book is really well written, the pace starts fairly slowly and then gathers speed. The Chapters are initially just from Lily and Mel's POV until Carter arrives at the scene and then we have Chapters from his POV. There is plenty of action and drama, some lies told for good reasons but still cause trust issues. Nearer the end of the book is the saddest part, I really had a lump in my throat and was full of sympathy for Lily. I began by sharing Lily's view of McKenna and felt her hate for her and Joe and their betrayal at the outset of the escape from the farm. However I went on to become quite attached to both of them as characters and felt McKenna's loss when Joe makes his grand gesture and sacrifice. I loved the interaction between Lily and Carter but at times felt like slapping and shaking them both! I really wanted them to get it together for each other but that isn't totally resolved even at the end of the book. I know this probably sound so gushy but I also love Mel's character, you really did have the impression she was a very wise girl and I'd say she saw and heard a lot of things as people thought her odd or even backward in some way. Her ways of offering comfort to Lily were at time heart wrenching and I readily admit to my eyes brimming a time or two. I loved it when she would give Lily the slinky to try and soothe her, or she'd give her the toy squirrel to hug. I suppose I really should be wrapping this review up now as I have seemed to go on and on, as there feels so much that I haven't covered, I mean I haven't covered the escape, or what Carter and Sebastian think that Lily is an abductora, or even what an abductura is! It really is action packed and lots and lots happens in this book.
The book did end at a kind of cliffhanger in that I had so many questions that I want, no need answering in the next book such as Will Lily & Carter make it as a couple? How will Mel cope with her "new lifestyle?" What will happen to her and Sebatian? Did Joe make it? Will McKenna & Joe by reunited? I'm seriously looking forward to reading The Lair.
So did I enjoy the book? I loved it! Would I recommend it? Yes, I would go so far as to call it a MUST read. Would I read a Bk#2? Yes please I intend to read and review Bk#2 as soon as I can, though I have some blog tour reviews I'm committed to first. Would I read other books by Emily McKay? Definitely I loved her style of writing, she made the book so easy to read! Not so easy to put down but that's a really good thing isn't it!
Did The Farm remind me of any other books I've read? The vampire/zombies crossed creatures reminded me of the awful creatures that exist in the Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle.


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