by Sarah Alderson
To be published on May 12, 2015
by Simon & Schuster
Source: eARC for review from publisher
Synopsis from Goodreads: When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she's taken into police custody - supposedly for her own protection - she realizes something isn't right, but it's too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target - and she needs to escape before it's too late. With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you're on the edge, there's a long way to fall.
My take: I love thrillers. But as I've said many times, teen thrillers and police procedurals often have (inevitable) believability issues. I did think that Out of Control managed to conquer some of those issues for me -- the book was able to convince me that a teenage girl could be a gun-wielding badass. The overall plot, though, was a little sketchy. I admired that the book tried to highlight the problem of human trafficking, but that part of the plot wasn't very detailed or terribly convincing. Ditto for a gang subplot that made the gang members (the "Latin Blades") seem as menacing as characters out of West Side Story. But I was touched by the way the trauma that main character Liva suffers at the beginning of the book dredges up a painful loss in her past. Liva's memories of Felix added some nice emotional depth.
Another highlight of the book (for me) was the romance. Just a warning that Out of Control features one of those "we just met but might die any minute so let's get it on" insta-relationships, but the romance had its sweet moments, with confident Liva being more of the pursuer and laid-back, green-eyed (of course!) Jay more reluctant. (Liva's continued obsession with her tantalizing glimpse of Jay's man parts at a time when they were running for their lives did make me snort a few times.)
The book was suspenseful, though some readers may see one or both of the book's major reveals a mile away. I guessed one reveal but not both -- but all I will say is that it seemed obvious that Jay's gang plot and Liva's narrow escapes from death had to (should?) have a connection.
Overall, I enjoyed Out of Control It was a fast-paced piece of brain candy with a surprisingly sweet romance (if you don't mind a little insta-lust), some funny banter between Liva and Jay. If you're ready for a light summer read, definitely check this one out.
I'm glad to hear that this was a good read for you overall, Jen. I'm curious about it but I've struggled in the past with YA thriller books mostly because of the believability issues you discussed. But this sounds like it was well-written and I like the sound of the romance having sweet moments. I'll be sure to check it out.ReplyDelete
Let me know what you think!Delete
Unfortunately, this was just not my cup of tea, Jen. While I normally adore Sarah, I found this just a bit too far out there and the issues you mention with the gang and human trafficking were too big to overlook. I really wanted to like it, but it just didn't work that way.ReplyDelete
I've only read one of her books before -- I'll have to get a recommendation from you since there were some things I liked.Delete
Damn, I was ready to get this one but the insta-love thing is really making me shy away. I'm just not a fan of a romance whose connection is so... superficial. I'M SO SORRY D: Plus, the fact that a huge issue such as human trafficking was barely tackled... that's really a waste because so much could have been done from there. But I'm glad you ended up liking it for its other factor, Jen! I'll reconsider someday.ReplyDelete
Faye at The Social Potato
The romance is definitely an insta-lust kind of thing, but I found it fun nonetheless.Delete
And while I will give the author credit for offering info on human trafficking as an appendix, the issue wasn't really a main focus of the story at all.
If you're willing to see this book as a fun story, you'll be fine. It's not an issue book by any means.
I have the ARC of this book which is sleeping in my kindle.I really have to get around to read it!ReplyDelete
Anyway,I like my thrillers and I love Sarah so I am looking forward to read it though the insta love might bother me a bit.
Great review Jen!
The sweet moments of the romance does sound nice even if spurred on from could die at any moment hormones. I can understand the intensified feelings at a time like thatReplyDelete
Funny, I heard both things and not so great ones about this. In principle, it sounds as though it has all the right ingredients to cook up a really great story, but it sounds as though perhaps some of them weren't fully made use of. In any case, it sounds somewhat different, even with the insta-lust... Beautiful review, Jen.ReplyDelete
I really liked this one as well, I didn't feel the insta love vibe though, I thought it was more attraction. It was a great read overall with it's action & romance. Happy to hear you enjoyed it as well <3 Benish | Feminist ReflectionsReplyDelete
Overall, a good read. I would be wary of that insta-lust romance, but it probably wouldn't bother me as much as a love triangle would. :)ReplyDelete
So glad you liked this one. I'll be keeping it on my list. :)ReplyDelete
This review highlights my experience with the book so well! I feel like the book touched on important issues but could have done more to explore them and make them a bigger part of the novel.ReplyDelete
I also enjoyed the romance! I feel like, even though the romance has all the insta-vibes, Sarah just knows how to write sexual tension which is why it worked for me!
I am glad you ended up enjoying this, Jen! I totally agree that the book is great brain candy! :)
Rashika @ The Social Potato