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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Review: Linked by Imogen Howson

Linked by Imogen Howson
Series: Linked #1
Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
A Young Adult novel
Pages: 368
Genre: Science Fiction
Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere. 
Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes. 
Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed. 
Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world. 

Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.
*Digital copy provided by Simon & Schuster for an honest review*

Linked took a little bit of getting used to. Between the futuristic world on this different planet, space travel, and twins where one has special powers, called Spares and considered not human in society, it was a switch up from the paranormal and contemporary reads that I've been swamped with recently.

I found the twin concept an interesting tactic in Linked. In a world where twins were never meant to exist. Where being a spare in society entitled you to testing and horrible probing. Where society views the spare twin as an abomination and non-human. How there is this overwhelming bond between Elissa and Lin that had connected them over the years, shared the world through each others eyes as visions to Elissa, the pain of one was mysteriously transferred to the other sort of like phantom pains but the bruising still showed up on the skin. Completely captivating of an idea.

Elissa and I had some problems along the way. The first is the stereotypical girl-who-has-it-all: the friends; the popularity; the looks. Then it's gone when something mysterious is happening to her: visions; hallucinations; unexplained bruising; strange dreams. She is taken for granted at school by her friends and peers, thinking she does it for attention. I started to have some sympathy. It's not the typical friends turn ruthless bitches move that happens in high school settings, but rather more of a back stabbing, two-faced sensation between Elissa's closest friends.

And then the ball starts rolling. Elissa finds Lin, a girl who looks exactly like her down to the bruises, who tells her not to speak about her existence to anyone. What does Lissa go and do right after? Goes to her parents for help and gives Lin's existence up. Like most YA books out there, the parents fail to execute a helpful response. Mostly her mother. But I do give her father credit for actually being of use in Linked. But Elissa has a complex for asking help with the wrong people. She went wrong with her parents. With the government out looking for her, Lissa goes and tries to contact her father for help oblivious to how the government can use signals through technology to wiretap and pinpoint locations. She is the cause for most of the trouble in the novel. Looking for help and answers in the absolute wrong ways.

Caden was a great supporting character and a childhood friend to Elissa and her brother, Bruce. Through the cold, condescending comments, there was something that I started to like in Caden. I guess I knew he would have a larger part in the story than just Bruce's friend since he's the boy that Lissa was crushing on for years now. Though I find the declaration of his love abrupt and unnecessary for this novel. Love seems to find it's way in young adult when there happens to be no background growth or even a glimmer of it's presence. It just demands to be there by the author. Because what is a book without the word love thrown in?

Linked does have a few surprises towards the end of the novel that wowed me. The second half of the book definitely captured me more than the first half. And the ending had me appreciating Elissa much more. Her motivation for her twin, seeing her as a person rather than a thing like her mother does, fighting for her safety, putting her own life on the line, was her best quality.

Final Summation: LINKED happens to be a good science fiction novel. There just happened to be that lacking WOW factor that would have bumped up the rating of this book for me. Between twins with superpowers, space travel, space fights, futuristic different planets, government tackers, and that unexpected love interest, LINKED has much going on throughout its pages. I did enjoy the read, and I wonder what book two has in store.

First Line: As Elissa and her mother entered the waiting room, the sky above Central Canyon City was a chill, predawn gray, the spaceport a colorless blaze on the horizon.

Three targets slayed