Title/Author: Linked (Linked #1) by Imogen Howson
Publisher/Date published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, June 11th 2013
How I got this book: received it from the publisher as an egalley
Buy this book at: The Book Depository
Goodreads summary: 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.
Seriously, I think this book was one of my most anticipated reads of Spring 2013 and I'm sad to say that it didn't really live up to my expectations.
The concept is GREAT. It is. It's creepy and fascinating and cruel and just what I come to expect from dystopian society that is well thought out. You can tell that Imogen Howson did a lot of world developing before she started writing this book and it's really interesting. I can't imagine anyone doing that to human beings (I really don't want to spoil anything, but it's awful). But maybe this is why they declared them non-human. It's a great solution when you think about it.
I liked Elissa. She's not immediately on board with the idea of having a twin and though she does the right thing, there are some bumps in the road and her behaviour isn't always the nicest. But I can understand this. I mean, it's pretty normal to not magically be ok when such a bomb is dropped on you and you're expected to just deal with it. That's just not how it works. I like that she's practical and is really trying her best.
Lin was in ways both harder for me to like and easier to like. She has her less than human emotionally moments and her awesome power moments and I think that in the end I liked her better than Elissa.
There are some things that didn't work so well for me, one big thing that put me off was Elissa's parents. They are awful! I mean, seriously?? They're ready to get their daughter into brain surgery even though they KNOW it's not her brain malfunctioning?? I mean, REALLY? That's some bad parenting right there. Along with Elissa's mom calling the cops on her. Her mom is probably the worst of the two, her dad redeems himself a bit, but just a bit. Hateful woman.
Also, the romance arc did nothing for me. Elissa and Cadan were constantly fighting and saying pretty harsh stuff and thinking the worst of each other and not in the Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy way! I couldn't imagine them caring for each other and then BOOM out of nowhere they're saying 'I love you' to each other and I'm like WTF?? I know they have history and all that, but I still call insta-love.
Reading Linked was much more slow going than I had expected. I'd expected a lot of action and excitement and not being able to put the book down and all of that good stuff. And while a lot is happening in a short time, it didn't really feel urgent or desperate or any of those things. I do think that the world Imogen Howson has created was fascinating and I'm interested to see how Elissa and Lin will handle the aftermath of the happenings in Linked, but it's definitely not what I had expected when I picked it up.
My rating: 2,5 stars