Thursday, March 21, 2013

STUNG

StungARC Book Review:  Stung

Author:  Bethany Wiggins
Published:  2013
Series:  Yes?

This is my FIRST ARC book gifted to me by a publisher (other ones I've usually bought off ebay)!  I feel so honored; so special (and yes, I'm sure there are people out there that would say I'm a different kind of special - insert husband).  I was really excited about this dystopian read; I had heard good things.

The Setting
Everything since Fiona woke up has been wrong, disastrously wrong really.  And it doesn't have anything to do with waking up on the wrong side of the bed.  Last thing Fiona remembers was her 13th birthday, and now, well, she figures it has been years since that took place.  The world as she knows it now is desolate, thanks to the now extinct pollinating bees.  But it seems Fiona will be extinct if she doesn't escape her crazed twin brother who just tried to attack/eat her.  So much for a happy birthday.  Scared, hungry, and wondering what the tattoo on her hand could possibly mean, Fiona befriends a Fec, a child who lives in the sewer system underground.  Together, disguised as boys, they devise a plan to rescue another child from the militia.  Since that plan was an epic fail, Fiona now finds herself held captive by the militia and treated worse than a dog while she waits to be traded into the wall to be studied like a lab rat. 
Something is supposed to be terribly wrong with Fiona, so why does she feel so normal?  And why is it so dangerous to be a girl?  Fiona's captor (the very handsome and reasonable Bowen) quickly realizes Fiona is not what she seems.  Determined to protect her, Bowen and Fiona flee the militia and hide out until the wall opens in a few days.  But can Bowen keep Fiona safe?  Why is everyone after Fiona?  How has the world changed since Fiona's 13th birthday?

What I LIKED about this book
I loved the world Wiggins created.  The barren world because of the extinct bees was both fascinating and terrifying, especially since scientists have hinted at this for us in the past few years.  Wiggins brought to life the sewer tunnels and the hard life on the streets.  I craved more of this world, even though it really wouldn't be very fun to actually live in it.
I loved Bowen.  He was level headed and brave (and handsome for crying out loud)!

What I DISLIKED about this book
A few things.  First Fiona.  She was defenseless and fragile.  I would have liked a little more fight out of her.  I realize she was completely shocked after she woke up to the new world, but come on Fiona, grow a backbone!
I felt Wiggins had quite a few loose ends she didn't tie up.  **SPOILER ALERT**.  First, why did Fiona feel like she had to cover her tattoo when she first woke up?  Second, why did her twin attack her in the first chapter when in the ending he tried to defend her?  These unanswered questions nagged me.
Lastly, the "dam" broke at the end, drowning us with too many twists in the plot to actually digest at once.  **SPOILER ALERT**.  Within the last few pages Fiona gets knifed (which happens to be poisoned), she finds out she has magical healing powers, Bowen's brother is actually a bad guy, why Fiona forgot 3 years of her life, how she ended up outside of the wall, how the politics are corrupt inside the wall...etc.  Whew!  I'm sure I'm forgetting something...  But I think you get the point.  I felt some of these things were not necessary to the plot or should not have been revealed all at the end.  I was "gasping for air"!    
Lastly, I thought the relationship between Fiona and Bowen went a little too fast.  They went from attacking each other to "attacking" (kissing/canoodling) each other fairly quickly.  I would have liked some more in-between time.

Parting Thoughts
Despite my gripes, I thought Stung was a rather enjoyable read, I'm going to award it 3.5 out of 5 stars.  This is the kind of book that will captivate the reader from the first page and keep you turning the pages until the wee hours of the morning.  I just felt the logistics of the plot and characters were poorly developed.  I would recommend this book to dystopian and romance fans (for the most part I really enjoyed the relationship between Bowen and Fiona).  A little bird told me there is going to be a sequel.  I'm interested to see if the loose ends are tied up and how the world Wiggins created will progress!   

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