Friday, April 25, 2014

Control by Lydia Kang

Control by Lydia KangReading Level: Ages 12 and up
Hardcover: 393 Pages
Release Date: December 26, 2013
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Narration: First Person: Zelia
Genre: Dystopian
Source: Library
Trailer: Click Here

The Control Series
Book One: Control
Book Two: Catalyst
Book Three: Unknown

Order On Amazon: Hardcover
Order On Barnes and Noble:
Hardcover and Nook

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Goodreads Synopsis:

An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

My Review:

Cover Thoughts: Really digging the cover. Love the font of the title and the color scheme they used.

Other Thoughts: After reading Control, I still have no idea how the title or the slogan ties in with the novel. Maybe Control means the control group of an experiment? If that's the only way it connects to the novel, that's kind of sad. And "There are no accidents?" Not even a smidgen of a clue there.

I dove into Control with mixed feelings, so I can't say if it met my expectations or not. It was definitely confusing at first, no doubt in that. Lydia takes no time dawdling and immediately jumps into the stream of things, which was a good and bad thing. Good, because I wasn't stuck with a dragging info-dump, yet bad because I had no idea what I was reading about.

"Down the hallway, I smell my little sister walk by. This month, it's Persian freesia. 
Dad says nothing about her pricey scent downloads."

First time around, I skimmed this part and just thought, "Ok, so she likes perfume." But after a few more sentences, I was wondering, "Wait, what did she just say?" It took me a while to even realize that this story took place so far into the future. I mean, I knew that this world was going to have all sorts of genetic mutations, but for some reason, I still expected the world to be more modern rather than futuristic.

Another thing I had trouble coming to terms with was the sometimes, who am I kidding, most of the time irrational reactions the characters had to traumatic situations. For example, when Dylia and Zelia's dad died, both of them were upset. However, after a few hours, Dylia is fake-crying and primping herself up to catch a guy's attention? Geez. Adding onto the irrational reactions, things just....didn't make sense. Questionable actions were taken, yet the obvious questions weren't asked. People were happy to let others get away with things that seemed highly suspicious. 

The romance was utterly ridiculous as well. Not a classic Insta-love romance. Nope. Instead, it was a Insta-Hate THEN Love romance. And it was so predictable that I almost flung the novel across the room. As soon as the protagonist set eyes upon the "resident bad boy," I knew she was a goner before she even knew his name. Things went downhill straight from there. Shortly after they got over their mutual, seemingly intrinsic hate for each other, the love interest suddenly feels this weird, spontaneous need to protect her above all costs! Gah.

Even though I mostly disliked Control, there were still some aspects that I found rather fascinating. For example, the mutation/genetic modifications. Instead of the superpowers you would usually think of: invisibility, telepathy, telekinesis, teleporting, there were weird mutations like: extra ligaments, extra brains, or highly sensitive nose glands. Admittedly, I missed the old variety of superpowers, but I applaud Lydia for her originality.

Heroine- 2.5/5
Romance- 1.5/5
Please, let us never speak of this again.
Action- 2.5/5
Writing- 3/5
Overall- 2.5/5

1 comment:

  1. I read a lot of young adult, dystopian science fiction, and this is easily among the top. The characters are interesting, the story engaging, and the writing is a delight. The ending was a bit Hunger Games-ish for me, but I suppose that just makes me ready for book #2.



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