Series: Cozenage (#1)
Publication Date: February 5th, 2013
Age Group: Young Adult
Source: Got it from the Making Connections group on Goodreads in exchange for an honest review
Seventeen year-old Jonas Norton is trying to come to terms with what his blood disorder has robbed from him, including his two most favorite things: basketball, and competing in Hatchet Racket, Wanless’ annual hatchet-throwing contest. The facts that his father works constantly to pay for his blood tests and Jonas can actually see the disappointment in his eyes for being such a failure only make matters worse. And even worse than all of that? Jonas' own twin brother, Micah, is perfectly healthy and becoming quite the basketball player. Also, Hattie, the girl Jonas has loved for forever? She has no idea how he feels.
Sixteen year-old Hattie Akerman lives down the hill from Jonas. Though her father, Heath, tries to hide his lack of mental clarity behind the bottle and she's pretty much given up on having any kind of relationship with him, she would still rather her younger sister, Lucy, not have to deal with the consequences of his behavior. Hattie helps her mother by baking food to sell at Market and looking out for Lucy. No matter what the rest of the town says about her crazy father, Jonas sticks up for them. He is, by far, her very best friend.
As if things aren’t complicated enough already, Heath and Micah are unexpectedly drafted into President Kendrick's army (an army from which no one ever returns) just days before Thanksgiving. When Heath disappears instead of arriving at the Meeting Place to check in, Hattie and Jonas decide they’ve had enough, and take matters into their own hands. And though nothing could have prepared them for what happens next, Hattie and Jonas learn that hope can be seen in every situation. You just have to know where to look.
One of the things I liked the most about this book were the main characters! They were beautifully written, they sounded real and were very likeable! The secondary characters were also very unique and they all had distinguishable traits and interesting back stories.
I also think that the world was very believable and so was the way people reacted to the government.
In my opinion the story moves really slow and only in the last quarter of the book something really exciting happens! The rest of the book shows more the daily life of the people and their struggles (especially the main characters) so when Heath disappears after he was drafted, Jonas and Hattie come up with a plan that was quite entertaining and I found myself rooting for them to be successful!
The ending isn't very happy but even though it is a bit of an open ending it leaves you with a sense of closure. I would still love to read a sequel and perhaps get to know the characters even more.
All in all, I think this is a great contribution to the dystopian genre. The world and the characters are very well thought out but the pace can be extremely slow in the beginning.
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