[ARC Review] Drowned by Nichola Reilly

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Title: Drowned
Author: Nichola Reilly
Series: Drowned #1
Genre: YA Dystopian
Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Release Date: June 24th 2014
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Source: ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

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Coe is one of the few remaining teenagers on the island of Tides. Deformed and weak, she is constantly reminded that in a world where dry land dwindles at every high tide, she is not welcome. The only bright spot in her harsh and difficult life is the strong, capable Tiam—but love has long ago been forgotten by her society. The only priority is survival.

Until the day their King falls ill, leaving no male heir to take his place. Unrest grows, and for reasons Coe cannot comprehend, she is invited into the privileged circle of royal aides. She soon learns that the dying royal is keeping a secret that will change their world forever.

Is there an escape from the horrific nightmare that their island home has become? Coe must race to find the answers and save the people she cares about, before their world and everything they know is lost to the waters.

I love books that take a genre and flip its on its head, but ultimately it has to be done right for me to enjoy the story. So when I read the synopsis of Drowned I knew I wanted to read it because it took the Dystopian genre and seems to make it so different from everything else out there. But sadly the longer I read this book, the more I didn't like it.

When writing in the Dystopian genre I find that you need to have a clear picture of the world and how it was created and make the reader understand what is going on around them. This was my biggest problem with Drowned, it didn't make sense. The author tried to explain how this world came to be and what it was like for the characters, but for me it was so confusing. I could not wrap my head around the world and what it meant for the characters. I knew that the tide came in, and everyone had to stand in a line and there were people that disappeared into the tide every once in a while but beyond that I did not grasp what was happening.

Main characters are supposed to grab the reader and make then invested in them and the story. In Drowned I felt none of this because I could not connect with Coe, our narrator. There are A LOT of characters in this book, and for me, it seemed like there were too many, and their names would always get jumbled in my mind. I could not differentiate between all of them and what they meant to Coe. The writing style of this book lead to more heartache for me. At times the writing was beautiful and full of life, but most of the time the writing felt forced, like the author was trying to write higher than the book was meant to be written in. I felt like most of the time the style of writing was distracting me from the story itself. And that ultimately lead to me not enjoying the book as much as I wanted to.

The more I read, the more I kept saying WTF? And that accumulated at the end with a bit WTF because what happened at the end made absolutely NO SENSE whatsoever. I think I put the book down and said, nope not reading this anymore because I did not get what just happened and how it would fit in this world. Drowned was not the book for me, and honestly I hate saying this but I do not think I would ever recommend it to anyone because the storyline just did not make sense and the end was way too much of a WTF moment for me.

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