Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Book Review: The Ward by Jordana Fraknel

The WardThe Ward by Jordana Frankel

Genre: YA dystopia
Publication date: April 30th
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Source: eARC was provided by the publisher. Thank you so much!!

Jordana Frankel’s thrilling and imaginative YA dystopian novel The Ward is set in a near-future New York City. A catastrophic flood has washed out Manhattan, leaving the rivers polluted, and entire neighborhoods underwater. Some areas are quarantined because of an outbreak of a deadly disease.

The illness, known as the Blight, is killing sixteen-year-old Ren’s sister. Desperate to save her sister’s life, Ren agrees to lead a secret mission from the government to search for a cure. But her quest leads to a confounding mystery beneath the water and an unlikely friendship with a passionate scientist.

Readers who love speculative fiction and crave action-packed stories similar to Veronica Roth’s Divergent will find The Ward absolutely unputdownable.

This book was very good and enjoyable but I had some major issues with it that I just can't ignore.

Well... Let's start with the good things. First of all, I think that Ren was a fantastic main character. She was exactly how I like female main characters to be - strong and kick-ass. She didn't need anyone to save her. The opposite - she saved everybody eventually...
Ren didn't have any friends who are girls. She was surrounded by guys all the time who kept underestimating her abilities. I think that she has managed to prove them once and for all that girls are just as strong and brave as guys are! I really adore her for that.
I also liked how she never gave up. Once she had a goal, she didn't let anything stop her from achieving it. In this book, Ren went on a journey against all odds to save the entire population. She faced many troubles but never even thought of giving up.

One more thing I just loved about this book was the extremely fast-paced plot. Things happened all the time - races, fights, hot kisses... I didn't have time to relax before the next thrill came!! There were many plot twists.. Some of them were predictable, but other were totally shocking. Especially right before the end of the book... This kind of books are always pure fun for me. I always like to read about how the MC manages to escape deadly situations... I literally held my breath the whole book.

The romantic part was quite awesome, too. This book wasn't very romantic, there were only short descriptions of feelings here and there, but it was exactly enough. Drake and Ren fell in love with each other very slowly, and with the plot twists, it took me a long time to decide whether they can make a good couple or not. Drake was very sweet and at the end he made a great sacrifice for Ren that totally broke my heart...
The biggest issue I had with this book was the lack of world-building. I wish I could know more about Ren's world. All I got to know was that she lives in New York City and that most of the city is flooded. People are sick with a deadly, contagious plague and are dying slowly. I wanted to know how it all started. Why was everything flooded? When? It also felt like the author has forgotten about the rest of the world. What is going on in the world outside New York City? Why doesn't anyone from the outside help them? So many details were missing.. This book would've been ten times better if the author would explain the apocalypse that happened.

Some parts of the book felt very unrealistic. For example, the people suffered from a lack of fresh water. They used acidic rain water and were searching all the time for new water resources. The weird thing is that they were living in a FLOODED world. That means lots of water... There are many ways to make sea water drinkable!! I mean - they live in the FUTURE. They have cars that can fly, but they can't desalinate water? It didn't make sense at all. There were more unrealistic things, but I really can't talk about them without spoiling the book..

During the book, Ren is trying to save Aven, her best friend who is sick with the Blight. At the prologue, Aven is described as an annoying child that Ren has no intention of becoming friends with. But when the plot starts three year later, Aven and Ren are suddenly BFFs, almost like sisters, and Ren is willing to do ANYTHING to help Aven. It really didn't make any sense to me. I felt like I didn't care enough about Aven, probably because the annoying-little-girl image of her from the beginning was stuck in my head. This book would be much more realistic if I could understand how and why they Ren and Aven became se connected and why Ren loved Aven so much.

Overall, I liked this book a lot and I highly recommend it to fans of Divergent and other action-packed dystopians. It isn't very deep or life-changing, but it is a lot of fun! I will definitely read the sequel!!


  1. Great review! I like the sound of Ren, she's the kind of MC I like to read about too, but it's a shame the world building wasn't as strong

  2. It is mentioned very briefly why NY is flood but it's a blip and then gone reference. I had many issues with this book as well and lack of world building was certainly on the list of annoyances. Hope the sequel is better.

    1. This book had lots of potential to be awesome.. I hope the sequel will be better too!

  3. So many dystopian books these days seem to be guilty of lack of world building. Very frustrating, Glad the characters were good tho, I'm looking forward to giving this one a try. Nice review!

    1. Thank you (:
      And you really should give it a try! (:

  4. Good review. I'm not sure about this book but maybe one day i'll give it a go.

  5. You're not the first to mention the lack of world-building. That's why I'm a little worried about this (world-building is so important for me), but it does sound good otherwise. Brilliant review!

    1. It is kind of annoying, but the rest of the book is much better. Thank you! :D

  6. Thanks for stopping by my blog -- followed you back :)
    I live in NYC, so I'm always scared to read disaster books set there. I've seen a few complaints about this book's lack of world building and lack of romance. But I put this on hold at the library, so I'll see what I think!

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

    1. Thanks for the follow (:
      LOL I bet it's scary to read about an apocalypse in your own city!

  7. Woah how can thy become BFFs suddenly. . That does seen a little unrealistic to me but the pace was fast so I may give this one a shot . Nice review ��

    Thanks for stopping by *muah*

  8. The Ward seems like it had a lot of potential. I'm glad you liked it, despite the parts that didn't work for you.
    Great review!

    (followed via Bloglovin)

  9. Great review! I'm a sucker for a good dystopian and while this sounds like it left some stuff to be desired I might give it a chance anyway. At least I know what to expect now :)

    Sheri @ Perks of Being a Bookworm

  10. I've seen a lot of reviews for this one in the last while, and while I tell myself that I'm starting to tire of dystopian stories, I still feel drawn to each new one that comes out! So I'm sure I'll end up reading this one too - I'm intrigued! :)