Aly in Wonderland


Branded - Abi Ketner, Missy Kalicicki DNF at 43%.

I had high expectations for this once I read the summary and the praise that came along with it.


A teenage girl is accused a crime she didn't commit, and is forced to live in the Hole, a place where all criminals are forced to endure inhuman horrors and all hope seems lost, until she falls in love with her captor, a crime punishable by death.

For 43%, we see the barest of "inhuman horrors" that Lexi doesn't endure. Instead, we get a soap opera flick with a half-hearted attempt at making Lexi seem different than the rest by making her befriend a sick girl in the hospital.

It came off as preachy and over the top. You know when you see a bad film on TV with really bad actors, and they say their lines in either an exaggerated tone or really monotone? This book is the same. The characters are so fake and have zero depth.

Of course, Lexi is innocent. She's pure. She's sweet. Everyone wants a piece of her. In other circumstances, I probably would've finished this and given it a higher rating, but I couldn't bring myself to finish it this time. Like all the other books out there, it tries so hard to be different and fails miserably.

The world building.

There was none! We're vaguely told about the Commander and the Hole and what "High Society" is, but that's about it. We're told a war ripped apart the nation. Other than that, it's pretty much a romance novel with dystopia slapped across it. It didn't work.

The characters

Boring, flat, annoying. The way they spoke irritated me. Lexi's attitude irritated me. Cole, her guard who tries to be 'hardcore' irritated me. Failfailfail.

0 stars.

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