Today I'm pleased to be part of the blog tour for Sarah Dalton's novel, Blemished. This blog tour was set up by Reading Addiction Blog Tour. Today I'll be including my review of this book, including a guest post, and giving you a chance to win this incredible book.
But first here's some information about the author:
Sarah grew up in the middle of nowhere in the countryside of Derbyshire and as a result has an over-active imagination. She has been an avid reader for most of her life, taking inspiration from the stories she read as a child, and the novels she devoured as an adult.
Sarah mainly writes speculative fiction for a Young Adult audience and has had pieces of short fiction published in the Medulla Literary Review, PANK magazine, Apex Magazine and the British Fantasy Society publication Dark Horizons. Her short story ‘Vampires Wear Chanel’ is featured in the Wyvern Publication Fangtales. The Blemished is her first full-length novel.
And now here's the synopsis:
A beautiful world comes at a price...
In a world filled with stunning clones Mina Hart is Blemished. Her genes are worthless and that takes away her rights: her right to an Education, her right to a normal life and her right to have a child.
Mina keeps a dangerous secret which she never thought she could share until she meets Angela on her first day at St Jude's School. But their friendship is soon complicated by Angela’s adoptive brother Daniel. Mina finds herself drawn to his mysterious powers and impulsive nature. Then there is the gorgeous clone Sebastian who Mina is forbidden from even speaking to…
The Blemished is a frightening take on a fractured future where the Genetic Enhancement Ministry have taken control of Britain. It will take you on a ride filled with adventure, romance and rebellion.
Okay and now for my review:
My Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
My Disclaimers: I received an electronic copy of this book for review as part of the blog tour. I received no compensation for reviewing this book. However, Cami who sets up the blog was paid for her time in setting this tour up. Let me reiterate that the only compensation I got was the pleasure of reading this book.
My Overall Thoughts/Impressions: Okay wow! I read the synopsis and saw the cover and immediately knew I had to read this book. Then my jaded side came out. I thought there was no way this book could be as good as I was expecting. I was right.
It was much better than I ever could have imagined. From the moment I read the first page, I was hooked. Sarah's writing drew me in from the get-go. I've read a million dystopian books and I always worry they are going to start being identical.
Then I read books like this one and I realize why I love this genre so much. Sarah's novel was frightening in the fact that it seemed all too plausible. Her characters rang drew; her words were beautifully constructed; her book resonated within me.
I already mentioned that the characters seemed so realistic. They were complex and I found myself sympathizing with them. None of the characters seemed flat. Something that I loved.
Plus, there was a love triangle. How can you not like a book with a good love triangle? Okay, I know some people don't like a love triangle but I do. And this one was so well-crafted.
Normally, I can easily pick which guy I like—not the case with this novel. I could not choose which guy I liked better. Sometimes I just get angry with the girl and think she's an idiot for stringing two guys along. That was also not the case with this novel. Their relationships seemed so real and I found myself so torn.
I finally know who I am a fan of and I must admit the answer genuinely surprised me. I'm not going to say whose side I am on because I don't want to give anything away. But just know this love triangle is brilliant.
The combination of her compellingly realistic characters combined with a world so horrific and yet intriguing to create a novel that never seemed dragged on. The pacing was perfect and that ending...let's just say I definitely have to read the sequel.
It's been awhile since I've read a dystopian that I enjoyed this much. The last time was when I read Starters by Lissa Price. (not to suggest the books are similar, because they aren't.) Her book was original, realistic, and compelling.
Basically, this book, this series, and this author have just made their way up to the top of my list for the year.
In Summary: A beautifully horrific world, shockingly realistic characters, and a masterful prose combine to make Sarah Dalton's Blemished a dystopian novel that readers will adore. Destined to become a popular read.
Warnings/Side-notes: This novel was actually quite clean. There are some very very very vague references to sex; however, I would not hesitate to recommend this to anybody.
The Wrap-up: I really liked this novel. The dialogue rang true and the characters seemed so realistic as well. I didn't expect to love this novel as much as I did, but it blew me away. I for one can't wait to see what Dalton does next.
And now let's hear from the author herself:
10 Things Readers Would be Surprised to Know About me:
1. I didn’t think I was good enough to be a writer – I thought being a writer meant writing books that would change the world or become a poetic masterpiece. I completely lost sight of the books that entertain people. Sometimes the books that we love are not the books that will be remembered in a hundred years. When I learned that I realised that I could be a writer.
2. I’m chaotic – I have to force myself to approach things systematically. I want to just start with a line or a character and write the book from there. I’ve learnt the hard way that approaching a novel is something that needs to be planned.
3. The Blemished started off on another planet – except it wasn’t really The Blemished but it did still have Mina as the main character. She was a Princess who could read people’s emotions through smell. She met a boy who she couldn’t smell and could not speak her language and they fell in love. There were many problems with it and I had to give it up!
4. I’m British – Okay, that’s probably not a surprise seeing as the book is set in Britain and I tend to talk about being British a lot. I find it hard to find many other indie British YA authors out there. If you’re there come say hello!
5. I find soaps inspiring – I love watching human nature and soaps are our human-nature outlets. They are what we think relationships are and I find that a bit fascinating. I think watching soaps has helped me with my characters.
6. I’m addicted to the internet – I’m old enough to remember when Emails were invented and to have actually been on a chat-room. I think I got addicted to the internet before it was really popular, back in the day when you had to wait 2 hours for a song to download from Napster! Yup, I’m old.
7. Leave the past alone – I get fed-up of people older than me telling me how much better the past was and how bad kids are these days. The truth is that everyone’s teenage/young adult years are the best of their life and they are always going to see that period in the golden-glow of youth. It doesn’t mean there was less crime, TV was better or we had better manners. Move on.
8. I don’t drive – people tend to comment on this a lot and I get hassle from my family but I hate driving and I won’t do it. It doesn’t mean I’m not independent, I live in the middle of a city and everything I need is in walking distance.
9. I grew up in the middle of nowhere – and it gave me cabin fever. I could never live in the countryside again. I need the hustle and bustle of a city.
10. I believe we make our own fate – I don’t believe in luck or destiny. When I was growing up I heard a lot of people say ‘it just wasn’t meant to be’. I don’t think anyone should hear this as a child. You have to go out into the world and carve out your own path. That’s the advice I would give to anyone. Make things happen.
And don't forget you can win a copy of this book. In case my review, didn't convince you, I'll be more direct. YOU WANT TO READ THIS BOOK! So enter.