Linked – Imogen Howson

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14999965Elissa used to have it all: looks, popularity, and a bright future. But for the last three years, she’s been struggling with terrifying visions, phantom pains, and mysterious bruises that appear out of nowhere.

Finally, she’s promised a cure: minor surgery to burn out the overactive area of her brain. But on the eve of the procedure, she discovers the shocking truth behind her hallucinations: she’s been seeing the world through another girl’s eyes.

Elissa follows her visions, and finds a battered, broken girl on the run. A girl—Lin—who looks exactly like Elissa, down to the matching bruises. The twin sister she never knew existed.

Now, Elissa and Lin are on the run from a government who will stop at nothing to reclaim Lin and protect the dangerous secrets she could expose—secrets that would shake the very foundation of their world.

Riveting, thought-provoking and utterly compelling, Linked will make you question what it really means to be human.

 

Elissa’s world for the past three years has been a nightmare. She’s experienced horrific pain, random bruising all over her body, blackouts, nausea, and numerous other symptoms that have beat up her body and left her feeling close to death. Over the past three years, Elissa has seen doctor after doctor, and they finally found a cure: brain surgery. The doctors have guaranteed Elissa that this surgery will remove all of the symptoms she’s been experiencing and give her back her normal life. And they’ve given her all of four days notice.

Having just convinced herself that she can go through with the surgery, Elissa has a horrible vision of a girl in trouble. She soon discovers that this girl is her twin sister removed from her family at birth. And the even weirder side of the puzzle? They’re linked. Now Elissa must fight to keep both herself and her twin alive, even if that means evading her planet’s officials and racing off to somewhere that no one will ever be able to reach them.

Linked by Imogen Howson threw surprise after surprise after surprise my way. Going into it, I knew that it was a dystopia/paranormal type book, but it’s really more Sci-fi than anything. I haven’t read very many amazing Sci-fi books out there, so I got a little worried when that aspect of the book started peeking through, but it was amazing! The world that Imogen Howson created was beautiful, startling, well thought out, and just brilliant.

The first part of the book focuses more on the dystopia aspect of the book. This is probably the part of the book that I enjoyed the most, but we’ll get into that further on in the review. It was really obvious that this was not planet Earth. People could drive on rooftops, every door, everywhere, had locking mechanisms that were very different from what we experience today. Oh, and they had a government spacecraft that they used to communicate with other active planets. In the first half of the book, Elissa and her twin are trying to run from all of these people that are after them and trying to find a safe place to catch their bearings. So many things happen in this part of the books. They’re learning who to and who to not trust, more about the twin and their link together, changing their appearances, and really making the big decisions on where to go from there. This first half was really upbeat, fast paced, and a little bit stressful (in a good way.)

The second half of the book focuses more on the Sci-fi aspect of the book. Please be warned that this paragraph may be very spoilery. This half of the book focuses on the girls travelling in space to another planet. Here, we get to meet the crew, the captain and the co-captain, witness how the space ship works. And there’s lots of action going on in this section of the book. There’s a lot going on with Elissa’s twin and people are after them. This means that a bunch of other space ships are attacking them in the middle of space. It’s really cool, and it’s like no other YA book that I’ve read before. And the book is really well written, which it makes it that much more fascinating. The only complaint that I have is that their time in space got a little repetitive. I wish that it would have been cut down a little bit.

There’s not really that much romance in this book. There is a slight one, but it really doesn’t develop until like the last 3 chapters of the book. It was really awkward for me, because the characters basically hated each other throughout the whole book. There was no subtle flirting or touching. It was really just a “I don’t like  you” kind of thing. And it was really awkward for me to have those two characters latch on and profess their love for each other at the end of the book. Where did that come from? I was fine with their being no romance in the book, and I would have preferred that it stayed that way rather than have that awkwardness.

Some things in the book were a little confusing at times. This didn’t happen very often, though. I think what the issue was is that this was a whole different world. Not to mention that there were surrounding planets and moons, AND there was a space ship that we had to learn about. It’s really a book that you need to concentrate on or you’re going to get lost.

One thing that did bug me was that the chapters were verrrry long. I’m a pretty fast reader, but there were a couple chapters in the book that took me about 45 minutes to an hour to read. I’m a person who prefers stopping points in my books, so it was a bit annoying, but not anything major.

The ending of the book was really enjoyable. There are no cliffhangers, which I LOVED! I can’t stress to you guys how much I hate cliffhangers. I understand why authors do it, but it’s really just annoying. The ending of Linked sets it up really nicely for a second book. I’m not sure if this will become a series or if it’s a standalone. I almost think that Howson has to create a second book with how she set it up, but a bunch of questions that arise in the beginning of the book are answered in the last two chapters.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. It’s a really heavy read, though, and made me want to read something very light right after it. It’s intense, it kept me on my toes, and it left me craving more. Linked is 100x better than I thought it would be, and I’m really interested in reading more by Imogen Howson.

This book released today, so make sure you guys go pick up a copy! You’re not going to regret it.

 

Pages: 368

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers

Publication Date: June 11th, 2013

Source: ARC provided by the publisher

Rating: [rating: 4]

 

Teaser Quote: She was elsewhere. In someone else’s body, looking through someone else’s eyes.

There was the cold, gritty feel of dried mud and grass beneath her curled-up legs, the taste of dust and metal in her mouth. All around the night pressed against her, thick, hot and full of noise. Something thundered over the bridge above her head, then faded into the distance; not the quiet rattle of a beetle-car, but the rumble belonging to a heavy-goods vehicle.