Flurry by J.G. Hewitt
(Summary taken from an email the author sent me) "Laurel Fairchild is high born. She is a gifted student and athlete. Parker is an acrobat in a travelling circus. He is street-smart and charming. They were never supposed to meet but fate intervened. Laurel knows the circus boy and his secrets will be her unraveling and lead to her execution but like a moth to a flame, she cannot resist him.
The Crystal Treaty requires Laurel to compete in the Stadia Games at seventeen to be ranked for her Senior year when she will be forcibly married in a mass wedding to a husband that she neither knows nor wants, or face death by stoning. In a post-apocalyptic world, the Earth's surface has been drained of water and civilization destroyed. There are no clouds, no trees, no rain. There is no freedom. There is only the Realm, which is ruled by a Guild of power-hungry Barons who command the Division, a brutal army that maintains social order through violence among the working class serving the Realm’s elite for a meager daily water ration. It has been this way since time immemorial but the catastrophic events at this year’s Games are going to change everything, not the least of which for Laurel and Parker."
I enjoyed this book. It is another book about controlled society, but it does have a different twist. It has some elements of "Matched" and "Divergent" and a few from "Hunger Games," but it does throw in its own twists and turns. I liked the main characters, Laurel and Parker, and thought they had a lot of courage. I thought the character development in this book was good. I enjoyed the story and did get drawn in. I liked the images of the circa and the interesting things they did. It reminded me a lot of Cirque du Soleil and the things they do. This story made me thankful to be able to go to my tap and get water whenever I want to. It also made me very thankful for the freedoms we have, and that we don't have arranged marriages.
There were a lot of grammatical and spelling errors in this book, which was annoying, but they can be fixed. I did continue reading, but there were some errors that I had to read and reread several times before I could figure out what was happening. There were also some graphic scenes in this book that I don't think are appropriate for younger readers. There was a murder that was too descriptive and made me sick. It was very graphic. There isn't any "intimacy" besides some kissing. I don't remember any language, but there may have been a couple of words. I also got confused with all the characters. I had a bit of trouble remembering which person came from which group, and who that person was in the group.
I did enjoy the book, though, and will read the next one. I recommend it with the above warnings.
Rating: PG-13+ (Graphic murder, violence)
Recommendation: 16 and up. As always, I recommend that parents read this book first to see if it is appropriate for their children.
Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.