A Girl Undone by Catherine Linka, published June 2015 by Pan Macmillan.
Read: March 2015
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopian
Get It Now: Wordery
Goodreads Synopsis: On the run with government secrets, Avie must decide if she can truly become fearless for the cause, or if it’s better to just give in.
Having survived a violent confrontation with the US government, Avie is not out of danger. Both she and the young man she loves, Yates, have been declared terrorists, and Yates is hospitalized in critical condition, leaving Avie with the perilous task of carrying information that can bring down the Paternalist party, if she can get it into the right hands.
Forced on the run with handsome, enigmatic woodsman Luke, Avie struggles when every turn becomes a choice between keeping the two of them alive or completing their mission. With her face on every news channel and a quarter million dollar reward from the man who still owns her marriage Contract, Avie’s worst fears are about to come true.
Today, I’m bringing you a different kind of review altogether!
When I finished A Girl Undone I tweeted about it, and when I did the author and I ended up having a fantastic discussion about my thoughts on the book. It was both a surreal and amazing experience. You know the feeling you get when you can fangirl with someone over a book, well imagine doing that with the author of the book!? I’ve condensed our conversation to create this review, enjoy!
Note: There’s also a special offer announcement for book one in this duology, A Girl Called Fearless, at the end of this review, and stay tuned because I will also be doing a giveaway for an eBook copy on the blog!
R: I’m not sure where to start with this one! I guess first of all I should say I thought this would be a trilogy, so as I was approaching the end of the book I was expecting some form of cliffhanger, with the resolutions being in the third book. For that reason, the ending came upon me kind of quickly, and in a way I wasn’t prepared for. There were some loose threads for me, and I was drooling to know more. More!
C: It must have been a surprise to think that this is book two of three and then find out that nope, it’s the end. I can see how that would be a shock! I never pushed for a trilogy as I’d listened to too many teens complain about second books being weak, or third books being disappointing – and I agreed with them a lot of the time. Actually, from what I hear, I think the era of the automatic trilogy is coming to an end.
I can understand how there are sub-plots that aren’t resolved, it’s a big problem with first person point of view! But as a writer, I can only tell you what Avie knows. Argh! So frustrating!
R: I’m going to be a little more spoilery than usual (prepare yourselves, dear readers!). I can’t review this book without discussing the love interests. I know some readers may feel that there is a love triangle in the story, but I really want to put it out there that it isn’t like that at all! Love triangles annoy me when the second love interest has no other point to the story, except to cause conflict, but with A Girl Undone that wasn’t the case. I really have a soft spot for one leading male in particular! 😉
Ahh. I never thought of the difficulties of first person narration when it comes to wrapping up other characters’ storylines. Have you considered doing a novella or companion novel from Dayla and/or Luke’s POV? Those are the two characters who I really wanted to have more page-time! I felt like I needed to drop in on them and see where their lives had taken them.
While I really enjoyed book 1, A Girl Called Fearless, I have to say that I felt the sequel was stronger!
C: Love triangles drive me crazy, too, because I hate it when you feel like a writer added one just to amp up the drama. When my first editor suggested I add a love triangle to book one, I tried – but we both hated it so much we pulled it out. After that she suggested I add a “person of interest”. It was really freeing to bring that character into the story without any expectations.
Funny you should mention novellas, I did write one that I just put up on wattpad.com about Sparrow called Sparrow’s Story, A Girl Defiant. She had so many secrets that nobody knew about, and I feel her story is the most tragic, Romeo and Juliet style romance of all my characters.
I’m so pleased you think book two is stronger than book one! My editor and I worked really hard to make the story work – Avie goes from knowing she can survive, to finding the strength to fight for what is right.
R: You can definitely see Avie evolve over the course of the two books, there’s so much character development, she was finding herself, her voice and her bravery throughout everything she had to go through.
A Girl Called Fearless and A Girl Undone are dystopian YA novels set in a patriarchical society in the near-future – not only do they feature amazing titles, and covers, but they share a fantastic story with readers, which almost serves as a cautionary tale.
Bonus: A Girl Called Fearless is currently on offer for just $2.99!
Have you read A Girl Called Fearless or A Girl Undone? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Or do you plan to pick it up when it’s on offer?