I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Hardwired by Trisha Leaver, Lindsay Currie
Published by Flux on November 8th 2015
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When seventeen-year-old Lucas Marshall tests positive for the M0A1 gene—a genetic abnormality believed to predispose humans toward violence—he is shipped off to an impregnable government facility to undergo a battery of psychological tests aimed at making him crack. Now, having survived their tests and proven his mental stability, Lucas is labeled safe to return home.
But any hope Lucas has of returning to a normal life is shattered when the van transporting him to the reintegration facility is forced off the road by a group of radicals intent on accessing the facility and exposing its dehumanizing practices. And Lucas is their ticket through the front door.
Spurred by rumors that the facility is secretly holding one of his old friends captive, Lucas and his bunk mate, Chris, agree to infiltrate the testing facility’s inner sanctum. Once inside, Lucas’s carefully laid plans begin to unravel and he's forced to seek help from those still locked within the facility’s concrete walls. But when every genetic test claims your only allies are hardwired to become the next Charles Manson, it’s impossible to know who to trust.
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This fast-paced, not-so-distant dystopian futuristic tale will appeal to teen readers. VERDICT: A must-have for libraries seeking dystopian futures packed with action, violence, and moral dilemmas ~School Library Journal
I was super excited when I found out I got a spot on the MMSAI blog tour for Hardwired! I knew from the second I read in the synopsis that this book takes place in a time/place where people can be and are tested for a gene that predisposes them to violence that I wanted to read this book. That sort of science-y stuff is so very intriguing to me and with today’s technological advances something like this book could be entirely relevant in the not so distant future.
Hardwired follows Lucas Marshall who has tested positive for MOA1, the gene that predicts violence. He’s been a part of a governmental movement (experiment) to test those with the gene. If he can survive the tests without breaking, he’s been told he can go home but when/if he goes home everything will be different. Everyone will know that he’s tested positive and he’ll be treated as a potential felon. What’s more troubling though is that Lucas’s older brother survived the tests but he couldn’t survive life back at home. What chance does Lucas have at a future? When he becomes part of a plan to infiltrate and shut down the facility, Lucas realizes he might have a better chance than he realized, but who can he trust to have his back in a place filled with people (supposedly) predisposed to violence?
Lucas was a great main character. He seems to have this split way of thinking where sometimes he’s pretty morbid about his situation but then other times he’s almost sarcastic. Chris, though, Lucas’s bunkmate, was my favorite character. He has an ‘I don’t care’ attitude about his situation, knowing that he will persevere through it and the government can’t touch him. Carly, someone from Lucas’s past who wants to infiltrate the facility, is an unexpected character. In the beginning I was torn between hating her and admiring her. I admired her because she wanted to break into the facility and do whatever it takes to get her brother back but I kind of hated her because she didn’t seem to put much thought into exactly how impossible that would be. In the end though, a thing happens that is completely awesome and yeah, she might actually be my favorite character.
Trisha and Lindsay’s writing is so fluid and easy to read. They write very simply and I don’t mean that in a bad way. It’s just that sometimes you read books where the author’s writing over-complicates everything about the story for whatever reason. That was not the case with Hardwired. They wrote the suspense of Lucas’s situation in very nicely. Nearing the final few chapters, I was on the edge of my seat reading to figure out what was going to happen. And when it did happen, I was pretty shocked. I don’t think I saw this one coming.
My biggest issue with Hardwired was that I wanted more. It’s a relatively short book, at only 229 pages, but there was so much potential for more. Examples of some more content that I wanted are: societal ramifications of the forced gene testing and the following testing in the facility, more character depth (I felt like this was too short to really get invested in the characters emotionally), and an overall shared focus with the main concept behind MOA1 and the society Luke lives in besides it just being a ‘prison-break.’
Overall, I liked Hardwired! I think fans of Soulprint by Megan Miranda will enjoy Hardwired. It follows suit with the idea of a person being predisposed to violence. Hardwired is a quick and yet suspenseful read that’ll give you a shocking character revelation!
About the Authors:
TRISHA LEAVER lives on Cape Cod with her husband, three children, and one rather disobedient black lab. She is a chronic daydreamer who prefers the cozy confines of her own imagination to the mundane routine of everyday life. She writes young adult fiction and is published with FSG/ Macmillan, Flux/Llewellyn and Merit Press. She is a member of the SCBWI, ITW and the YA Scream Queens— a group of nine female authors who are deathly serious about their horror! To find out more about her, please visit her website.
LINDSAY CURRIE Lindsay lives in Chicago with one incredibly patient hubby, three amazing kids and a 160 pound lap dog Sam. She loves Halloween, peach tea and Disney World (in no particular order) and is a contributor to the @YAScreamQueens.
An author of young adult and middle grade fiction, she is published with Flux/Llewellyn, Merit Press and Spencer Hill Contemporary. For more details on Lindsay’s upcoming books, please visit her website.
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