17 May 2012

YA Book Review: Surrender by Elana Johnson

**If you haven't read POSSESSION, might I suggest checking out that review instead? I've tried to keep this one as spoiler free as possible but it's difficult with sequels!** 

Release Date: 5 June 2012
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher

Get a copy! Amazon | B&N
(I pre-ordered my copy & you should too!)

Goodreads description:
Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…

Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.

All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....
My Thoughts...
In this stunning companion novel to last year's Possession, Elana Johnson has pulled out all the stops and given her readers a heart-pound action story laced with a budding romance and the ever-present  machinations of the Thinkers. If you were one of those people like me who saw that this book wasn't about Vi and Jag and cried a little bit on the inside, let me reassure you right up front--you are going to fall head-over-heels for Raine and Gunner and you'll get to see bits of those characters that you loved in Possession.

The world of Surrender is one that you're already familiar with--the Thinker-controlled cities, the underground Resistance, and the characters who straddle both sides.  What I absolutely loved about Surrender is that Ms. Johnson gave me more back-story and world-building than we saw in Possession and I found myself completely intrigued by the stories of how their world got to the place its in now. It added a little extra something to my reading and I felt like it really enhanced my understanding of the world.

Raine and Gunner--I don't even know where to start with them! I went in to this story worried that perhaps I wouldn't like or connect with these characters as much as I did with Vi and Jag in Possession, but thankfully, my fears were completely unwarranted. I LOVED THEM.  It was really easy to connect and identify with the pair as their struggle for little bits of freedom in a world that's very control or be controlled.  They each have a special power that makes them valuable to both sides of the struggle and we watch them (along with Zenn!) straddle the line between worlds.

(If you're wondering, yes, Vi and Jag make appearances.  Yes, it is awesome to see them again. No, I'm not going to tell you about them.  That you'll have to read to find out!!)

Surrender was one of those books that was simply impossible to put down.  Johnson's sophomore novel proudly puts on display her advancements as a writer with enhanced characters and world-building that will blow you away.  If you even mildly enjoyed Possession, then Surrender is a must-read because I loved Possession and ADORED Surrender! Of course, I also left this book feeling like I wasn't done with this world...so I wonder what it would take to get her to write me another one...? (yes, just for me, lol)

 If you're a fan, then make sure not to miss either of the novellas that go along with this world!

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