Branded by Keary TaylorIt is the first installment in the Fall of Angels series. A close friend of mine created her own genre to fit a growing part of the fiction market that doesn't quite fit into the teenie bopper category (nor do they want their characters associated as such). She named it "Young Adult for Actual Young Adults and not Teenagers" genre. I think it actually adopted the name New Adult Fiction in the library world, though. Fall of Angels sits in this category. The main protagonist Jessica is 20 years old. A refreshing age for the lead female to be.
Being not too separated from 20, I appreciate being able to connect to characters at that age. It is an excellent time of growth and experience. You are still stupid enough to pull off some of the major risks in life and young enough to not get hurt when it fails. The influence of your peers does not hold so much import as you create a new life and identity from your experiences and the lessons you learn every day.
Alright, now for the mixed bag of the review. The love story is reminiscent of all Twilightesque sappy love stories. Damaged girl meets guy well above her expectations, stunningly handsome, and hugely romantic. I indulge myself in these stories every now and again because everyone can dream (but when you read so many of them you start thinking the real world will drop one in your lap, you have hit insanity... and need a reading timeout). While not a fan of the overall sappiness, Branded had such excellent writing and overall motion in the story that I will be completing the entire series. (As I said, I indulge myself every now and again. Especially when Amazon has a package deal for $9.99.)
I loved the ending the best. I kept thinking "it's gonna be alright, everything will work out, but oh god there is like no book left, but no it has to be alright, but with so few pages left... aaaahhhh" as I furiously devoured the last chapter. Probably one of the best, most intense endings I have ever read.
Here is to some Orwellian thinking!