*I received an e-arc of this book for free in exchange for my honest review. All following opinions are totally my own.
Author: Zach Hines
Release date: August 7th, 2018
Genre: teen, dystopian, futuristic, mystery
Page count: 368
Goodreads synopsis: In an alternate world startlingly close to our own, humans have nine lives—and they can’t wait to burn straight through them.
As you shed lives, you shed your awkward phases: one death is equal to one physical and mental upgrade. Julian’s friends are obsessed with the idea of burning lives, but Julian is determined to stay on his first for as long as he can. His mother, the ultimate cautionary tale, burned through her first eight in just a few years, and Julian has no intention of succumbing to the debilitating rebirth sickness that she inflicted on herself.
But the regime has death incentives aimed at controlling overpopulation, and Julian realizes that he’s going to have to burn at some point—especially when he becomes a target for Nicholas, the manipulative leader of the Burners, the school’s suicide club. And when Julian eventually succumbs, he uncovers suspicious gaps in the rebirth system that may explain exactly why his mother went so far down the rabbit hole years ago. Along with a group of student dissenters, Julian sets out to find answers and is soon on the verge of exposing the greatest conspiracy ever unleashed on the world.
He has just eight more lives to uncover the brutal truth.
My thoughts: Before I begin my review, I want you to note that this book has trigger warnings of self harm and suicide. Just please be aware of these things before reading! 🙂
I highly enjoyed this book. Sure it had some problems and some unanswered questions (sequel perhaps?? 🙂 ) but overall, I flew through this and enjoyed it all the way!
It gave me Scythe by Neil Schusterman vibes so if you like that book, you will most likely enjoy this world as well. They are very similar to each other.
The plot moved quickly which I liked. There wasn’t a dull moment in this book which kept driving me to read more and more and more! I literally couldn’t put this book down!
The characters were fine for the most part. The only thing I really did not get on board with was the Julian and Molly friendship. They were supposed to have this deep, long term friendship but we didn’t get to see them interact very much a part from the first few chapters so in the end, I really wasn’t invested in that relationship.
Like I said, there were some plot issues and unanswered questions which my have been the author’s intention because I do not know if this is supposed to be a series or a stand alone book. Honestly I think it was left opened ended enough to where it could be a series, but there was enough of a conclusion that I’d be fine if it wasn’t.
I really enjoyed Zach Hines’ writting style. The only complaint I have is that some chapters were told from the viewpoint of other characters other than the main character Julian and I wish there were more chapters like that. I would’ve liked to hear a chapter or two from Cody’s perspective since her backstory is still a little murky and there are some questions there or even a chapter or so from Robbie/Jake’s point of view. It would have been interesting to see what all goes on in the mind of another retro.
Anyways really enjoyable read and actually the more I think about it, the more I would like to see a sequel to this book. It would be nice to see if they ever solve the “wrinkles” or the retro part of the rebirth process.
Highly recommend especially if you like darker dystopian reads.