➼ [Download] ➹ Stray (Stray, #1) By Monica Hesse ➹ – Dolove.info
See my Full review here with links is Monica Hesse s debut novel, which was released in June 2013 Thanks to Easons for sending me this book for a review I did not know what to expect going into this book I had not heard any hype or read any other reviews before I read it and that made me even excited to read it and write my review I also really dislike the cover I don t picture the characters clothes in that way, neither do I picture the pods in that way When I first read the synopsis, I thought that the books romance would be rushed because of the action side of the plot taking over the novel This was not the case The plot if this book was interesting When I first started reading it I found myself thinking it was similar to Level 2 by Lenore Appelhans, but as I read on I realised that it was so much better Although the first 80 or so pages did not have me gripped to the book, I did enjoy the book The plot of this book was not totally drowned by the action I really liked this as the plot had many elements, such as mystery, suspense, thriller, romance, sci fi, and was not just solely wrote around the action side of the plot I thought the plot was a really interesting concept I also thought that the pacing of the plot was really good Just the right amount of plot twists paced evenly apart to keep the reader captivated I only wish some of the history of the program and Julian were explained.The characters of the book were well written I really enjoyed the gang of Fenns friends I loved their tight knit friendship and how they accepted Lona into their group I liked that the characters were not perfect Each character had their own flaw and this made the character feel a lot realistic to the reader I also liked the character of Genvieve, who for me had the most depth and backstory At first she seemed to be a character I disliked but she really grew on my as the novel progressed Julian was also a character of many layers, an enigma really The stray children were also amazingly unique The romance side of the book was quite well done There were some bits I was unhappy with overall I did enjoy the way the relationship between Lona and Fenn came about Their relationship spawned from friendship, which is something I really enjoy in a novel The transition from friends to than friends was subtle, slow and real It was really well written, although I sometimes felt it became the focus of the novel a little too often for my liking.The writing style of the novel was really good I loved Hesse s ability to create dimensional characters, each with their own flaws and unique traits.I also really thought that the book made the reader think about some serious things such as, What is the definition of Perfect or Normal or Average Why do we strive to be those things Is this the way the future could go Do we learn from doing or being taught And other things similar to this This book was really good if you re looking for a book that ll make you think The world and plot of the book was initially something I thought would be similar to another book, but Hesse took the idea and made it her own She really did take the idea and bring it to another level The sci fi element of the book was also just enough to make me want to geek out She also dealt with two, and sometimes three, character narrations in the story really well The transitions from each characters POV was smooth and easy Although this book did not receive a 5 star rating from me, I hope this is the first book in a series as I am so excited to see what happens next. The first third of this book was very enjoyable because it was intriguing I had high hopes.Then it started falling apart in confusing lurches None of the characters felt real enough for me There were too many of them, and the reader is shown only brief glimpses through a perspective so close it almost felt like first person PoV Lona herself didn t feel real Too normal and mature in comparison to the rest in some scenes, flat and artificial in others.The romance part of the story disappointed me Lona s relationship with Finn felt forced, because I just couldn t see Finn as an actual person there was so little of him in the book.The ending was the worst It wasn t a cliffhanger, but the story ended abruptly without providing any resolutions It might have been left for the second part, but I have no desire to read it now, not after the crumpled series of coincidences and miracles this book ended in, conveniently eliminating all of the characters who stood in Lona s way without her direct involvement.Good idea though, and the writing style was nice. Lona Sixteen Always Is Not Herself Quite Literally She Lives Her Life Virtually Through The Experiences Of Julian, A Boy Who Was Chosen As A Role Model For The Pathers Of Quadrant Troubled Children Who Have Been Rescued By The Government And Put On Path But One Day Lona Finds She Can Think For Herself And On Top Of That, The Face Of A Familiar Boy Appears On Her Screen Fenn, Who She Thought Had Moved On To A Different Stage Of The Path Last Year But He Didn T Fenn And Other Rebels Like Him Have Strayed From The Path, And Now Lona Must Stray Too But Life Off Path Is Strange And Difficult, And Lona Uncovers A Secret That Will Threaten All Their Lives Can There Really Be Life After The Path First, this book is available through uk You should totally buy a copy to support this author, but if you are a friend, I will let your borrow my copy that I picked up while gallivanting around London and being v posh A bit of a slow start, in fact I had to try three times, but I m so glad I kept at it The fact that this plot even happened in the author s head makes me jealous and I really appreciated her execution of a great idea Looking forward to the next one Stray definitely didn t turn into the book I expected, despite the storyline it s so much character driven then action based It sounds strange but reading Stray was incredibly relaxing I got to know Lona on a much deeper level than most characters in this genre.What I will say is that I did not get Fenn at all Lona and Genevieve are fascinating, intelligent and brave some of my favourite female characters in ages and it s all about Fenn I could not see it at all but in the end I didn t have to like him to love Lona s story.Stray is an intriguing story, it twists and turns and you re never quite sure how it ll come together in the end I really enjoyed how Monica Hesse built on things, Talia for example and what became of Julian.Monica Hesse s debut is complex, intelligent and very well done I ll certainly be keeping an eye out for future releases. REVIEW BY JACK YEAR 11Stray is set in a world where orphans and abused children spend their childhoods on the government run Path, a virtual reality experience of the ideal childhood This concept of using futuristic technology to solve society s ills cheaply is both fantastic and increasingly relevant The path follows the life of Julian, and pathers are monitored by a bureaucratic system of monitors, coping technicians touchers and managers.Sixteen year old Lona, the main character, is a normal pather until she goes off path for a record ten minutes As a result, she is sent to be remmersed, to have her memory wiped On the way she is rescued by her old friend Fenn, who reveals that the path may not be what it seems Although Lona s gradual realisation that she cannot trust the path is predictable, the many twists along the way liven it up The world of the path is fascinatingly in depth but it does feel slightly under used.All the characters seem to have good ideas behind them, but they are quite hard to follow as the cast expands continually throughout the book By the end, this left me quite confused Also, the plot seems to have a lot of loose strands left at the end of the novel though perhaps, as there is a sequel, that is deliberate.I loved Talia as a character, as she was introduced at the beginning but still had an important role to play at the end As a monitor on the path, she inhabits a slightly different world to Lona s pathers, separated by an intangible barrier She also had a thorough backstory, understandably than the other, orphaned, characters The best part of the tale for me was the beginning, where the story is clear and the brilliant world of the path is emerging.On the whole, the setting of Stray is great, but some of the characters do not seem to use it to its full potential. Great cover, and for once reading a book for the cover didn t lead to disappointment this was the first book I ever borrowed from my school library in year 7 woah The idea of Path is to provide a better life for children who would otherwise end up in foster care, by providing them with the perfect childhood In order to do this the Pathers have no previous memories, no identity that isn t Path, even their names are a way of categorising the children From that we can tell Lona was born December 15th and was designated to Sector 14 Quadrant 1, it does also make pronouncing some of the names tricky to pronounce, Ilyf and Czin for example Even with the lack of background information I felt like I got to know Lona better than any other lead character in any book I ve read for a while Maybe because we re there while Lona discovers herself On the subject of characters, I loved Talia, a Path Staff member, and the outside Path perspective she gave to the book, she started off as a small character, but as things developed she became a key part in the plot.In the one hour off Path Lona becomes friends with Fenn, and when he leaves for Eighteens she really misses him, and starts to realise that she has an off Path identity, and that Julian the young boy who s life they all live virtually is not all there is in life When Fenn comes back for her, the two of them Stray from path with a few other friends, and it leads to a series of complex developments and twists that left me wondering where and how the book would come to an end.I found I could picture Path existing if technology was good enough, and I was intrigued by how outsiders reacted to Path, with pity and even envy Monica Hesse did a fantastic job of thinking of even the smallest details, like how difficult dealing with the busy places and contact with people would be for the Pathers, and how outsiders are happy to donate money to Path, but wouldn t take any of the children in themselves adding to the overall very realist and intriguing idea of Path It was great to also see how the Path had treated Julian, with thousands of children growing up on his memories from 50 years ago, and people treating him like a minor celebrity.Overall I found this to be a fantastic debut and I can t wait for of Monica s work in the future, so you d better keep writing Miss Hesse The twists and shocks kept me up late at night finishing it, and I thoroughly recommend this book, as a different twist in the dystopian genre And even though I think the book has finished in a perfect place, I almost want a sequel just to find out about the lives of Fenn and Lona and the other Pathers before they had their memories wiped and their families left them behind. The most productive features writer at the Washington Post s Style section and I should know somehow found time to also write this absorbing, sleek novel about a future where the answer to a surfeit of neglected abused abandoned children is to hook them up to a virtual reality perfect childhood represented by one boy s life Then some of them escape before their cut off date It s a great, suspenseful read, but also heartbreaking in parts.