Monday, July 1, 2013

**Hot Pick** Review and Giveaway Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

5 Star Review by Guest Reviewer Allison East

If you have ever read any of my reviews- you can tell I am an avid reader. I am talking 5-7 books a week. And every year I do my top 30 books of the year (260-364 books a year, but who's counting!). I try to pick an eclectic group, so people can read different things. Romance, Suspense, YA, etc. You get the point. I have read less than a handful of books that have me saying "That is definitely on the list!" (the Fifty Shades series, the Crossfire series, Hopeless, the Hunger Games)
That being said, Branded is on that list- without a doubt. Never have I read a book faster and slower at the same time. It is one of those books that you want to savor, and devour. I wanted to know what happened, but I also didn't want it to end. I was ruined for other books for days- DAYS PEOPLE! I couldn't get Lexi, Cole, and their world out of my head.  And  twists that are out of this world!
Sinners are branded around the neck with the different sins they commit in High Society, the seven deadly sins. Lust is blue, gluttony- orange, greed- yellow, sloth- black, wrath- red, envy- green, and pride- purple. Our heroine Lexi's crime- a crime she didn't commit was Lust. Those with a blue brand never last long in the Hole, people know why she is there. She is brought to the Hole and stripped of everything. Even of her late father's ring which bares the inscription, 

"You can overcome anything, short of death."

 And she does. Her story draws you in, her personality keeps you warm, and her strength makes you love her as if she is your sister. It doesn't matter what she did, but we find out she is innocent.
Then she meets her guard- Cole.

"Our eyes meet. I get lost in a pool of darkness, unable to distinguish where his pupils begin and where they end."

Something was different about Cole though, unlike the other guards- it almost seemed as if he cared. Cole is definitely a book boyfriend. And if I had to choose a guard, it would be him. He is a lot nicer than any of the other guards would be. He notices things about Lexi, like the fact she didn't even scream when they branded her, but cried when they took her father's ring. He protects her when most guards wouldn't and they start to build a bond.

"I hate when you leave, and that scares me" "I hate leaving you," he says into the darkness. "And that petrifies me."

In the Hole- everyone's lives are always at risk. There are daily shootings, robbing people, rapes, murders everywhere, and bombs exploding on the streets, it's like nothing you can fathom. Cole and Lexi's bond blossoms into something more, and something that is forbidden. Not only is a Guard associating with a Sinner illegal, it's punishable by torture and death, strict orders from the Commander. But even after all of that- it doesn't matter, they are still falling for each other.

"Damn it, you've complicated everything," His voice sounds anguished. "How can you say that?" "I never planned on falling for you. You were just an assignment. But it just sort of happened and now, look where I am.
"You're all I think about. My mind is constantly consumed by you and it scares the crap out of me."

I will not lie to you, this book is not for the faint of heart. There are some scenes that made my stomach drop, I cried- and one particular one I may never get over. But I can tell you it was so worth it. It is very violent, and harsh, but that is the beauty of dystopian. That is just how their society was ran. Can you imagine living in constant fear? That's what Lexi and Cole did. Not just from the everyday things- but because they had the audacity to fall in love.

"Just leave me," I whisper in his ear.     

I rooted for them from day one, I knew it was forbidden but yet still wanted them to be together. That is the beauty of Abi and Missy's writing, you never know what you are going to feel from one page to the next.There is absolutely no cliffhanger, bless you!! But there will definitely be a book two, and I cannot wait to read it.
Finally not only was the story well thought out and scripted, it was so well written. I thought I was actually watching a movie, that's how descriptive it was. I could see and feel the emotions these characters were feeling.  As awful as some parts were, I wanted to crawl inside the book and wrap myself in the page- just stay there for days. The story was amazing and I immediately craved more- you will too.
If you love dystopian novels, like the Hunger Games, you will definitely love this one. I think I even dare say it's better.  Look out for Abi and Missy, they are fantastic!

Barnes and Noble

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  1. AVAILABLE ON KINDLE for 0.99 kindle paperback

  2. This book sounds great. Thanks for the post and the giveaway.


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