Published: May 22nd 2014 by Simon & Schuster
Format: eARC, 320 pages
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When 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.
Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.
When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.
Out of Control is a heart-stopping adventure that will have you on the edge of your seat from the first chapter. It includes Alderson’s trademark action and amazing characters and takes on an issue rarely seen in YA fiction.
I love how realistic the characters are. On the surface Liva’s a spoilt girl and Jay is a street-thug, but both defy expectations and grow into amazing, dimensional characters. Liva’s grown up in some of the most dangerous part of the world. She’s comfortable around weapons and climbs things for fun. Enter Jay – who seems to be her opposite in every way (rhyming!). While Liva is giving evidence about a home invasion she’s just survived, Jay is brought to the police station in handcuffs!
They’re both mixed up in something bad, and are forced to go on the run together to survive. I loved their adrenaline filled romance because they both were very aware that their feelings might be a product of their situation, yet neither of them could resist it.
Jay’s really awesome, and although I know that rationally that Liva didn’t have anything to go on, I got annoyed at how she stereotyped him in the worst possible ways every chance she got. He also stereotyped her, to be fair, but I don’t think his assumptions were as ignorant or destructive as hers.
There’s a lot of violence and action in this book, which makes it ver hard to put it down and do other things! This is the kind of book one reads in a single sitting. One of my favourite things is that Liva and Jay both took the lead in different situations, and Jay was quite respectful of the fact that she was more experienced and should lead, and not trying to be all macho and weird. And it wasn’t a begrudging type of respect where he was “Oh she can probably beat me up, I’d better be careful”, which would have annoyed me.
Unlike most YA which is concerned about people taking over the world or killing a subset of the population, Out of Control deals with the horrors of human trafficking. I haven’t seen many YA novels that bring this up and I liked it 🙂 The plot was exciting and convoluted – it kept me guessing right until the very end!
I loved reading Out of Control and think readers who like action and adventure will love it. Fans of Alderson’s books won’t be disappointed either! I can’t wait for Conspiracy Girl, which is another action-thriller Sarah is writing, that will be published in February.Blogging Outside the Box is a feature at Speculating on SpecFic, where books outside the SFF banner are reviewed. It is intended to highlight some of the non speculative fiction titles I am reading and share my thoughts with readers.