Book Review: The Unadjusteds by Marisa Noelle

The Unadjusteds by Marisa Noelle

Author: Marisa Noelle

Title: The Unadjusteds

Publisher: WritePlan

Date: 2019

Plot: Sixteen-year-old Silver Melody lives in a world where 80% of the population has modified their DNA. Known as the altereds, those people now possess enhancements like wings, tails, and increased strength or intelligence. Although Silver’s parents created the nanite pill used to deliver these genetic modifications, Silver is proud of her unadjusted state.

However, when the president declares all unadjusteds must take a nanite, Silver has no choice but to flee the city with her father and some friends to prevent the extinction of the unadjusteds.

With Silver’s mother in prison for treason, Silver’s father is the unadjusteds’ only hope at finding a cure. But time is running out as Silver’s father is captured by the president’s almost immortal army. Vicious hellhounds are on Silver’s trail, and her only chance to recover her father involves teaming up with a new group of unlikely friends before all humanity is lost.

I received The Unadjusteds from the author in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I was fortunate to be contacted by the author in regards to this book. The synopsis caught my attention and I agreed to review it. A dystopian world with humanity taking on abilities with dire consequences? Sounded up my street.

I read this in just a couple of days – it’s not a lengthy book but has a fast-pace and certainly lacks for nothing. The characters are well-rounded and while there are some stereotypical elements of a young adult novel (hints towards a love triangle, for one), it never fell into cliché traps that I’ve read too often.

Silver is an engaging main character. She’s stubborn and defiant, refusing to follow the trends of the rest of humanity after seeing the damage it could cause. She’s afraid, she’s vulnerable, and she’s damned determined she is going to do everything in her power to bring down a corrupt government. Finding new friends, new emotions and new abilities along the way, Silver has to learn exactly who she is – and who she wants to be – if she has a chance of saving her parents.

Aided by her best friend, Matt, and a new group of friends – an eclectic mix of personalities and abilities – Silver faces challenges she never dreamt of. Every ability has its own story, every survivor their own reason for fighting. Silver is pushed physically, but also emotionally.

Good old American Dream. Reach for the stars and all that. Well, they’d been reached for, lassoed and wrestled back to earth, where they became the opposite of twinkling, optimistic dreams.

The rest of the characters have individual personalities and Silver connects with them on different levels. They help her understand what she could be if she lets herself – and what is at stake for all of them, regardless of their history.

As mentioned, this skirts along the tropes of young adult. I was on my guard with the love-triangle, but this isn’t a book of teenage pining angst, just quite acceptance that emotions aren’t as straight-forward as the characters once thought. It was refreshing touching upon this and moving on rather than half the book dwelling on it.

It’s fast-paced, with the first death of the book occurring on the second page. The majority of the characters are teenagers, but there is a level of maturity to them that you don’t feel like it’s a book run by kids. It does mean, however, there’s some teenage romance/angst floating around, adding another dimension to the plot. The only thing I wasn’t certain on was that Matt seemed to play an intrinsic role in organising a resistance despite only being sixteen!

The world-building is swift and effective – you pick up within a few pages the rules that govern the characters. It’s quite straight-forward, meaning it doesn’t need more page time than is given and doesn’t stall the plot.

The abilities are intriguing and the variation makes it an interesting read. They all play a role but you never felt like an ability was introduced just because it helped the plot move on.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am definitely interested in any sequels – there are still things unanswered and I want to know more!

Shelve it | Buy it

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