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J.J. Howard
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Stung - Stung was dark, gritty, and disturbing on so many levels. It's the kind of book that sends chills up your spine and sets you on the edge of your seat, and in the mean time your heart is pounding and you can't turn pages fast enough. Not many book can do that to me, so that just goes to show how great this book was.The premise stands out in the giant pool of YA dystopia. Can you name another book about ‘the honeybee issue’? Let alone on as dark and thrilling as this one. I didn’t think so. It definitely does share several aspects with other dystopias, but on the whole, it’s completely original.Fiona was a surprising character. She’s been in a coma for several years, and so waking up in the body of a sixteen year old is a little disorienting. But she’s quick on her feet, and soon begins learning how to survive. I think there’s a good balance between displaying her innocence and naivety, and also showing how quickly she’s learning and maturing in the dangerous world she’s living in. Now, so many times there are characters that fall into this kind of situation who will whine like crazy! But Fiona isn’t a whiny. She puts her time and energy into what’s important: staying alive.I didn’t really like the romance much, though. It felt kinda insta-lovey, though apparently Fiona and Bowen had known each other before as children, but the romance still came on too quickly. And if you keep in mind that Fiona still has the mind of 13 year old, and Bowen is 17/18 (can’t remember), you start to worry a bit. And there was one scene in particular that made me really hate Bowen, though only briefly.[Bowen and Fiona are in an abandon hotel. Bowen had gathered all the clean water he can find for Fiona to bathe in, and a suitcase with clothing in it. Fiona bathes and decides to put on a dress because she wants to feel girly. When she comes out Bowen freaks out because she’s not supposed to dress like a girl because since women are so scarce, men can’t control themselves and will usually kidnap and/or rape them. That’s all fine and dandy, but then Bowen says that he can’t control himself either, which I think is crap. He’s not some wild dog! He is capable of controlling himself, and there’s nothing wrong with wearing a dress! So then Fiona goes to change into boy clothes so that Bowen can “control himself”.]Now…I’ve heard rumors that this was a Sleeping Beauty retelling, but I can't find anything “official” confirming it. If I hadn’t heard that from someone (can’t remember who) I wouldn’t have guessed, because the book doesn't follow Sleeping Beauty at all except for a girl waking up from a coma (and something small at the very end). But whether it’s true or not, this book can stand on it’s own two feet.A powerful, gritty, and ultimately thrilling story that’s a scary prediction of what our world could become, Stung is a must-read!