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Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tent City by Kelly Van Hull

YA Dystopian, 278 pages
Tent City #1
My rating: 4 stars


After a devastating plague, introverted 17-year-old Dani Campbell and her family find themselves living in a very different America, one run by a cult-like leader, who forces children to move to "safety camps" designed to protect the human race. Encouraged to flee by her parents, Dani and her five-year-old brother seek refuge in the Black Hills of South Dakota. On the run with danger around every corner, Dani must fight to ensure their survival in this new world while trying to unmask the mystery of how it all came to be.

My 2 cents

I received an ecopy of this book in exchange for a honest review.

Tent City is a start of a new dystopian series that is unlike any I've read so far. While reading it, I was actually thinking of the book In the Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. Although the plots are really not the same at all, it just had that dark, religious fervor kind of feel. The actual concept of the novel and the atmosphere of it was definitely my favorite things about Tent City!

Basically, in this future world, or world has gone to crap, and there is a new government (run by what's called The Council) and headed by a religious prophet (or so he calls himself), Burke. Burke is plain evil and has started taking all the children to "safe" camps. Dani is 17, and her parents ask her to run away to her uncle's cabin in the middle of nowhere in South Dakota with her little brother, Brody (who is 5). Only when they get there, a whole group of rebel kids have taken over the cabins and surrounding area and started "Tent City."

Bentley is the head of Tent City, and he and Dani immediately feel a connection. But even though Dani is attracted to him, she meets another boy by the name of Jack, and so somewhat of a love triangle results, even though its obvious both boys are hiding some big things from Dani.

My biggest problem with the story was all of the secrets. It frankly drove me crazy in how not only where there so many secrets being kept, but that Dani wasn't trying too hard to get to the bottom of things. Certain scenes were just frustrating to read.

Things I loved about this book? There were many! Like I said, the setting and atmosphere, a decent amount of action, the originality of the plot, the characters--especially Jack, Brody, and Jonah. I wasn't a huge fan of the MC, Dani, just because I got a little tired of her sarcasm. But I still liked her enough to sympathize with her plight. 

The ending of this one was beyond amazing! I kind of wish the rest of the book had been as good! Really, the ending is what bumped it up to 4 stars for me, until then it was more like a 3.5 maybe. But be forewarned, there is a big cliffhanger, so you will want to have Red River all ready to read!

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