In this dystopian New Adult thriller, a woman bred to donate her body parts must flee her oppressive society before they can take her heart.
Seventeen-year-old “donor” Joan Lion has spent her entire life keeping in top athletic shape—not for her own career but for another’s. She periodically supplies parts of her superior muscles and organs to superstar athlete and Governor’s daughter Tegan Gates, one of the Alliance’s most privileged citizens. Joan peacefully trains and provides this “tax” in the hope that she’ll eventually earn enough money to purchase her own citizenship and leave her donor status behind. However, when she learns that the Governor wants to take her strong heart and lungs to further enhance his daughter’s physical capabilities, she flees for her life. She’s chased by Tax Enforcement Officer Nox, a single-minded, rule-abiding man who was responsible for Joan’s mother’s arrest and execution eight months earlier. Joan finds help in surprising places and must decide whether to actively take part in the rebellion brewing against the Alliance. If the dark cloning-for-organs plotline of Kazuo Ishiguro’s Never Let Me Go (2005) mated with an action-packed young-adult thriller such as Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games (2008), the result would resemble Beatty’s debut. Joan, in particular, bears a remarkable resemblance to Katniss Everdeen, from her athletic talents to her involuntary rise as poster child of a rebellion to her involvement in a love triangle that forces her to choose between a childhood friend and a new romantic interest. Joan comes across as frustratingly stubborn and blind to the truth at times, but these faults make her less superhuman and more relatable. Although some plot twists may be a bit too obvious, Joan’s story will still keep readers hooked to the very end.
A quick, exciting read that will appeal to fans of post-apocalyptic tales.