The Farm (The Farm #1) by Emily McKay
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are — holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister, Mel, have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices — like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…
The Farm kept my interest for the most part. Though, I have to say that my mind was easily distracted from it. My sister is currently reading Divergent and we were talking about it and how awesome it is. After that conversation, I went on to continue reading The Farm and noticed myself thinking about Divergent instead. I had to re-read some parts during my distraction. So, the story wasn’t completely captivating. That wouldn’t happen with a really good book!
I thought the characters were okay. None were extremely likeable or memorable. Though, you can’t help but root for them. Lily is strong-willed and courageous. She is admirable for trying her darndest to protect her twin (and autistic) sister, Mel. I didn’t find Carter to be the most likeable of characters, but he did grow on me toward the end.
The writing was good. There were more mistakes than I would like to see in a published novel, though. The story is told in three different perspectives, through Lily, Mel, and Carter’s POVs. The chapters mostly consist of Lily’s POV though. I loved Mel’s chapters. I thought that McKay did an excellent job in portraying the type of thoughts that run through the head of a person with autism. Sure, one can never truly know what a person with autism thinks or how he/she views the world, but I though it was very well done and I found Mel’s chapters to be very interestingly done. Very clever and probably my favourite chapters in the book. Carter’s chapters are told in third person, whereas Lily and Mel’s are told in first person. This threw me off at first! Very strange, but unique.
I will be reading the next book of this series once it comes out, so it captured my interest enough for that. I thought, overall, the book was okay. The uniqueness, along with the cleverness of Mel’s chapters, pulled me in. And the ending was also really good.
*Side Note: My husband and I read this novel together and he did not like the book. He thought the characters were unlikeable and annoying and that the story wasn’t very good. He also agreed with me on the weak world-building. And he, unlike me, did not like the ending and has no interest in reading the rest of the series. So, each to his/her own!
the Before, I hadn’t even fought in a girl fight
between classes. I wasn’t the type. I didn’t
even like to play Call of Duty. Nothing I had
done had prepared me for this.