Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Tour Stop & Book Review: Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Series: Sinners #1
Publication Date: 28 June 2013
Genre: Dystopia, Fantasy, Romance
Source: YA Bound Book Tours (In exchange for an honest Review)

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Buy links: Amazon l B&N

Goodreads Synopsis:
Fifty years ago the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I've been accused of a crime I didn't commit and now the Hole is my new home.

Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.

Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.

The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

My Review:
I was not quite sure what to expect from this book at first. The first 50-60 pages were ok and I was not sure where it was going, then the story picks up and tugs at your heart on so many levels.

Characters: 4/5
Lexi - Lexi is a very strong and caring character. At first the connection to this character was a little bit weak as I was trying to figure out what exactly was going on. Once I was fully connected to the story it was easy to love Lexi and connect with her all the way. The way Alyssa affected her touched my heart and the way Lexi really went out of her way for this poor girl showed the beauty of her character. For some reason I really liked the fact that Lexi could never stick to her resolve to stop her feelings for Cole.  Your saw her strengths and her weaknesses. 

Cole - Cole is sexy with a soft heart, yet he needs to portray the toughness of being a guard in the Hole. I love that he takes care of Lexi so well before he even realises his feelings for her and the truth about her past. One of the sweetest moments in the book for me was his date with Alyssa, where he went against all the rules to fulfill a sweet wish of dying young girl. Cole is by far my favourite character (maybe second to Zeus.. they are on par). The story is filled with sweet moments between Lexi and Cole that just make you swoon, but it also tests them to their limits.      

Zeus - I love this dog. He snuck into my heart very quickly. I adored that he grew protective of Lexi so quickly and that he is Cole's best friend and side kick. 

Sutton - Sutton is your typical caring doctor. He treats the sinners like normal people. I really did not expect the twists and turns that were brought in, especially in the last third of the book. Sutton is a really great character, easy to like and connect with. 

Keegan - Keegan is Lexi's brother. I didn't like him much. He wasn't your bad guy but I really just thought he was an ass of a brother. I know he loves and cares for Lexi but really couldn't stand his attitude towards Cole. 

Plot, Pace, Writing style : 3/5
Abi & Missy have a good writing style. The pace is ok, but a bit slow in spots. It did take me a little while to fully connect with the story, but the story only improves once you do connect. Abi & Missy have great world building skills, the future world they build is scary and dreadful - yet they make it very real. The last third of the book was filled with twists and turns I would never have seen coming and really kept you reading.

Cover talk 3/5 - I liked the cover.

Final thoughts: 
A great book and I would definitely continue this series just to see Lexi and Cole grow together. 

My Rating:

Favourite Quotes

He's not being perverse. In fact, he actually looks afraid for the first time since we met. Fear is an interesting emotion for him to display when I'm the one who's vulnerable.
You can overcome anything...short of death.
I love you... I don't want you to ever question it. I'd give up my life for yours. That's how much I love you. Don't you dare ever doubt that
I never planned on falling for you. You were just an assignment. But it just sort of happened and now... There's not a single thing I would change about you. When you smile, my entire world stops. All I see is you. I need you.
I wasn’t actually sleeping, more like daydreaming with my eyes closed.

About the Authors:
Abi and Missy met in the summer of 1999 at college orientation and have been best friends ever since. After college, they added jobs, husbands and kids to their lives, but they still found time for their friendship. Instead of hanging out on weekends, they went to dinner once a month and reviewed books. What started out as an enjoyable hobby has now become an incredible adventure.

Author Links: Goodreads - Branded l Twitter l Facebook l Website l Tumblr l Pintererst


  1. It's interesting when two people come together to write a story. I can't imagine how hard that must be. If I created a character, I would have a view about where he or she goes, what their motivations are, how they interact with others. But the two authors must have developed an understanding, otherwise this book would not be here! It looks like the kind of book I might like....although I feel a bit exhausted from dystopian tales, when it works (a la The Hunger Games) boy does it work! Might just add this. I like your quote from the book Chanzie...."You can overcome anything...short of death."

    Loool, now why would we let a little thing like that stop us? xD

    Thanks as ever for an interesting and insightful review!

    1. I agree John :) I also imagine it could be quite fun! Look how well we bounce ideas around :) That quote is actually a running theme throughout the entire book! And it is so true :)

      Thank you for your ever thoughtful feedback and input!!

  2. This sounds really good, I haven't heard of this series or author before, but you sure got me interested in finding out more.
    Thanks for your great review :)

    Lexxie @ (un)Conventional Bookviews

    1. Yay! I am so happy you enjoyed the review and its on your radar now :) Happy Reading Lexxie and thanks for popping in to say hi :)

  3. I loved Zeus, too, and how protective he was of Lexi. The scenes with Alyssa were beautiful and heart breaking. I loved how Lexi was able to connect with her when no one else could. And the "date" was so sweet. I really didn't think Sutton would be so caring even though he is a doctor, so that was a surprise to me.

    I question Keegan's love for his sister. He left her behind knowing what kind of a monster their stepfather is, and then when he meets up with her, all he seems to care about is the rebellion, not what she's been through. Why is he such an ass to Cole? I never understood that.

    I really love how you review your books, breaking everything down. It makes it easy to take in everything that comprises a book. Terrific review! :)

    1. Yes! I loved Zeus to pieces! And Lexi with Alyssa was just heart wrenching.
      I agree, Keegan was not my favourite even in his most vulnerable scenes.
      Thanks for you visit and feedback Jennifer :)


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