The Farm by Emily McKay
My rating: 2.5 of 5 stars
Category: Young Adult
Genre: Post Apocalyptic
**There are some minor spoilers in this review.
The Farm started out great. It might have stayed that way if it would have just been what it sounded like it would be. In the beginning Lily and her autistic sister Mel are trying to escape a "farm" where their blood is being harvested to feed vicious vampire-like creatures called ticks. The Farm is a place where teens are taken until they are 18. There is a lot of mystery about what happens after everyone at the farm turns 18. They disappear and Lily is sure nothing good happens to them so she decides she and her twin sister Mel need to escape before their 18th birthday. And along the way they meet a boy named Carter who helps them.
Unfortunately the story takes an unexpected turn. Once we find out why Carter is really there I thought it veered off in the wrong direction. I mean did we really need another book with the girl who is special trope? I also felt like there was no good reason for Carter to have hidden things from Lily in the beginning. Why couldn't he have been upfront with her about what he was doing there, at least about the helping her get out part? And he was so convinced that she was what he thought she was, but the reasoning behind it seemed pretty flimsy to me.
Since it's a vampire apocalypse type story, I was expecting a lot of creepiness, maybe something a lot more like The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle. Now that was a creepy YA book! Unfortunately the creatures in this book weren't creepy at all. They even sounded like Sasquatches the way they were described, which I thought was weird. Also the whole reason for the ticks existing didn't work for me either. A regular vampire decides he wants to rule the world so he ends up creating some sort of virus with his venom in a lab that turns people into these vicious, mindless vampire-like creatures. I would have liked it much better if the regular vampires had been left out and the monstrous vampire-like creatures had been the only ones.
Honestly though, all of those issues were small compared to my main problem with this book. And that is I have a real problem with a book that breaks its own rules, and that's exactly what The Farm does repeatedly. If an author is going to set up rules to their book mythology it's a good idea to stick with them, otherwise why bother with making the rules in the first place? We have the ticks in this book that are supposed to only be active at night, only to suddenly find out they are out in the daytime now too. They are supposed to avoid churches or holy ground, only to find out that there is an exception to that rule as well. And they are supposed to be afraid of fire, but surround an entire burning building! At the end of the book (and yes I did see that little twist concerning the sisters coming a mile away) I already know which rule will probably be broken in the sequel.
Even with all of the problems I had with the book I still found myself kind of wanting to find out what happens next, mainly with Mel, but in the end I decided to just look up spoilers instead of read the next book.
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