Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Review: Reboot

REBOOT
Reboot #1
Amy Tintera
Young Adult/Dystopian
352 pages
HarperTeen
Available May 7th
Received via Edelweiss for review

THE STORY (from Goodreads)
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.


MY THOUGHTS
Dark and gritty, Reboot presents us with a very different possibility for life after death, one of rigid control, demanded compliance, and excessive violence. It's made clear to us early on that Reboots are considered less-than; their human deaths a temporary end for them physically, but to the rest of society, it's a permanent end to them mentally and emotionally as well. Our anger ignites almost instantly as we follow Wren through the cold and brutal world that rewards ruthlessness and disposes of weakness, teeth grinding at the pain Reboots experience each day in the name of “training”, hoping against hope that the little girl who is the strongest of them all will bring this world to its knees in the coming pages.

Wren, having been dead for a full 178 minutes before her body rebooted, is the most feared and revered Reboot in her facility (and as far as we can tell, in any of the Reboot facilities). She's extraordinarily lethal and seemingly merciless, carrying out assignment after assignment with ease even as other Reboots fall dead at her feet during the course of the same mission. We worry initially that what everyone says about Reboots is true–the longer they're dead, the less humanity left in them–but it doesn't take long before we see the lie for what it is; simply a way to instill fear of Reboots in the human population and yet another way to manipulate them into feeling inferior. Wren is neither cold nor unfeeling, and her hesitant steps into back into the world of human emotion from the lonely existence of the world's best soldier are a joy to watch, each page tightening the grip she has on our hearts.

Callum is a young man we don't really know all that much about even after we reach the last page, but his unshakable positivity and infectious personality win us over easily, and we simply can't keep ourselves from falling a little in love with him when a smile crosses his face at a time it should be contorted in pain. He bears his horrifying training with a humor we are nearly one hundred percent sure we wouldn't be able to conjure in his shoes, and his unrelenting campaign to show Wren she isn't what the numbers tattooed on her wrist tell her she is has us rooting for the two of them from the onset. Their relationship progresses fascinatingly as Callum gives a little humanity back to Wren and Wren puts a little fight in Callum, and we find ourselves grinning stupidly at their initial interactions and then sighing loudly as their affection deepens, grateful to Ms. Tintera for sparing us unnecessary angst and premature declarations of love.

One of the only small quibbles keeping this first installment from a higher rating is the relative ease with which Wren and Callum get in and out of certain high-risk situations, but we so desperately want to see them succeed that it's hard to do anything but say a quiet thank you when they emerge on the side of life from one of their many life and death situations. The ending is also a touch abrupt, adrenaline still pumping sweet and fast through our bodies when we suddenly find ourselves on the last page, leaving us just a little off kilter for a little while after reading. Overall though, Reboot is a beautifully electrifying beginning to this series, grabbing us by the throat from page one and never easing in its grip until we reach the end, breathless and gasping for more.

Rating: 4/5
 
More information on Amy and Reboot can be found here:

53 comments:

  1. Hmmm, I haven't seen this one around. I might NEED this one! It sounds good. I like the idea of a tough as nails girl needing her humanity nudged back by a positive guy. And all while being what- Navy Seals, Special Forces-something like that it sounds. I think I really need it! Great review! Not a fan of abrupt endings. It's not a cliffie is it?
    No you would have said.

    Heather

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    1. No it's not a cliffie. Did you ever read Razorland by Ann Aguirre? It's sort of like that. It just kind of does an "end book one" type of thing. It's a logical place to stop, you're just still in the middle of things and want more.

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    2. Or I could call it by the correct title - Enclave. Razorland was the original title and it changed. Clearly, my memory is awesome.

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  2. I'm intrigued by this one!! It definitely sounds so good, I'm looking forward to checking it out. =)

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    1. I really enjoyed it Ashley! Such an interesting concept:)

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  3. ARGH!!!! I'm so so mad I missed this one on Edelweiss. I wouldn't have even considered reading it, but you keep telling me to read it!!!
    Ok now I need a copy from BEA!! Squeals!

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    1. YES! We will definitely be in her line at BEA:)

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  4. Sounds like a new twist on a zombie theme. Did it have a wild west feel to it - being set in Texas? Not that Texas always signifies wile west but the plot has that feel.

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    1. No, no wild west feel. The HARC center is very cool and cold and military-feeling, and even when they're outside it's a very different Texas.

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  5. Callum totally won me over with his sweetness-the romance was actually probably my favorite part of this book surprisingly.

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    1. I loved him too! I just loved how upbeat he was, such a change from the brooding bad-boy type:) I love a good bad boy, don't get me wrong, but it was fun spending time with Callum.

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  6. This sounds amazing! Callum sounds like a great love interest, too. I really like guys who sound as adorable as he does. I'm so excited to read this. Great review!

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    1. He is definitely adorable. I spent the whole book wanting to hug him:)

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  7. It's nice to see a positive review after all the negative ones I keep seeing around. Honestly I've got this book too but haven't read it cause I wasn't sure abut it. I'll now give it a try for sure it sounds great from your review. Great review Jenny :)

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    1. I loved this book Tanja, I hope you do give it a try!

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  8. I'm so glad the romance in this is angst-free. I've heard a lot about it and as a fan of zombies, I suspect I may enjoy this. I have so many zombie novels, though, that I suspect this will make its way to the bottom of my TBR. Lovely review, Jenny!(:

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    1. I was thrilled by that too Keertana! There's definitely drama, but it's from outside forces, it's not relationship drama. I wouldn't necessarily call this a zombie novel either, they've all died, but they're still very human. They need food, water, etc, so if you're expecting a zombie novel you might be disappointed.

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  9. This sounds so interesting to me :) I think this is one that I will give a whirl especially since there is min. angst!

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    1. I thought this was great Felicia! No love triangle, little angst, just a great page turner with an enjoyable romance mixed in:)

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  10. Even though I wasn't the biggest fan of the romance, I really liked Callum. Even though he went through a lot of crap, he kept his positive nature intact. And Wren was so bad-assed! Loved her!

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    1. I loved her too! I want to be badass when I grow up Mary!

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  11. What a concept! I mean, who comes up with this stuff? Very interesting. And it's so nice to hear that you liked the characters enough to become so invested in them - another bonus. In light of all those positives, I find myself not really caring much about the minor faults you mention. I think I would really like this one! Cool, thanks for the helpful review, Jenny!

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    1. Right? I was really impressed by the creativity and how thoroughly the whole concept of a Reboot was explained. Loved it:)

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  12. *strokes chin thoughtfully* This sounds intriguing, Jenny. This makes me think of False Memory (soldiers who were bred specifically for fighting), but where that one fell flat for me, this sounds like it has potential!

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    1. I haven't read False Memory so I can't tell you how they compared for me, but I couldn't get enough of this book. I need book 2 right this minute:)

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  13. Yay! I LOVED this read! So much fun. I can not wait for the second book. The ending left it so open for anything to happen.
    Great review!!

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  14. I really loved the first half of this one but I felt like the second half the romance kind of overtook the story a bit when I wanted Wren to still be who she was in the beginning, completely personal preference there though. I agree that things were a bit too easy with the final plan, I mean this corporation is HUGE it would not have been that easy. I am definitely curious about the next one and I hope Wren goes back to her kick ass ways. Great review, Jenny!

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    1. Yeah, I know Wren is super badass and all, but things worked out a touch too easily for them at the end. I still loved this one though:)

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  15. You know I love this book. :) Wren and Callum are awesome and I just loved it to pieces. Great review!

    You're right - they do seem to evade things pretty easily, but at the same time, I'm kind of glad. I was fully expecting one to make it out and the other to be ensnared behind enemy lines (line in Delirium or Opal or a ton of other YA books), but surprisingly they both made it!

    Woohoo!

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    1. I KNOW! I was really worried about a Delirium-style ending as well, so like you, was very grateful for some of the ease of their escape as well. It's in part why I couldn't get too worked up about the implausibility of it all, I was rooting for them so hard I wouldn't have cared if a magic cloud floated down and whisked them to safety:)

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  16. Great review, Jenny! I agree about the ending, though I do think it made me want to come back for more in the sequel. And yes, Callum really does have an infectious personality. I think I fell for him the instant his goofy grin spread across his face. ;) I can't wait to see what happens next.

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  17. *grumble grumble* How do you ALWAYS find such perfect words for every single book? Thank you for giving me an inferiority complex!
    I think by now it's clear that we all felt the same way about Wren and Callum's relationship. he seemed to pull her out just a bit too fast, no matter how likeable and infectious he might be.
    Other than that, this was such a pleasant surprise!

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  18. Loads of people have been urging me to read this one. It's just sitting on my kindle but I'm definitely going to read this ASAP now. Pity about the getting out of sticky situations too easily :(

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  19. Wait wait wait wait!! This is about zombies? I have never actually read the synopsis though *silly me* but I am totally loving this zombie wave we have in YA and I'd love to check this book out O_O The way you talk about it makes me want to grab it an pet it and really intrigued to read it;-) Yay, Jenny. Sold!!

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  20. The concept for this series sounds a bit like Glitch (emotionless protag. learning to feel again through cheerful romantic interest), but also more fascinating to me. It's interesting that it seems to have a sci fi esque spin on zombies... and it's good to know that the romance is free of angst, which is what bothered me about some books of that nature. And you've got me interested in Wren, with that description of her ruthlessness. Me likey. Time to check this one out? I think so.

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  21. I can't wait to start this one. Dark and gritty and I love the premise! Hmm well I think I would be okay with the protagonists getting out of scrapes easily vs. the opposite where it is so hard and ridiculous. I am hearing great things and I will be starting this soon!

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  22. Yay! I'm so thrilled to hear that you loved this one Jenny! I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I agree, the ending left me sort of overcharged with nowhere to go. For that reason, I sort of wish I'd waited to read it until all the books were out, but I couldn't help myself. :-) I'm very impressed with Amy's writing so far and have very high hopes for the sequel. Amazing review!

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  23. I've been curious about this one. I'm a bit leery of how they easily get out of things, but if it didn't bother you too much, then it probably won't bother me. I can suspend belief. :) This does sound interesting and you have me curious about that ending!

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  24. Hmm.. I like the premise. Sounds original and the concept of being rebooted has me shuddering. I'm a bit disappointed that the characters get out of dangerous situations easily and the abrupt ending. Still not sure about this one, but I'll see what book 2 brings. Thanks, Jenny!

    p.s. Jealous about "Invisibility"! Can't wait to read your review. :)

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  25. I have been hearing a lot about this one, it sounds like most everyone is loving it! I thought I had a copy but I can't find it anywhere so either I'm mixing it up with another book or my nephew borrowed it. I'll have to check and see cause it sounds great!

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  26. I love the sound of Wren and Callum's romance! I've seen some less than positive reviews elsewhere, but I think those reviewers are pretty critical as a rule. I think I'd hold the same opinion as you, Jenny on this read. I want to pick this up! Lovely review. :)

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  27. I'm currently reading this book and I'm enjoying myself so much. I love Callum. Like you said, we don't get to know much about him, but his happy-go-lucky personality is so infectious. He definitely brings a smile to my face whenever he's in a scene. I'm excited to see where the story goes! Lovely review, Jenny! :)

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  28. Awesome review Jenny! I just got this book from my indie store and I'm excited to read it.

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  30. Hmmmmm....still deciding if I want to read this. I love the premise and how Wren seems kickass though. I'm glad you enjoyed this, Jenny! Beautifully written review!

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  31. This book sounds fantastic! I definitely want to read this. Great review!

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  32. This sounds like a great premise...it was not even on my radar but I'll have my eye on it now.

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  33. I'm so curious about this book! It sounds great and I think I'm going to like the characters and their romance :)

    Mel@thedailyprophecy.

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  34. I am absolutely dying to get my hands on a copy of Reboot!! Loved your review!! and LOVE your site! GORGEOUS!

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  35. I have been seeing mixed reviews regarding this one. I am not sure that it's my thing. I am glad you liked it though. Perhaps that will keep my mind open and I'll give it a go someday.

    Happy Reading,

    Sara @ Just Another Story

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