June 5, 2012
Young Adult | Dystopian
Author's Website | Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound
As this is a sequel, it contains spoilers for book one, and my review does, too. You've been warned.
Forbidden love, intoxicating power, and the terror of control…
Raine has always been a good girl. She lives by the rules in Freedom. After all, they are her father’s rules: He’s the Director. It’s because of him that Raine is willing to use her talent—a power so dangerous, no one else is allowed to know about it. Not even her roommate, Vi.
All of that changes when Raine falls for Gunner. Raine’s got every reason in the world to stay away from Gunn, but she just can’t. Especially when she discovers his connection to Vi’s boyfriend, Zenn. Raine has never known anyone as heavily brainwashed as Vi. Raine’s father expects her to spy on Vi and report back to him. But Raine is beginning to wonder what Vi knows that her father is so anxious to keep hidden, and what might happen if she helps Vi remember it. She’s even starting to suspect Vi’s secrets might involve Freedom’s newest prisoner, the rebel Jag Barque....
Oh, Surrender. I should have known you were bad news from the very beginning. But I was willing to give you a try, in hopes that you were a tiny bit better than Possession. Sadly, for me you weren’t. The problems I had with Possession I had with Surrender.
I honestly don’t find this dystopian world believable. The characters have private conversations over caches, and when lights flash red (I have NO CLUE what that was supposed to be—a bug of some sort to block technology, right? BUT HOW DID IT WORK?) and such, and there are so much technology against the government’s rules it makes me think how and why it was even created in the first place. In a world where you try to have complete control over your citizens, it doesn’t add up. They WOULDN’T have been created, and the citizens wouldn’t have them! It was a gimmick to help the characters out. One that really annoyed me.
Surrender is told in dual POV and the voices blended together so well that when I put the book down and came back minutes later, I wouldn’t remember who was narrating the chapter. I noticed Elana Johnson attempted “easy” POV differences, with Gunner repeating words, but that was honestly the only difference I found between the two voices. Raine’s voice, however, was different than Gunner’s in the beginning, in her first chapter. But as the story progressed, they blended together and made me go cross-eyed.
But my biggest problem with Surrender is it reads like Possession—just with two narrators. Vi, the narrator of Possession is a “good girl” … and so is Raine. If I remember correctly (and please don’t quote me on this) Gunner and Vi have the same power. Ability. Whatever. Surrender even has the same-ish plot as Possession: playing the control game.
This is a spoiler, so highlight if you’ve read Surrender/don’t mind spoilers. Surrender ends the same way as Possession. Like, I get why it does, but nothing peeves me more than the same ending. Goddamn I was so pissed when I read that ending. I mean, RAINE gets brainwashed into thinking she’s another person. And hello, Vi was brainwashed at the end of Possession. What. The. Crack. Just no.
I just really struggled with this one. I couldn’t remember who was who, or what happened in Possession (besides that horrid ending), or even the world. Did Vi live in Freedom or what? Or another city? I get that you can’t exactly rehash what happened in Possession in Surrender since there’s different narrators, but I don’t have a copy of Possession. I don’t want to reread it either before starting the sequel (although, holla, it’s a good idea to if you don’t remember what happened in Possession!) I think it’s bad that after almost 500 pages, I still don’t have a clue what went down.
I know I’m supposed to say what I did like, but honestly… I don’t remember what I did like, or if I did like anything, and I’m writing this review HOURS after I finished the book. It took me forever to read the book, too. There was nothing hooking me to read it (so yeah, why did I finish it? I think because I was already so far in when I realized that I didn’t like it.) I wish I liked Surrender, I really do. Elana Johnson is such a great person online, and I love reading her blogs, but Possession and Surrender? I wish I liked them.
*This review sucks, I know, and I’m not even sure I’m correct on all the details. It’s just, Surrender left me in a fog while I was reading that I don’t remember things correctly, and yeah, I could look them up, but if I didn’t understand the first time, how am I going to understand the second time?
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