The Farm

The Farm

4.2 49
by Emily McKay
     
 

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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…  See more details below

Overview

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...

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Equal parts Resident Evil and Hunger Games—and just as thrilling.”—Chloe Neill

“A gritty, white-knuckle ride…fresh, fraught, and super scary.”—Veronica Wolff, national bestselling author of Sierra Falls

“An intense read…The kind of book you can’t put down.”—C. C. Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of Taken at Dusk

 

“Be prepared to stay up all night.”—Marie V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Touch of Power

School Library Journal
Gr 8 Up—For their own protection, 17-year-old Lily and her autistic twin sister, Mel, are herded onto the Farm. A now-defunct college campus, it is a holding pen for countless teens. Hovering on the other side of the electric barbwire fence are human-size mutations: bloodthirsty Ticks, a scientific experiment gone awry. The Dean of the Farm systematically sacrifices hormonally ripe teens to feed and ward them off. Some females turn into breeders because their hormonal change repels the Ticks. Lily, fierce protector of Mel, plots their escape from this creepy place. Complicating her plan is Carter, the too-cool guy from the Before who vigilantly comes to their rescue. Mel is strangely compliant and responsive to Carter and his accomplice, a drop-dead gorgeous vampire, Sebastian. Unknown to Lily, her rescuers suspect that she has paranormal powers. Carter hopes that she can save the world, Sebastian wants to wipe out the competition, and the Dean wants to use Lily's powers for his own devices. Carter, Sebastian, and a couple who knew the twins in the Before join them on their flight to freedom, a barren backdrop of abandoned cars, empty neighborhoods, and vanished families. The group is relentlessly pursued by the psychopathic Dean, tracked by electronic chips embedded beneath their skin, and always hunted by the free-range hormone-thirsty Ticks. Gothic intrigue, an impressive female warrior, and the keen sensory perceptions and mysteries of autism all come together in this suspenseful adventure. Bloody confrontations are many, but a brewing romance in a dystopian land steals the show. Teen girls will delight in this fresh sci-fi fantasy that works the formula and throws in new surprises. Passing the vampire bite to a key player hints at a sequel.—Alison Follos, formerly at North Country School, Lake Placid, NY
Kirkus Reviews
After six months on a Farm where teens are raised to feed the vampire-mutant Ticks, Lily has a plan to escape with her autistic twin sister, Mel. Unbeknownst to Lily, her plan is doomed. Luckily, Carter, a boy she knew in the Before, shows up in the nick of time to tell her what to do instead. The story is narrated in three voices. Lily's voice gets the lion's share. Mel's voice--less the voice of a genuine autistic person and more florid riddle-talk--narrates a few short snippets. In Carter's chapters, which are, disconcertingly, written in third person, readers hear that Lily has the special thought-controlling powers of an abductura, though the nature of those powers and the dubious sources of Carter's information take a long time to be revealed. At every turn, Lily is punished for being self-reliant: Not only do readers learn her escape plot would have failed, but the actions she takes in self-defense, such as breaking one of Carter's tranquilizer darts after he has shot her with another, consistently backfire. A few tense action scenes and some by-the-book romantic tension aren't enough to outweigh the book's distasteful message: Do as you're told, girls, and leave the planning and fighting to the boys. Nothing new here. (Science fiction. 12-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781101613511
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
12/04/2012
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
351,047
File size:
963 KB
Age Range:
16 - 18 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“Equal parts Resident Evil and Hunger Games—and just as thrilling.”—Chloe Neill

“A gritty, white-knuckle ride…fresh, fraught, and super scary.”—Veronica Wolff, national bestselling author of Sierra Falls

“An intense read…The kind of book you can’t put down.”—C. C. Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of Taken at Dusk

“Be prepared to stay up all night.”—Marie V. Snyder, New York Times bestselling author of Touch of Power

Meet the Author

Emily McKay loves to read, shop, and geek out about movies. She lives in central Texas with her family and her crazy pets. She also co-writes young adult novels as Ivy Adams. Visit her website at escapethefarm.com.

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The Farm 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 45 reviews.
Kelly_Hashway More than 1 year ago
Wow! Just wow! This book grabbed me from the first page and didn't let go. The story is told in multiple POV. Lily dominates the story, but Carter and Mel both have some chapters along the way. While I gravitated toward Lily and her protective nature, always worrying more about her sister, Mel, than anything else, I really loved the chapters told by Mel. She's autistic and boy does the girl have an interesting mind. She really adds depth to the story. Lily is only concerned about Mel and her own safety, which means getting off of the Farm before they turn 18. 18 is the age they are supposedly released, but Lily thinks it's really the age they are fed to the Ticks. So Lily devises a plan, but everything gets derailed when Carter, a sort-of-friend and major crush from the Before, shows up. He's not at all what he seems, but Lily must trust him in order to go through with her plan to escape. Carter has lots of secrets and I won't spoil any of them for you, but let me tell you that nothing is as it seems in this story. McKay has tons of twists and keeps you guessing. And be ready to experience every emotion in the book. There were scenes that had me cringing and grossed out. Other scenes made me want to cry. And the tension is high just about all the time. You're in for a crazy good ride with this story. It's easily on my lists of favorite books this year.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
PLEASE TELL ME THERE ARE MORE CHAPTERS TO COME!  Literally could not put this book down.  Well written.  Loved that the story is told through the eyes of the various characters.  It expanded and added depth to the story.  Literally, the ending left me craving for more!!!!  Well done!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book what stinks is that it better have a sequel and if it does it wii seem like firever til ir gets here
LaylaG More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I'm known for reading anything, but this one I read all in one day. I loved how the story was written in multiple POV, I find that it added to our understanding of the characters. It is mostly told from Lily's perspective, but I found the chapters written my Mel very interesting because we got to see how she sees the world. The story revolves around Lily and her trying to protect her twin sister Mel by trying to get them off of the Farm before they turn 18. It is unknown what actually happens after they turn 18, but Lily thinks that it can't be good. Thats when Carter comes into play. He is an old schoolmate and crush of Lily's, and although the life she has been leading lately has made her much tougher than she used to be, his charm is fierce and unrelenting. I really liked their relationship and the struggle Lily goes through trying to figure out if she can trust him. Of course, we actually know what his real motives are by reading his perspective, but I won't give anything away ;) Mckay does an excellent job in surprising you with the twists and turns of the story, and you never really know what's coming next. Definitely the best book I've read in a while! Read it, just read it, you'll be happy you did :) Can't wait for the sequel,planned to come out in November 2013!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm in my late 40's and enjoyed this book. I really liked Mel and Lily. The charachter development is nicely done. I anxiously await the next book in the series - talk about a cliff hanging twist!!
Amy017 More than 1 year ago
I thought this book was great. I loved the love between Lily and Carter. Well written. Slow in the beginning, but I was then not able to put it down.
BooksWithBite More than 1 year ago
Very interesting book. Very interesting indeed. Initially, going into this book I thought I had it all figured out. Boy was I wrong.  Instead, I got a more in depth, complicate story that turn out to be quite beautiful. The plot of the book is nothing like the synopsis cause it go farther and deeper that what the reader is told. Which I really liked. I liked that the story kept me on my toes as well as entertained. I loved reading more into the characters as well as learning more about their history. Now the main characters, Lily and Mel as phenomenal. I love their relationship as well as the survival tactics. Their both immensely smart and protective of one another. Like Mel, my son also has ASD and well, I think the author did a great job in her research about Autism. The point of view does switch quite a bit between the two but I didn't mind it. I like seeing the sides from both girls and seeing what they are thinking/feeling. The love interest is what I expected with well a lot of betrayal. At the beginning, I admit that I hated the guy. He has been lying about his motives from the start and I quickly caught on. Towards the ends, I'm not sure how to feel. I want to trust the guy but it just that, he lied so much I can't. I guess I have to read the next and see if he is able to re-gained my heart. The Farm is fresh yet complex. It offers a new world, new rules that you must learn to play in order to survive.  It's one of those books that you can read and think about afterwards. The history to the story and where it's going it whats keep me hooked. Innovative and different, The Farm is wonderful!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Having not finished the book in its entirety, I can already say that I'm hooked. It's fast-paced, suspenseful, and thrilling at every turn. There's never a dull moment, whether it be action-packed or juicy (sparks do fly, my friend). Can't find a reason to put it down once I pick it up!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read, cant wait to see if there will be another book!
lindsey29981 More than 1 year ago
I honestly think this book was extremely well thought out. It was amazing. I have read the Twilight series and I think The Farm is a better book. These vampires are much more scarier. They don't sparkle. They are very realistic to me. Emily Mckay did a great job with this book and I hope I can read the next book out of the series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It cost me $9 but I only got 23 pages of the sample story :/ Is there someone who knows how to correct this or will everyone who purchases this book only get 23 pages?
Stephanie7 More than 1 year ago
It's rare that a book grabs me so hard that I can't stop reading til it's done, but from the first page I was hooked.  As I read more and more each page was like a puzzle revealing bit by bit of a story that just kept getting better.  And then the end came all to soon leaving me gasping for a sequel.  I can't wait to see what happens next and can't wait to  adventure back into the new world of ticks, vampires, and humans who want to save the world.  If you haven't read this you certainly should get it now!.
SaraO More than 1 year ago
A Fresh and Scientific take on a Vampire Apocalypse. I didn’t want to put this book down. And I wanted so much more when it ended! McKay does an excellent job of penning the first book in a series. THE FARM has a steady build so the reader fully realizes the world Lily and Mel are living in. The story is told from multiple, limited points of view. I know multiple POV’s aren’t everyone’s cup of tea. But know that McKay pulls it off. Much like George R R Martin’s A SONG OF FIRE AND ICE series, the different views add to the fullness of this story. Giving the reader far more information than any single character could. The setting of the tale is so freshly after the Tick takeover that we’re not sure what to expect from the world beyond The Farm. We see from Lily’s memory that before she and Mel were shipped to The Farm there were warnings for people to move away from the Tick infestation. The Farm itself seems reasonably well set up as a stockade for teens. It’s true purpose feels sinister – but on the surface appears to be a well thought out protection for the most vulnerable of Tick victims  Heck, as a parent I’d send my child there. Better to see them safe behind a fence than running from blood sucking monsters. What’s great about these blood sucking monsters in particular is that McKay doesn’t rely on the paranormal to explain her Vampires. Instead her monster is based strictly in science. And this makes it all the more terrifying because you could see how genetic experiments could go wrong…It’s far more realistic. And far more scary. It’s the realistic explanation that really sucked me in. The invasion of the Ticks reminds me of a “zombie” plot. The idea that a “virus” or “DNA” change would spread rapidly – resulting in a blood-thirsty being with no higher-level thought processes. Just smell food = Eat food. The horror! But it’s really the humans who prove scariest. While the Ticks can kill, fast and easy, it’s the humans and their own higher-level thoughts and plans that promote a more terrifying reality. Because you know The Farm I spoke of above isn’t based in pure intentions. And when the hot boy from Lily’s past comes into the picture with his own motivations knowing who to trust and which path Lily should take kept the pace of the book moving along swiftly. But don’t expect YA insta-love to hit these two. They’ve got a past of their own, a few years of crushing on each other to back up any feelings plus, romance just isn’t the point of this book. Survival is. Uncovering what’s really happening in the world is. And for once our heroine really doesn’t want to be the savior of the universe. “If I was an abductura, then that changed everything. Forever. … I would have to give up any hope I still clung to that there might be a normal life for me somewhere.”  It was this line that sealed the deal between Lily and me. I get that. When the world starts crashing down, I think all we really want is to find a normal again. To find a steady and calm place – even if it doesn’t look like it used to. You don’t get to save the world and then fade into the suburbs. It’s not wrong to wish that someone else could save the day. And leave the hope of “normal” to the heroine. Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Mel’s autism as a very cool addition to the tale. The (short) chapters from her point of view were wonderfully written in a lyrical/riddle mix. They always ended up shedding light on the story and by the end of the book I found myself hoping that Mel chapters would pop up so I could get new/clear information! They were little gems strewn throughout the book. But that ending! Geeze, I need to know NOW how everything is going to change. Rating: 4/5 A Fresh and Scientific take on a Vampire Apocalypse.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
eternalised More than 1 year ago
I wanted to enjoy The Farm more than I actually did. I picked up the book after heading home from university, and I craved a good read. The Farm was all right, but mostly it was meh. Surprisingly, considering the book had the super-awesome premise of two girls escaping a farm where people are kept for their blood, which is being fed to vampire mutants. Lily and Mel, our two main characters, live in a world overrun by mutant vampires called Ticks. They’re stuck inside a blood farm, along with several other kids their age, because their blood is most appealing to the Ticks. However, they need to escape fast, because they’re reaching the age of maturity – and no one knows what happens to people who do. They just vanish. Lily doesn’t want that to happen, so she and her mentally handicapped sister Mel, need to escape. Except that’s not as easy as it sounds. Even letting Mel in on the escape plan is a hassle. The best part about this book, no doubt, was the relationship between Mel and Lily. They have an unique connection. Lily is often frustrated with Mel, who has all kinds of quirks, but she loves her sister despite all that, and Mel loves Lily too, although she doesn’t always understand why Lily does the things she does. I enjoyed the chapters from Mel’s POV the most. The author obviously did her research, and she told Mel’s side of the story in a clever, interesting way. What was not that convincing though, was the male love interest. Carter. He’s apparently all that, and then some, and Lily has fallen for him ever since she first met him – and apparently the insta-love is mutual. But Carter, if anything, is just ‘meh’. He’s not interesting. He’s not alluring. And he hides way too many secrets. Why Lily trusted him even after he admitted to keeping secrets from her, is beyond me. Also, the chapters from Carter’s POV bordered on being boring. His POV seemed repetitive, and not necessary at all – he didn’t offer anything new to the table. I would’ve preferred if the story had focused on Lily’s and Mel’s POV only. I disliked Carter, and I found him a liar, who kept things for Lily ‘to protect her’, which never works, and the book owuld’ve worked better without him. Sebastian was all right though, at least he had a reason for being a pretentious jerk (which I won’t explain, because it would be a spoiler). All in all, not as enjoyable as I hoped, but an okay read nevertheless.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Umm.. I don't know, Cloverstar. Maybe you could advertise and get a mate?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I asked stormheart she starts to blush
acornucopiaoflove More than 1 year ago
Best Bits: The twists! The suspense! The fact that this book kept me up until the wee hours of the morning on a work night... I really enjoyed the premise of The Farm. It's a mix between a zombie apocalypse and a vampire story, and it felt really fresh. It doesn't romanticize vampirism (which YA tends to do), and it's full of surprises. I think it takes a lot of skill to write a YA without falling prey to the some of the most common tropes and of the genre (tropes are really common plot points/character situations. They're not bad in general, but when it comes to vampires there are a lot of things that I can't read anymore). McKay avoided that. There's no tired love triangle, no insta-love because the characters new each other before the Ticks came into existence, and the danger is real. I wasn't prepared for the paranormal aspect of the book (beyond the ticks), and I can't give away what that is for fear of spoiling you, but let me just say that I was pleasantly surprised. I also really enjoyed the characters. With the exception of a couple of Lily's actions, I was rooting for her and Mel to get the heck off of the Farm. Nit Picks: I only have one for The Farm, and it is related to the relationship between Lily and Carter. It's not the relationship itself that I have a problem with. In fact, I actually enjoyed the way that played out in the story (it wasn't insta-love). My issue is that Lily tended to put everyone in danger when Carter wasn't safe. During the first half of the book she's so focused on the safety of her sister that I was surprised that she would risk the lives of the group waiting for Carter.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Thought this book was very good and can't wait for the sequel!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Strange very strange...... but WOW the book was amazing. Lilly and carter's romance was intense. Can't wait for the next book loved this strange big story.......
Sanz71 More than 1 year ago
INITIAL THOUGHTS A hard dystopian/post apocalyptic world to exist in. Totally original and WOW! A kind sad part near the end though.  MY REVIEW So I guess I should start with how I came by the book, well I actually bought the book for my daughter Rachel who has yet to read it, though she has said after reading this review she definitely wants to read it herself soon! The cover shows a young female wearing a red hoodie which is a bright colour in total contrast to the barbed wire fencing also on the cover. upon reading the book we also find out that the wire fencing is in fact electrified. The title stands out in its font style and colour and enhances the cover rather than detracting from it. I also like the byline "Escape is only the beginning" So would the cover alone make me pick this book up in a bookstore? Truthfully yes just on the strength of looking at the cover I would pick this book up and want to know more about it. then I'd be buying it! So down to the book now, Life has changed drastically, these "things" called ticks exist and they seem to me to be a vampire/zombie cross. they eat humans and their blood. These ticks prefer young, teenage blood, so the government have set up "The Farms where all teenagers are taken for "their own safety". Only the farms aren't that "safe" and they are more like prison camps, where normal teenagers are called "greens" and then theirs those teenagers that turn on the "greens" and become spies for the Dean and are commonly known "Collabs". So Lily and Mel have been sent to a camp as their parents obviously trust in the government. Lily and Mel are twins. Though Lily acts as though she is the older sister, as Mel is autistic and tends to speak in nursery rhymes, which makes the book even more interesting and at times quite ironic and humorous at times. So Lily and Mel have been keeping to themselves and Lily only trusts one other person on the farm other than Mel and that is Joe. Joe can "acquire" almost anything you want, so Lily has been trading items for the things she needs to escape from the farm with her sister. Other than for meals Lily and Mel keep away from everyone.  Then one day a face from the past appears at the farm, Carter, the guy from "Before" that Lily crushed on at school. Carter wants to be around Lily and Mel but can Lily trust him. What is Carter really doing at the farm and who is the strange guy Sebastian?  Mel self comforts herself with a slinky, in the "Before" she used to chew bubbly gum. Mel can't sleep without her cuddly squirrel. Mel doesn't usually speak to other people other than her sister but when Carter comes along she accepts him so easily and communicates with him too.  At one point in the book Lily,Mel and Carter are together then they get split up, Carter disappears and Mel communicates with Lily by reciting "Little Bo Peep lost her sheep" I really loved Mel's way of communicating and the musical references, as everyone has a "sound/music" to her except for Sebastian who is silent.  I really don't want to tell you anymore of this story and I have purposely not mentioned some of the plot details. This book is really well written, the pace starts fairly slowly and then gathers speed. The Chapters are initially just from Lily and Mel's POV until Carter arrives at the scene and then we have Chapters from his POV. There is plenty of action and drama, some lies told for good reasons but still cause trust issues. Nearer the end of the book is the saddest part, I really had a lump in my throat and was full of sympathy for Lily. I began by sharing Lily's view of McKenna and felt her hate for her and Joe and their betrayal at the outset of the escape from the farm. However I went on to become quite attached to both of them as characters and felt McKenna's loss when Joe makes his grand gesture and sacrifice. I loved the interaction between Lily and Carter but at times felt like slapping and shaking them both! I really wanted them to get it together for each other but that isn't totally resolved even at the end of the book. I know this probably sound so gushy but I also love Mel's character, you really did have the impression she was a very wise girl and I'd say she saw and heard a lot of things as people thought her odd or even backward in some way. Her ways of offering comfort to Lily were at time heart wrenching and I readily admit to my eyes brimming a time or two. I loved it when she would give Lily the slinky to try and soothe her, or she'd give her the toy squirrel to hug. I suppose I really should be wrapping this review up now as I have seemed to go on and on, as there feels so much that I haven't covered, I mean I haven't covered the escape, or what Carter and Sebastian think that Lily is an abductora, or even what an abductura is! It really is action packed and lots and lots happens in this book. The book did end at a kind of cliffhanger in that I had so many questions that I want, no need answering in the next book such as Will Lily & Carter make it as a couple? How will Mel cope with her "new lifestyle?" What will happen to her and Sebatian? Did Joe make it? Will McKenna & Joe by reunited? I'm seriously looking forward to reading The Lair. So did I enjoy the book? I loved it! Would I recommend it? Yes, I would go so far as to call it a MUST read. Would I read a Bk#2? Yes please I intend to read and review Bk#2 as soon as I can, though I have some blog tour reviews I'm committed to first. Would I read other books by Emily McKay? Definitely I loved her style of writing, she made the book so easy to read! Not so easy to put down but that's a really good thing isn't it! Did The Farm remind me of any other books I've read? The vampire/zombies crossed creatures reminded me of the awful creatures that exist in the Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I only read the sample, and would like to say I did NOT enjoy having 90% of the pages be taken up by various title pictures, acknowledgements, and publisher information. A reading sample is meant to be a book excerpt that makes me want to buy the book, correct? It can not accomplish this task by filling up sample pages with all the aforementioned content. Disappointed in not having been able to accurately sample the book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a little different then your typical vampire story.. There are twists and turns every which way.. over all great read..