The Ward [NOOK Book]

Overview

Jordana Frankel’s thrilling and imaginative YA dystopian novel The Ward is set in a near-future New York City. A catastrophic flood has washed out Manhattan, leaving the rivers polluted, and entire neighborhoods underwater. Some areas are quarantined because of an outbreak of a deadly disease.
 
The illness, known as the Blight, is killing sixteen-year-old Ren’s sister. Desperate to save her sister’s life, Ren agrees to lead a secret ...

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The Ward

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Overview

Jordana Frankel’s thrilling and imaginative YA dystopian novel The Ward is set in a near-future New York City. A catastrophic flood has washed out Manhattan, leaving the rivers polluted, and entire neighborhoods underwater. Some areas are quarantined because of an outbreak of a deadly disease.
 
The illness, known as the Blight, is killing sixteen-year-old Ren’s sister. Desperate to save her sister’s life, Ren agrees to lead a secret mission from the government to search for a cure. But her quest leads to a confounding mystery beneath the water and an unlikely friendship with a passionate scientist.
 
Readers who love speculative fiction and crave action-packed stories similar to Veronica Roth’s Divergent will find The Ward absolutely unputdownable.
 

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
09/01/2013
Gr 9 Up—In this run-of-the-mill dystopian thriller, New York City has been washed out by floods. The poor inhabitants live on the top floors of the tallest skyscrapers; fresh water is scarce, and the HBNC virus is wiping out the population. The wealthy people live on the West Isles, where they have better water filtration systems, but the virus is starting to spread to them as well. Ren, 16, grew up in an orphanage and is now a dragster, a person who makes a living competing in dangerous races in a carlike contraption across rooftops. She is a strong, independent young woman who has a lot of responsibility but still shows immaturity. Ren has two secrets: the first is that her friend Aven is very sick, and the second is that she works for the "Blues" scouting for fresh water. However, she didn't realize when she was hired that the governor of the city was hoping that she would find the fountain of youth, and that a secret group of people has protected the fountain for hundreds of years.The story goes downhill from there; it is full of clichés, such as corrupt politicians, police officers, and wealthy bullies who try to keep Ren from succeeding. Furthermore, it is difficult to believe that the buildings are still inhabitable after being under water for so many years.—Erik Carlson, White Plains Public Library, NY
Publishers Weekly
In this gritty, post-apocalyptic debut novel, 16-year-old Ren—a tough orphan surviving in a Manhattan transformed virtually beyond recognition by global warming, floodwaters, and the Blight (a deadly illness)—will do almost anything to support herself and her dying friend, Aven. To the bitter frustration of Ren's male rivals, she's made herself into the best and most daring "mobile" racer in the city while simultaneously working undercover for the hated Governor Voss and his vicious police force, spearheading their desperate search for fresh water. As the Blight worsens, affecting even the better parts of the city, Ren discovers that Voss is not simply looking for clean water. Somewhere beneath the flooded city lurks a miraculous cure for the Blight, "magic in a bottle... or the devil in a bottle," and the governor apparently wants it all for himself. Ren is volatile, embittered, and dedicated to the adrenaline surge of racing, but she's also gutsy, loyal, and at times surprisingly vulnerable. Frankel's unforgiving, drowned New York serves as a formidable background for her survival story, the first in a planned series. Ages 13–up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Apr.)
Michael Grant
“A highly imaginative, pulse-racing page-turner.”
Kirkus Reviews
A society built atop a catastrophe-stricken United States of America, a feisty heroine torn between guys, an evil government--stop us if you've read this already. Frankel's debut posits a scientifically implausible future in which the Wash Out has transformed New York City and New Jersey into the United Metro Islets. Manhattan is several stories underwater--boardwalks, suspension bridges and amphibious vehicles stand in lieu of streets--and under quarantine due to the Blight, a contagious, cancerlike and always fatal disease. Orphaned drag racer Ren is 5 feet of sexy trouble: Under duress, she works for the police state searching for "fresh" (water) and spends her earnings on her Blight-stricken "sister" Aven, whom she met in an orphanage (a relationship much described but never brought to life). When she finds fresh with amazing healing powers, she lands in the middle of a centuries-old battle over Minetta Brook, currently playing out between the governor and ancient Lenape guardians. Ren must fight both sides if she wants to save herself, Aven and the hundreds of sick people in the Ward, all while dreaming about more-than-meets-the-eye Derek and fighting the first hints of attraction to brainy Callum. The checklist of what makes commercial teen dystopias may be complete here, but the clumsy writing and nonexistent worldbuilding prevent this subpar clone from making a splash. (Dystopian romance. 12-16)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062095367
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 4/30/2013
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 616,418
  • Age range: 13 - 17 Years
  • File size: 2 MB

Meet the Author

Jordana Frankel is a creative-writing instructor at Writopia Lab and a former marketing associate at the Book Report Network. She received her BA from Goucher College and an MFA in creative writing from Hollins University. She currently lives in New York City. The Ward is her first novel.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 10 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 4, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I want to thank Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for providin

    I want to thank Edelweiss and Katherine Tegen Books for providing me with an eARC of this book to read and review. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my opinion or review.




    Blurb from Goodreads:
    Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.
    However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.
    Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.




    First, I would like to say that the cover definitely drew me to this book. It's so interesting looking. For sure I wanted to see what it was about. Certainly it portrays a dystopian world and I do love my dystopian books. And, once you get into the book and understand the story a bit, you can see how perfectly the cover fits with what is going on.




    So Ren is a pretty kick butt main character. She's very independent, has to be having no family to take care of her. She's loyal and dedicated to her "sister" Aven. And, of course, she has a secret that she does not want to share with anyone. When you first meet Ren, she's not very likable at all. She's very rough around the edges and it didn't seem like I would be able to connect with her. But she shows a lot of growth during the book's progress and I came to like her more and more. And whereas I thought she was selfish at first, I realized later that what she did was all to ensure her "sister" was safe and sound. Having been an orphan she doesn't have much of a past, no family to speak of and very few friends.
    Derek is the "love interest" and Ren's bookie. I was a bit confused as to his motives for much of the book. It seemed to me that he had feelings for her, perhaps had had them for a while, but he was a bit wishy washy in how he showed her. I didn't blame her for not really understanding where he was coming from. We get a bit about his past later on in the book and his secrecy makes a bit more sense at that time. However, there was no build up of him going from not interested to interested, it just kind of happened and I found it odd. At least we know from the start that Ren has an interest in him, as she says so.
    Callum is also a bit of a mystery. I couldn't decide what side he was really on. And once I learned how old he was I had a hard time believing his position as a scientist. It just seemed odd to me. I also felt that he formed some sort of connection with Ren, but it was never fleshed out. He was interesting and I'd like to see a bit more about his past and why he was in the position he was in. And he doesn't seem to balance out the love triangle as much as I would like. It is obvious that he has some interest in Ren, but I don't think Frankel really brought it out enough to have me torn between him and Derek.
    The Bad guys in this story are truly bad. They are only out for themselves and are completely corrupt. As with any dystopian, the government has it's secrets and this one hides them very well from the people. 




    The plot of this story was very interesting. And in the end it took an interesting turn that has sort of a paranormal type element to it. I was not expecting it at all. I do wonder what it would be like to live in a city such as is described in this book: mostly under water with bridges and such to help people get around. The racing car aspect of this book was really interesting. I could picture the cars jumping from roof to roof as they strove for the finish line, strove to win. What I didn't feel was the connection between the racing and the government's power. The racing, which was fairly prominent in the story, really only serves as Ren's outlet to let herself loose, although eventually the cars serve as her way of getting around. I think there could have been a little more world building so the reader could understand why the kids race, what purpose it serves for them. It would have also been better if we'd had more of a explanation of how the government came to be as it was once the floods happened.




    One thing this story is not lacking is action. I loved how it was woven so neatly into the plot line. And the author definitely was able to build tension and keep mystery so that I was often wondering where it was going. I like a story that is not easy to figure out. And I appreciated the ending, kind of a cliffhanger but not enough to make you so annoyed that you have to wait for the next book.




    The writing for a debut novel is very good. I didn't find that the author tried to fill things in with more words than necessary. And she kept true to the story line, although the characters could have used a little more work. I really wasn't able to picture them in my head for most of the story, which drove me a bit nutty.




    All in all I think this is a great read for anyone who enjoys a good dystopian novel. I am really interested to see where the relationship between Derek and Ren goes and how it gets there. I am also interested to see how Ren avoids being a victim of the tyrannical government in this book.




    3/5 stars from me (well, probably more like 3.5 but I don't do half stars!)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 10, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Ward by Jordana Frankel Book One of The Ward duo Publisher:

    The Ward by Jordana Frankel
    Book One of The Ward duo
    Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
    Publication Date: April 30, 2013
    Rating: 3 stars
    Source: eARC from Edelweiss

    Summary (from Goodreads):

    Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

    However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.


    What I Liked:

    I wanted to like this book so badly. It was easily one of my most anticipated dystopian novels of 2013, and debut novels of 2013, and I was hugely disappointed. I hate that feeling of utter disappointment, when a book is so that great.

    I love the cover of this book. If that is one thing that I must about this book and Katherine Tegen Books, it is that the cover and font treatment of the book is so well done, and I absolutely love it. One of the reasons why I wanted to love this book so badly was for the cover. If I loved this book, I would have bought a beautiful, shiny, hardcover copy to put on my shelf. So not happening.

    So, what I liked. As far as dystopias go, this one has a good grasp of it, and there is even a fantasy element in this book, which makes it even more likable. I was confused by the fantasy part, but at first, I was thrilled by its presence in this novel.

    The flying transportation ships were awesome! They reminded me of Star Wars, if I am understanding them correctly (I could be completely wrong; the description of the races and everything were not amazing).

    I LIKE Callum, one of the interests. Maybe I don't really think he is a love interest (see more about this below), but I really like him as a guy. He is so sweet, and such a genius. I just wanted to hug him some times throughout the book!

    Overall, I really did not like very much about this book, especially since it confused me and I was bored most of the time, but I do want to see how this duo series ends. I WILL be reading book two, despite what you see below.


    What I Did Not Like:

    I just... I don't know where to start. When I finished this book, I knew I was not particular pleased with it overall, but I can't describe why. There were many small things that I did not like, and many larger things that I did not like. Overall, the execution was just, ah, pretty poor.

    I feel like I never connected with Ren, which is not good, since she is the protagonist, and this book is in first person. All she cared about was her adoptive sister, which I totally understand. But this made Ren lack some level of depth. I also found her a tad bit annoying throughout the book. She makes poor decisions, and it seems like she does not learn from her mistakes. Also, some of her inner monologue of thoughts are silly.

    So I was frustrated with Ren. I was also frustrated with the plot. I liked it sometimes, but then, as the book went on, I just got tired of it. It seemed like Ren and Callum and Derek were doing the same thing, over and over. And while this book is very fast-paced, a lot of the action is either poorly described, or brief.

    The love triangle was just BAD. I mean, from the beginning, we know Ren likes Derek, her bookie. And then we get the scientist, Callum, and I think Ren like him, too? But I can't say that for sure, because nothing really romantic occurs between them, and there does not seem to be any changing feelings between Ren and Callum. I understand the subtleties of romance, but I don't think this was subtle: I think this was just nonexistent. Also, to make things worse, I really didn't care for either guy, because neither of them had any depth, in my opinion.

    That's my next point. Most of the characters were static, one-dimensional characters. I understand that SOME characters need to remain unchanging, but it was literally almost every single character that was static and one-dimensional. Not cool. That just made me not care about any of the characters, even Ren's sister.

    I'm confused about the ending, and what Derek is. Guardians? Okay... and the water. So, water has powerful properties now? Somehow, none of this seemed believable. And yes, this is fiction. But I have to believe that this could happen, right? Use my imagination? Well, the author did not make me feel like this was possible, or real. 

    The world-building wasn't so great, and neither was the writing style, or the writing itself. The characters were weak, the romance was so blah, and the story wasn't believable. Overall, I was not impressed.


    Would I Recommend It:

    No. I so wanted to like this book, but I would not recommend it to anyone. Sorry!


    Rating:

    2.5 stars -> rounded up to 3 stars. I rounded this one up because I will read the next book, to see how the story ended. 

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2013

    I've seen a few reviews out there that, to be frank, picked this

    I've seen a few reviews out there that, to be frank, picked this book apart. I won't be doing that here, for one very simple reason: I couldn't put the book down. Nearly 400 pages, and I had to fight to take breaks for things that demanded my attention.




    I love this setting. A flooded NYC affords the reader enough familiarity that it's not hard to picture, yet this is certainly not the NYC we know and love. the busy streets and sidewalks have been replaced with watery canals that are affected by the tide. The lower floors of the high-rise buildings are underwater and therefore mostly uninhabitable. The inhabitants are used to this flooded city, and have adapted; many are used to traveling in water-friendly craft, and all have crafted systems for collecting and filtering rain water for drinking. There is still a lack of sufficient fresh water, however, and this is a major plot point.




    I love that this plot is so fast-moving. The water races, jumping from rooftop to rooftop, set a very quick pace that doesn't let up between races. We jump from scene to scene, with date and time stamps in the chapter headers to remind the reader that things are moving very quickly. Ren has to think fast to stay ahead of the doom that is chasing her, and the reader rides right alongside her- and it gets better with every passing page.




    I love the characters, especially Ren. She is strong and smart- independent, yet loyal to the few friends who have managed to worm their way into her heart. She is especially attached to Aven, a fellow orphan who is such a good friend that the girls refer to each other as sister. There's Benny, the trusty, protective mechanic that helps her keep her racing rig going, and Derek, her bookie and resident hottie. Of course there are fellow racers as well, all of whom are guys, some of whom are nice.




    I love that one particular piece of lore is woven in- I can't tell you what it is, but when you get there, you'll know! This plot point will be just familiar enough to readers to hook into prior knowledge, and to include it in a dystopian is such a wonderfully original idea.




    I acknowledge that there is room for the writing to improve. I'm okay with ignoring the little issues here, though, because The Ward is so entertaining. I'm sure that the prose will improve as Frankel continues to write, and as this is her debut, I look forward to her future work- including the sequel.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2013

    First reveiw...

    Hey, this is a pretty good book. Read it.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    The ward

    This is one of my favorite books. It is such an amazing read and promised to be worth your every penny. The ward is a thrilling, breathtaking, unpredictable ride you wont soon forget. Check my other reviews on other books such as, The maze runner, Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, The raft, If i stay, Where she went, Monument 14, Sky on fire, Savage drift, The hunger games, Catching fire, and other big time books like this. I go by bookworm14. Thanks! -bookworm14

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2014

    A must read

    Wonderful writing.

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  • Posted May 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The Ward had the most gorgeous dystopian cover I have seen in a

    The Ward had the most gorgeous dystopian cover I have seen in a while. It really gave me hope that I will finally be able to read an authentic dystopian novel. The Ward, from the cover, is set a couple of years after the Wash Out in 2048, when the world, or at least the coastal cities of the US literally drowned. Due to pollution and the now contaminated water, a new disease, HBNC, emerged, which is known as the "Blight". Now, fresh water is like rare diamonds, where only the richest of the rich get to indulge in such delicacies. However the poor people, the ones our world always seems to treat them as scum, are now enclosed in an area known as The Ward. This is where the main protagonist, Ren, is from. Ren, at sixteen, is mobile racer, which I found to be pretty cool. At such a young age she is the bread winner of the family, even if her family consists of herself along with Aven, a girl two years younger than her that she met during her stay in a foster house and ended up loving her like a sister. Aven actually contracted the Blight, therefore she spends all her remaining days in bed. I liked how Ren, someone who you might assume is coldhearted at the beginning, cares so much for Aven to do anything for her. However, I wanted to witness that through their relationship. Unfortunetly their relationship felt a bit too superficial for me. I LOVE sibling bonding and love, from Layken and Kel from Slammed to Jamie and Wanda/Melanie from The Host. You can imagine that I was anticipating that sibling love that always makes my heart break, but it never came. Yes Ren calls Aven "Feathers" (I never got to know why) and people say actions speak louder than words, but I guess I needed some more words to convince me. For the World Building, I do have to say I was slightly confused at the beginning. Being a Chemical Engineer, and taking a course in water treatment and another in waste management, you can understand how I was skeptical that somehow fresh water, or at least desalination and distillation techniques were nonexistent. I did get it later on that the water is contaminated, meaning the contamination can't be removed using the above techniques, but I wished I knew that way before, in the beginning, so I wouldn't have had a "huh?" face whenever I read about the lack of water in this world. I also wished we knew more about the origin of the Blight, as well as what other cities (say ones that aren't on the coast), as well as other countries are dealing with this wash out. I do believe the bright spot in this novel is the main protagonist. I found her to be SO kick butt and independent. I loved how she had a mind of her own and held her ground in front of anyone. She was never intimidated into doing anything she believed was wrong and even her crushing on a guy never clouded her judgment. Speaking of crushes, there is a possibility of a love triangle, while not present in this novel, might be in the sequel. There is Derek, who is the receiver of the crush and then Callum. At the beginning, I was so conflicted on who to root for, but by the end of this novel I am already a solid member of one of the teams (not going to say which). I WILL say that I hope to get more history and background for each of the guys, especially Derek in the sequel. This novel is 480 pages, you can imagine the amount of action scenes and car chases (whether above or under water) that happen. I have to say that the last 100 pages or so of this novel started to lose my interest but the beginning was very solid. I can't wait for the sequel because the scene the book ended in was horrid, in a sense that you want to know what happens. Overall i really enjoyed this novel and while I don't completely label it as a dystopian, it feels more of an adventure novel, I would still recommend it to both fans. 

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  • Posted May 2, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    What I liked:  Ren's strength: She knew how to work hard, she ma

    What I liked:
     Ren's strength: She knew how to work hard, she made courageous moves.
    Her loyalty to her "sister" Aven. Ren met her when they were in the orphanage, she was Ren's first friend, and Ren worked so hard to find her after they were seperated. Aven is sick and Ren does the races, and she is a mole because she works for medicine.
    The spark between Ren and Derek. It was very subtle and it didn't overpower the story at all. It was an almost there thing.




    What I didn't like:
    The lack of world building. For me, I just didn't understand this washed out world. What caused it, how it is different, and more about the disease. We find out a little more as the story goes on, but I was very confused a lot in the beginning.
    The language wasn't well defined and I didn't know where the words were coming from. Seemed out of context.
    The amount of technical description, especially of the mobile racers. It completely was over my head.
    The descriptions of the action didn't sit right with me. I didn't know what was going on.




    Bottom Line: Good premise but didn't blow me away.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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