In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost.
For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or "Imps." A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother's legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.
Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he's a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davisher father's campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priorsbut despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.
Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its holdand Davis's friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.
About the Author
AVERY HASTINGS is an author and former book editor from New York City. She grew up in Ohio, graduated in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame and earned her MFA from the New School in 2008. When she's not reading or writing, Avery can usually be spotted lying around in the park with her affable dog, and like her protagonists in Feuds, she knows how to throw a powerful right hook and once dreamed of becoming a ballerina. In addition to New York, Avery has recently lived in Mumbai and Paris, but is happy to call Brooklyn home (for now).
Read an Excerpt
By Avery Hastings
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2014 Paper Lantern Lit.
All rights reserved.
It was the grand pas classique. She felt it: not as a well-practiced variation but as an emotion, rich and complex, swirling through her. She was lifted; she flew, unfettered. Everywhere she turned, a thousand duplicates turned, too, her image reflected in hundreds of mirrors, spinning endlessly.
The entrechat, the grand jeté. There was one final pirouette, a simple dénouement. She lifted, her body weight focused on the tips of her toes, her energy channeled into a single column. And then ...
Her knee gave, and her whole body became a marionette, flailing.
Suddenly there were faces, everywhere, surrounding her, jeering at her as she fell.
She could tell from their skin and pockmarks and jagged scars. The Imps were laughing. Howling.
Her eyes shot open to a gentle beam of filtered, green-hued sunlight seeping through her shade. Normally, the sunshade eased her into wakefulness, but Davis bolted upright in bed, panting. The shade only used the green filter when it registered Davis's neural transmission — and anxiety levels — as abnormal.
The clock in her headboard read 5:00 A.M., which meant she was twenty minutes late.
Davis pulled herself out of bed, reaching for yesterday's workout gear, wrinkly and wadded up in the corner by her bureau. There was no time to root around in her drawers for something clean, and she just had to pray none of the other girls would notice.
She caught a glimpse of her mother dancing across her wall. Her mom's larger-than-life image magnified the brilliance of her perfection as she performed her own flawless grand pas classique to a sold-out crowd. Davis swiped a corner of the screen and her mother faded as the screen saver came on: a random slide show of images of Davis and her friends.
Davis tugged rose-hued leg warmers over her black tights and swept her hair into a messy bun. She gave herself a cursory glance in her mirror, allowing it to register her vitals, swiping quickly through the displayed results: hydration levels were in the normal range. Neural transmission, heart rate, and blood pressure were still a little funky but making a steady progression back to optimum. Davis flicked off the mirror feed and slipped out the door, pausing only to kiss her mom's Olympiad medal on her way.
Davis headed for the kitchen, pausing briefly in front of Sofia's room. A beam of light stretched from underneath her little sister's door, causing Davis's figure to cast eerie shadows on the walls. Sofia was always leaving the light on after reading late. Davis pushed the door open soundlessly and padded into Sofia's yellow-and-orange-spackled fortress, which was digitally painted across every inch of the floor-to-ceiling, touch-screen walls. Fia's latest work in progress was displayed: a vibrant self-portrait.
Fia's dark curls — inherited from Terri, but even more striking than Terri's when contrasted against Fia's lighter skin — were illuminated by the headboard lamp. A paperback lay open on her chest. Davis reached for it and Fia stirred, but her breathing pattern continued uninterrupted. Davis glanced at the cover and couldn't help smiling. A Brief History of Nearly Everything. It was a classic their dad had loved ... as a teenager. Fia had stolen it from the glass cabinet where the collectibles were kept. As a print book and a first edition, it was extremely rare and very valuable — or at least it had been valuable before Fia had gotten her hands on it. She was only eleven and had already read it countless times. Fia always insisted that dog-earing a page gave it character. It was the reason she even bothered reading her dad's ancient paper editions despite their funky smells and brittle textures, like leaves on the verge of disintegrating.
Davis leaned over her sister, brushing her cheek with a light kiss so as not to wake her. Then she flipped off the lamp with a quick swipe of her finger and padded softly from the room, securing the door behind her.
She stopped in the kitchen to grab some fruit and a protein shake.
"Sweetie, what are you doing?" Her stepmother appeared in the doorway, her thin figure complemented by her silk robe, and her skin radiant — not a trace of puffy eyes or dark circles, even though Davis was sure she'd just woken up. Terri's coarse black hair tumbled over her shoulder in long, thick waves; her dark lashes were always bold and upswept, even then, so long they hit the base of her brow line. Her cheeks wore a healthy flush against the natural chocolate hue of her skin. But her most notable features were her big, sympathetic eyes. She was beautiful, but it was her kindness that set her apart, illuminating her entire expression.
"Class," Davis answered. It came out a little stiffer than she'd intended.
"Class? But —" Terri interrupted herself, staring at Davis with concern. "It's Kensington Day, sweetie. There is no ballet."
Crap. Davis had forgotten.
"I know," she said anyway. "More time to practice." The second she said it, she was glad it was true. While she knew she could always get in a small workout at her building's gym, she preferred the sanctity of the dance studio — it always improved her mood. And since it was a holiday, she'd probably have the space all to herself.
Barr Kensington was a national hero, and the man responsible for a better, more perfect human. Kensington had pioneered all the in-utero optimization: Mozart and Brahms piped directly into the womb, math lessons, linguistics practice. He had engineered superior humans. He had made the Priors — made Davis, and everyone like her.
Thanks to Kensington, every portion of Davis's brain was more developed than it would have been otherwise. Diseases like AIDS and malaria that wiped out entire populations hundreds of years ago would never affect her today, even if she were somehow exposed.
But Kensington had been more than a scientist. He had also been one of the most renowned politicians of his generation; her dad had a copper bust of him in his study. It had been nearly seventy-five years since Kensington's death in 2062, but his political agendas were stronger than ever among conservatives like her father. Davis's father had told her horror stories of what the city had been like back when the Imps were fully integrated. Crime — rapes, shootings, theft — was through the roof until Kensington started pushing segregation.
If it weren't for Kensington, the city of Columbus might never have survived and endured all the instability that caused dozens of major cities — Chicago, Los Angeles, portions of New York that still existed after the floods — to crumble, leaving most of the country uninhabitable. Every aspect of her life — the city she called home — was safer and better.
And soon, as long as her father defeated Parson Abel for city prime minister, steps toward total segregation and an even more ideal Columbus would be implemented. Columbus was truly becoming the perfect place to live.
"Why don't I wrap you up a vitamuffin for the road then," Terri offered, breaking Davis's reverie. She moved farther into the kitchen and patted Davis on the shoulder as she passed. Davis leaned into Terri's touch instinctively before she remembered herself.
"No. Really." Davis turned from Terri, rummaging in the fruit bowl on the table. "Thanks, though." Terri's offer warmed her — she was always so sweet and thoughtful. Still, something in Davis resisted.
"Well, how about an enhancer? I was just about to make one for myself —"
"I'm fine," Davis said, grabbing a banana from the basket by the fridge. "I promise." She gave Terri a perfunctory kiss on her cheek, trying to ignore the disappointment in her stepmom's dark eyes. Davis hesitated when she reached the door to the apartment, turning back at the last second. She could just leave. Or ...
"Terri?" she called back.
"Yes, sweetie?" Terri's voice was soft, hopeful.
"Maybe you could make me one of your revitalizers when I get back from dance? I'll probably need a pick-me-up. If you aren't too busy, I mean."
"I'd love to."
Davis could tell she meant it.
The elevator descended quickly from their fifty-second-floor apartment. Davis opted to walk the few short blocks to the monorail; her dad had specifically forbidden her to use the car after she and Vera had drunkenly reprogrammed the nav system. She passed through the turnstile marked PRIOR at the uptown monorail, pausing briefly for her P-card to register, then stopped at a kiosk and entered her destination via DirecTalk. The monorail was brightly lit and full of security like it always was. Several officers nodded hello to her, and Davis returned their greeting. Were there more police than usual? It seemed that security had been tightening, maybe because of the election. She felt a flash of worry. Irrational, she assured herself. Everything will be okay. She heard laughter behind her and looked over her shoulder from where she stood on the monorail platform, waiting for the train to arrive.
Several officers were clustered around a girl wearing the wide armband of an Imp. They were patting her down, three of them at once running their hands over her body in an elaborate search effort. She watched as the girl wriggled away from the men's grasp; then another guard grabbed her arms, pinning them behind her back, his laughter ringing through the air as his colleagues prodded her with their guns and touched her body in places Davis was sure weren't necessary for a normal pat-down. Davis saw them run the standard test for antibodies: a series of halogen lights swept across the girl's slender frame.
Maybe there was a reason for it — the girl must have been sick or hiding something. Still, the girl's humiliation and fear were palpable. No one should have to feel that way. Davis had never known what it was like to be patted down like that — it looked awful, and her chest constricted instinctively as she watched.
A Prior monorail car labeled with Davis's destination and already carrying several passengers pulled up and she stepped inside, turning just as the officers let the Imp girl go. The Imp caught Davis's eye through the train window as she hurried to her own Imp car. She looked furious — maybe close to tears. Davis looked away, feeling embarrassed without knowing why. Part of her almost wanted to call out, to say, I've suffered, too; I've lived my whole life without my mom,but the girl would have thought she was crazy; and anyway, sadness and suffering don't alleviate more sadness and suffering. Davis sighed, focusing on the sparkling beauty of the buildings rising up outside her car window. The sky was a startling blue in contrast — so pure its beauty almost took her breath away. If only everything could be so beautiful. If only there were no suffering, no humiliation, no death — for anyone, Imp or Prior.
Thoughts of Imp and Prior relations turned her mind to the election. What would happen if her father lost the race to Parson Abel? But that wouldn't happen; her father had already gained a solid margin. Soon he'd be in office, and he'd keep her — and the rest of the city — safe, peaceful, and segregated. Worry-free, with cleaner boundaries established, everyone happier. The Imps and Priors didn't belong together — anyone could see that. Segregation would be better for everyone involved. Despite the carefully delineated borders, Davis couldn't help feeling like the Imps were moving closer all the time, like she had to wedge herself into a tinier and tinier space of the universe to feel safe. The sanitization checkpoints — arched gateways that administered automatic spray-downs to anyone who walked through them — kept her anxiety in check, but barely.
After all, the Imps had killed her mother.
At the thought, Davis felt hatred bubbling deep in the pit of her stomach, just below her heart. It was all their fault.
As the monorail ascended, the blurred landscape outside the high-speed train changed from grays, blues, and yellows to browns and reds. The train was soaring through Columbus, weaving through the canyons formed by the towering buildings, and beyond the river coiling like a snake to Davis's left were the dirt-covered shanties of the Slants. Davis was glad they were too blurry to see.
It was rare that Davis got the studio all to herself, and when she opened the door to the familiar room with her P-card, a tiny thrill climbed its way up her spine. She didn't bother signing in; there was no one at reception. And although she half expected to hear the familiar pitch of the Leon Minkus that her studio partner Emilie always practiced to, the room was quiet.
Davis slipped on her worn-in pointe shoes and walked onto the floor, taking pains not to make any noise. The fear of waking someone — some spirit, maybe — flitted through her mind unbidden, but she knew she was being silly. She wrapped her arms around herself, staring at her reflection on four walls. Green eyes stared back from a heart-shaped face framed by tousled chestnut waves. The dance room was a large space the length of a city block and nearly as wide, and the whole thing was covered with floor-to-ceiling mirrors. There were even mirrors on the floor, a detail all new students found disconcerting — so had Davis when she was small, always tripping over her own image — but Madame Bell had always insisted that a girl became a dancer when she could see herself at every angle and remain immersed in the music. The Apex rink, the famous landmark where the Olympiads took place, was mirrored on all sides, even the ceiling. She would see herself in the eyes of thousands of people, and in the reflection of their eyes, and in the reflection of that reflection ... She stripped off her overcoat and tossed it in the corner, wishing every day could be a holiday. It was so much different being there alone — so much freer. She ran across the expanse of the room, doing a series of jetés that made her feel as though she were flying. She hadn't bothered to stretch, but she didn't care. This was what she loved about ballet: it was this feeling of floating, like she was suspended in time. Anything seemed possible, then — it even seemed possible that if she turned to look, she'd see her mother watching her from the sidelines, or dancing just one step behind her.
And for whole minutes at a time, Davis felt free.CHAPTER 2
Sweat dripped down Cole's forehead and stung his eyes. It moved along his spine, then his face and neck and hands, as if he were one great machine meant for producing water and blood and rage. He was a machine, at least in the ring. An animal. Fighting to entertain the vultures. The thought didn't stop him from wanting to connect. Body on body. Fist on face. It was all he was good at; it was the only thing he'd ever known how to do without trying.
Kenny wasn't down yet, but Cole could tell he was fading fast. It was their last round in the cage. Cole leaned against the metal supports, feeling the cold, slick bars against his back.
The bell rang, signaling the start of the final round. So far they were tied, which was no surprise to anyone. Kenny and Cole had been neck and neck in the FEUDS since they were boys. Before that, before the FEUDS had meant anything to them, they were friends. It was hard to remember now the days they spent playing down by the abandoned railway tracks. But Cole couldn't let those thoughts distract him — he couldn't pity Kenny, because Kenny wouldn't do the same for him.
They each had their families to think of, and sponsors to attract.
Priors and Geneserians alike had started placing bets on the qualifying round months ago. Whatever happened in the ring these days could determine who would have enough money to finish school. Or better yet, move away.
Kenny moved forward, raising his fists to his chin. He was a rat-brawler. He'd always been unpredictable in the ring. Violent. No brain and all muscle. Cole had heard some people whisper that Kenny liked the FEUDS, that he craved the violence. Cole was glad he wasn't as transparent as Kenny — they'd never know that Cole was the one to be afraid of.
Excerpted from Feuds by Avery Hastings. Copyright © 2014 Paper Lantern Lit.. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A Creative Start to a New Series I would like to thank NetGalley & St. Martin's Griffin for granting me a copy of this e-ARC to read in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. Technically I'd give this book 3.5 stars, but since only whole numbers are allowed I'm rounding up to 4 stars, thanks to the twist unveiled at the end of the book. Goodreads Blurb: "In this breathless story of impossible love, perfection comes at a deadly cost. For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears. Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him. Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds." Davis is a sweet girl who works very hard to live up to her deceased mother's memory. Her mother died giving birth to her, but before that she was a prima ballerina and was a medalist in the Olympiads. Like all her Prior friends, Davis takes numerous supplements each day, designed to enhance anything they can think of. Priors are considered to be superior beings, when they're really just medically 'made' people. The meddling begins in utero and continues for their entire lives. Parents select for certain qualities, and then continue to increase those qualities through rigorous training and medication. Of course Priors never get sick, for they've been bred to be immune to everything. On the other end of the scale is Cole. He is an Imperfect, or Imps. Imps work for the Priors, but are segregated in all other ways; forced to live across the river and essentially survive on what the Priors discard, they could be equated to African Americans in the United States, all the way up to civil rights movement. Any fraternizing between Priors and Imps ends badly, the Prior being shunned and the Imp either spending life in prison or being killed outright. Born into this miserable life, Cole is desperate to get himself and his family away, to move to someplace better. But that takes money. And the only way he can make that kind of money is to win the last match of the Fights Established Under Demolition Sites (FEUDS) - locked cage fights that sometimes end in the death of one of the fighters. But to get into the FEUDS fights you need money for the entry fee, and for that you need a sponsor. Cole's got a sponsor he can't stand, but he won't walk away from his one chance to get his family out of the horrible place they're forced to live. A few more fights and he could have everything he's ever dreamed of; everything that is until he met Davis. After they meet life is turned upside down for both Cole and Davis. Davis has no idea that Cole isn't who he claims to be, so she's willing to explore the feelings he sparks in her. Willing regardless of the mystery surrounding him, because she has never felt so intensely about anyone before. And much to Cole's surprise he finds that he too is drawn to Davis. She's nothing like he thought she'd be, and everything he's always dreamt of. But their relationship is probably doomed before it even begins. Just one small slip and both they and their families would be ruined. But all that fades into the background when Davis' friends start dying. No one on the Priors' side will admit to any problems, but everyone on the Imps' side knows something bad is happening to Priors. The two star-crossed lovers are in a race to find a cure for this new disease that is only targeting Priors, as well as find a way to stay together. Their emotional responses to the various situations they find themselves in feel spot on, and feel very authentic to both characters. As they race against the clock to solve this deadly mystery more questionable issues keep cropping up, until it seems that everything they've ever learned has been a lie. Will the young couple be able to stay at least one step ahead of those in power, those determined to maintain the status quo? Are all their allies really allies, or are they being played? Will Davis get this deadly disease, or will she remain safe while they hunt down the answers needed to survive this radical shift? So many questions, and not all are answered, leaving me wondering how long we'll have to wait for the sequel to come out. Near the end of the book Ms. Hastings adds a completely unexpectedly complex twist, one that will leave you completely anxious to know what happens next!
Eh. That really sums up my feelings about Feuds. It wasn't bad. It just didn't keep my attention or interest. A lot of the time I spent reading this, it felt like a chore. I'd glance over at the stack of books on my nightstand and wish that I could read something else. What I thought I was getting was going to be a dystopian with a beautiful cover. What I feel like I got was a tease of dystopian with a heavy helping of romance and a deceptively beautiful cover. The potential was there. It was begging to crawl out from behind the insta-love. I think that's why this book was so eh for me. I'm really into dystopians. I will devour them like no other. And while there's a great premise to Feuds, it's never elaborated on. There's hardly any world building. There isn't even much character building. It's just a big ol' pot of 'here's some insta-love, so let's just ignore everything else'. Nothankyounope. Sometimes I feel like Young Adult feels like it has to delve out insta-love. But the readers of Young Adult fiction aren't five year olds who watch Disney movies and expect a perfect Prince Charming and a happily ever after. Sure, a happily ever after is nice. But we don't need a perfect set of coincidences to get there. We want something that seems real. Something that we can relate to. All in all, I won't be tuning in for another book in this series. As much as I want to know about the society that this story is set in and Davis' past, I just can't sit through more declarations of lust thinly veiled as love. The characters grated on my nerves because of the insta-love. There was simply nothing to redeem this book for me whenever I got to the end. It was just a lot of potential that was overshadowed and ignored. **I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review with no compensation.
A lovely dytopian YA romance, Feuds was a wonderful read. It wasn't perfect. I felt like it had a lot of potential, but didn't go all the way. However, I still quite liked it and enjoyed reading it. From the sweet romance to the game-changing secrets and manipulations, this book was great. Davis was a good heroine. I went back and forth on her. It was odd. One minute she would be thinking independently, the next she would fall back in line to what she was told to think. But, in the end, she chose to go her own way, so I ended up being okay with that. Overall, she was a likable heroine, though I'm hoping she has a chance to grow stronger in book 2. Cole was very sweet. He was very loyal to his family and determined to protect his loved ones. Two issues with his character: 1) I wish I had gotten to know his character more. He felt oddly shallow for a main character. 2) I found it odd that, despite being so dedicated to his family, he was suddenly contemplating leaving them behind so that he could run away with Davis. That didn't fit his character and knocked him down a few notches because it made him seem fickle. But, overall, I liked him too. The romance was very sweet. There were definitely some very adorable moments. However, I wish that I had actually seen them get to know each other. I don't mind characters falling in love quickly, as long as I believe that they know each other well enough to claim love. That didn't happen with this romance so it felt a bit shallow. But, I still thought they were cute together. The plot was well paced and I was kept interested the entire way through. The world that that author created was interesting, though I wanted more description, particularly about how exactly the Priors were made. There were a few twists as some game-changing secrets were revealed. I enjoyed the story and I'm curious to see what's coming next. Feuds was a wonderful YA read. Though it wasn't perfect, I still liked it and found it to be an enjoyable read. YA lovers, this is a book you might want to check out. *I received a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Received a copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. If you enjoy dystopian romance, then you'll definitely enjoy Feuds. I thought this was going to be another typical YA/dystopia genre read, but it was much more sophisticated than that. I found the idea of genetically engineering children and what might happen to our society as a result an absolutely fascinating one to explore in this context. It was eerie how closely this has mirrored many of the civil and human rights issues we've experienced as a country in the past. The relationship between Davis & Cole felt a little rushed, but it really didn't bother me because I knew this was going to be a short read. Most importantly, the chemistry was there. Ms. Hastings was clearly going for a Romeo & Juliet type thing and she hit the nail on the head. Teenagers don't really think about falling in love (or lust)--they tend to dive in headfirst. Great pacing. Great story. Interesting characters. Fantastic cliffhanger! Can't wait for the next in the series.
'Feuds' is a compelling mix of science fiction and romance that will have fans of both genres begging for more. The story is told in alternating points of view from our two main characters - Davis and Cole. They are the typical star-crossed lovers - the ones from opposite sides of the track that fall for each other despite the odds. Only in this version, their story takes place in a dystopian future where most humans have been genetically modified to near perfection (they're called Priors) - the world that David lives in - as well as the terrible and gritty part of town that Cole and the other "Imps" (or Imperfects) live. When Davis and Cole cross paths, both are thrown out of their comfort zone. Davis is confused by the mysterious Cole and doesn't realize that he wants to ruin her father's political platform for total segregation between Priors and Imps. He's also a major contender in the FEUDS - an underground fighting ring where rich Priors bet on Imps. Despite his hatred for her father's plan and all the implications it has on his world, Cole finds himself drawn to Davis just as much as she is to him. Davis - who's father is obviously the politician that wants to segregate the Imps and Priors for good - has been training to become an Olympiad ballerina, just like her mother. Even though Cole is gorgeous and intriguing, she must focus all of her energy on her dancing. Things get even more complicated when the virus named Narxis is unleashed and begins to kill people - even the Priors who are supposed to be immune to everything. With her father and the other Priors refuse to acknowledge the danger the virus is becoming, Davis has to turn to the one person she never thought she would - Cole. I loved both Davis and Cole as main characters for the book. Since it's told from alternating points of view between the both of them, we get an inside look at what they're thinking and feeling throughout the story. In that way, the reader gets to know them and connect with their characters in a more personal way. Davis is smart, determined, and dedicated - especially when it comes to dancing. Cole is street smart, strong, and opinionated. He's forced to fight in the FEUDS just to bring in money for education and living expenses. Like I mentioned above, the story becomes a bit predictable after we're introduced to Davis and Cole. I immediately knew it was going to be a star-crossed lovers type book, but it had unique aspects that made it original and fresh. I loved the world that the author created for the book. The dystopian future is incredibly detailed and has lots of vivid imagery so I could easily slip inside the story. One of the things I liked the most about the setting was that it wasn't far-fetched or inconceivable. All of the things talked about in the book - from genetically engineering humans to touch screen walls and where basically everything is technically advanced - but not to an extreme. I could see this actually happening to our world in a not so distant future, which is a creepy thought, but one that helped me to lose myself in the story. Overall, this was a richly imagined dystopian romance story with defined characters, a very well written plot and a quick pace. I highly recommend it for fans of various genres - including romance, science fiction, dystopia, and fantasy. Disclosure: I received a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
I was not aware that FEUDS would have such a similar feel to the likes of Romeo and Juliet's forbidden love, angst and secrets. Set in a dystopian world, with a sci-fi twist, the combination of it all is promising and entertaining with great writing and favorable characters... In this dystopian world, society has been divided into two: the Priors - the rich, the elite, the powerful. They have been able to genetically improve humans to be smarter, stronger and flawlessly beautiful. The Imps, are the imperfects - they are normal humans, they have flaws, are not as smart and live in the Slants outside of town where everything is dirty and rundown. It is illegal of Priors and Imps to be involved with each other... Davis is a dancer, ballet is her profession. She strives to be the best of the best in order to follow in her mother's footsteps and compete in the Olympiads. She is privileged, and often times she reminds herself how lucky she is. Her father is an important person in society, and she believes in him and the rules - Priors are superior and Imps are dangerous savages. And then she meets Cole. Teen love, always so rushed, pure and open. Cole walks in and is completely smitten with Davis' beauty. He instantly feels connected to her in ways he never knew he could. He would never intentionally harm her in any way, and will do whatever he can to protect her. Even from himself... Cole is a fighter. He has been fighting in the Feuds for a long time now. He doesn't like it, but he thinks that this is the only way that he can provide for his family and then their ticket out of this life. Meeting Davis was definitely not expected. And then Cole learns who Davis is. Davis learns who Cole is and what he does. Things do not bode well for them. Their lives start unraveling at a fast pace... Especially when Davis shows signs of being sick with the virus that is killing off Priors at a pretty quick rate. Oh, how I wish there was more! I feel like I got shorted on some details regarding the the importance of the Olympiads (perhaps in book 2?); and most of all, there is certain detail that Davis learns about herself and her family, which she barely had a chance to investigate, but never confronted her father with - she had the knowledge and the moment for it, but... I feel that this would have been something hugely pivotal for the first book, something more for us to grasp onto besides the expected cliffhanger ending. Overall, I am anticipating that the series will get better with more details, history, reveals and twists! This is definitely a book that will keep you thinking about the "what if's"... just like Romeo and Juliet's story. In my opinion, if you liked MYSTIC CITY by Theo Lawrence and/or BLACK CITY by Elizabeth Richards you will definitely enjoy FEUDS too! *An eGalley was sent from the publisher for an honest review. All thoughts are my own.
Feuds was on my radar because I am attracted to anything ballet in books or movies. I've never danced, but I am engrossed reading about it. Its so graceful and beautiful and requires such dedication and heart. Along with the dancing, there is also this virus, which is another element that would have drawn me to Feuds and its beautiful cover. It was a bit slow to set me up and make me like Davis, the female main character. But her dream of dancing and the way that she even daydreams about riding horses makes me like her. Cole, the male main character is a fighter in hardcore underground fights, and besides his toughness, something about him drew me to him. Maybe its his strength or maybe its the sense that he is working so hard and he seems to have something driving him. Also, the way he was concerned about the girl at the party right after he met Davis made me know that he was compassionate. I liked how they got together, and even though it was under false pretenses going both ways, because of the manipulation of Cole by Parsons, Davis' dad's rival for government. Cole didn't know she was his daughter, and Davis didn't know that Cole wasn't a Prior. The world set up was pretty easy to grasp. They seem to be in the future quite a bit, and the Priors have plenty of genetic programming to be sick less often, and chose genes so they are stronger and better able to learn and succeed in general. But there are those on the outside, the Gens they call themselves that haven't had the genetic treatments and are on the outside of the living arrangements and they are the workers. The virus element was interesting too. They don't go into much on how it was created or why they are vulnerable besides saying it was an effect of all of the gene therapy. The Priors were in denial that they were getting sick and they were just throwing out bodies in the Slants, outside where Priors live and also where the Gens fight in the Feuds. The Feuds, or the fights that Cole participates in played more of a part of his character growth and showing what he is fighting for, his family, rather than just for the sport of it. It was also more of a thread in the story than Davis' dancing. That really didn't play as much of a role as I thought it would, but it may in the future books. This is a series that I will be continuing, because while I felt like it was a semi-ending, nothing really was wrapped up to my satisfaction, and want to see how things will change for the better in this society. Bottom Line: Great series beginner with characters I enjoyed.