Author: M. L. Sparrow
Expected publication: September 15, 2015
Published by: Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing
Format: 314 pages, Kindle
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopian
M. L. Sparrow | Goodreads | Amazon
**I received an eBook copy of Ghetto from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.**
Sunny Beaumont is the President’s daughter. She lives in a time where citizens are Branded with codes where their activities and bank accounts are monitored. Alone and without friends, she spends her time tinkering old electronics. Wanting to fix up an old type writer, she searches for missing part in the Ghetto. The Ghetto is a sequestered land where the most dangerous criminals are sentenced to live out the remainder of their lives. While there, she ends up getting kidnapped and taken hostage by Sin, the leader to the rebel movement. Forced to live in the Ghetto, her eyes are opened by the horrible living situations and finds that most of its residents are either innocent or guilty by association. Little by little she starts seeing just how much her father and the government have hidden about the Ghetto.
Plot/Concept: The plot and concept of Ghetto was refreshing. I feel like I’ve read something similar to the world but I couldn’t quite come up with what. Nonetheless, it really surprised me! The first chapter had me wondering what Sparrow had in store for us and once Sunny is kidnapped, it’s like I couldn’t put it down. There were some really great plot twists that I didn’t see coming. It had a great progression of events and it all made sense and connected. I really liked the idea of the Ghetto. Well, I don’t like it because it was really unfair, but story-wise it added that edge.
Writing: Simply put, the writing was fantastic. It’s what draws you into the story. It’s fast paced and to the point. The imagery and how Sparrow describes the residents of the Ghetto (at least the innocent ones) and the hellhole that they have to live in just makes you want to cry. I actually did cry. If you don’t feel an ounce of compassion for these people, then you have no soul haha. I didn’t only cry for the people but for the main characters and the predicaments that they find themselves in. The world building was great, too. Nothing too extensive; I didn’t have any problems with it and it gave sufficient amount information about the time to know the kind of mindset the people have during that time.
Characters: The characters are by far my favorite part of this novel! They were very well-written and complex characters, especially Sunny and Sin. Sunny is the unexpected hero. All her life she lived in the shadow of her father’s presidency and because of that, she grew up quite ignorant of the lives of those living in the Ghetto. Her development in the book is one of my favorite things of this book. Her growing compassion and strength is what makes her character so likable. Sin was a big surprise, too. I didn’t expect to like him since you know, he kidnaps her. Even from then you could tell that he wasn’t sociopathic or crazy but he does take some time to warm up to. What I really love is just the person that he is at the core. Here’s a guy who didn’t let his circumstances negatively influence his personality and lead him to life of crime. It was bliss, like I love him. Oh and his story line gets really good and intense!
Memorable Moments: I loved Sunny and Sin’s relationship! I know, crazy how it turned out that way. I like how Sparrow eases you into the relationship. It wasn’t quick and I love how Sunny questioned if this was Stockholm Syndrome in the works. If you need a reason to go out and read this book, their relationship alone should convince you! It was such a sweet relationship that started from hatred and grew to mutual respect and progressed from there. My absolute favorite part of the book happens in the last 50-75 pages. I was literally on my toes the entire time in anticipation and it was terrible because I was at work and couldn’t read it straight through.