Monday, February 4, 2013

Review: The Farm by Emily McKay

Published date: December 4th, 2012

Publisher: Berkley Trade

Pages: 420 (paperback)

Summary: (Goodreads)

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...


I keep thinking that maybe one day aspiring and published authors alike will run out of ideas on the vampire topic. There’s romance, action, and adventure like no other between the pages of some of my favorite vampire novels, which indeed are judged very harshly in the public eye. There are some authors—an increasing number I hope—who take the new favorite genre, dystopian/post-apocalyptic, and infuse it with vampires characters. Many have never dared try writing it, for fear of rejection mostly. McKay, following Julie Kagawa’s footsteps, writes a beautifully bloody tale of a dystopian world ridden with zombie-like vampires.
Written from the POV of three different people, McKay easily keeps them separate and different. When writing in that view point author tend to have many characters that end up sounding all the same. It makes the story quite boring and unintelligible. McKay’s written characters that are so unique that it’s so easy for them to each have a voice, one that’s loud and clear. Lily is so brave, selfless, courageous, and I have never seen a character similar to her. She doesn’t give a crap about what people think and she takes care of her twin autistic sister, Mel, with a strong, motherly sense. Living on the Farm is hard for them both, having to constantly give blood, and keeping an eye out for the Ticks on the other side of the fence. Bloodthirsty, insane, zombie-like vampires who constantly want more. The Dean, the leader of the farm, suppresses them all. Lily has a plan, though, a plan that couldn’t fall through. Everything goes as planned until she meets Carter, the bad boy from the Before. And soon Lily comes to find out Mel isn’t as hopeless as she once previously thought.
This book was heartbreaking, gory, and action-packed. I would have to stop just to take a breath I was holding it so much. Never have I been that sucked into a novel before. Most teen books don’t have a lot of blood, but The Farm was the goriest book I’ve read to date. That’s what I really loved that about it. I am definitely awaiting the sequel, however inpatient that might be. 

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