Branded (Sinners Series #1) by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
Branded (A Sinners Series Book 1)
Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.
To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.
Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.
Brutal and savage violence.
Every day is a fight for survival.
But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.
Okay. This will probably get ranty as well...I really did not like Branded. I had a lot of issues with this book and could not stand the main character. I was really excited to start reading this as it sounded amazing. I mean some kick-ass girl put in a terrible situation in a dystopian world? Yes please. Well unfortunately that is not what you get. In the above synopsis Lexi claims to be a fighter. That couldn't be farther from the truth. She is this weak, whiny girl who can barely keep herself alive. She is really too stupid to live. Good thing she gets a personal guard who is actually nice and saves her life again and again.
So why is she too stupid to live? Well she is supposed to just do what the guards or anyone in authority tells her without back talk. She is supposed to just be silent and do what she is told. She doesn't. She is always questioning her guard who is only trying to keep her alive. She keeps putting both of them in situations that could get them both killed because she cannot seem to understand that she needs to just follow orders when they are in public. It doesn't matter that somehow they are falling in love and he is nice to her in private, she can't seem to understand this. She gets annoyed with him when he isn't super nice to her around other people, even though she saw a guard and a girl get executed on her second day for having a relationship. I just kept yelling at her what is wrong with you?!? Do you want to survive? Do you have a death wish? Really? She just seems to do whatever she wants even though she can't even get from her room to her work by herself. Yeah, just do what you want you spoiled little girl.
So throughout the book I kept thinking why does she gets such special treatment? How is she so lucky to get he one guard who is actually nice in the hole? How did she get out of being a prostitute? How did she get the cushy job at the hospital with the nice doctor? Why is she so special?? And why can she do nothing but feel bad for herself and throw tantrums like a two year old? She is told her job is to help take care of a terminal girl and what does she do? Throws a tantrum. She has to take care of someone who is dying?!? Nooo! Suck it up buttercup. Why is this such a terrible thing. You get to hang out with this girl all day and do nothing so...take a look around you. Look to see how everyone else who doesn't get special treatment lives around here. Really it seems like her life is better since coming to the hole than outside of it. She has someone looking after her, she has a cushy job, she has people who care about her. On the outside she has her horribly abusive step-father. The guy who pushed her so far she was going to commit suicide. So...it really seems with your special treatment you are better off in the hole. Sure being branded something you are not it not good, living locked up somewhere is not good, but you are not the typical person living in the hole. Be just a little thankful for what you have instead of constantly doing things that put you and those you start to care for in danger.
About halfway through when Cole, her guard, leaves to find Lexi's brother like he is ordered to Lexi shuts down. She suddenly cannot live without him there by her side. She knows that if anyone finds out a guard has a relationship with you both of you will be killed. My favorite part of the book is just after this once people start to berate her. I was just like yes! Keep it going! Tell her how stupid she is being!
"You think your situation is the center of the world. But it's not."
I was just like thank you!! Tell her how selfish she is being, how she needs to suck it up if she wants to survive and keep those she loves alive. If she doesn't they will kill them all. Can you tell that I really hated Lexi? Yeah.
So besides Lexi how was the story? Well you don't really get much world building. What is the outside world really like? What is the Hole really like for those who do not get special privileges? You just don't get to see much of this world that seemed fascinating at the beginning. Why was everything set up with the seven deadly sins as the moral compass? What happened and how did this world end up this way? I wish we would have had more of that, more showing less telling, and maybe I could have enjoyed this book more. It really was not that good and as I have shown above I could not stand Lexi. She made me angry the whole way through the book. I won't be reading any more of this series.