Girls with Sharp Sticks, the first in a planned series from Suzanne Young. (And I did!)
I love the cover - take a second look at each side of the girl's face - it's in the eyes....
Welcome to Innovations Academy, where the girls are absolutely perfect. Literally. Beautiful, demure and obedient. Uh huh, here it comes......and being molded to be flawless in everything for the 'Investor' who will become their 'owner'. Until Mena begins to realize that the life they are leading is not normal and there is a world out there that they know little about. They've been manipulated and lied to......and....
I liked the premise. The publisher has described Girls With Sticks as "Westworld meets The Handmaid’s Tale" and I think that's a great comparison.
I chose to listen to Girls With Sharp Sticks. Caitlin Davies was the reader. I've enjoyed previous narrations from Davies and this was another excellent performance. She had just the right voice for Mena. Perfect you might say. It's young in tenor with an innocent feel. It's somewhat robotic in the beginning and then grows in strength and tone as the girls' "awakening" progresses. She provides perfectly despicable voices for the male leaders of the Academy.
Young's plot will initially provoke a visceral reaction in the listener. And I found myself railing out loud at the arrogance and actions of the men. But even louder for Mena and her friends, urging them on as they begin to imagine escaping this life.
This first book was a fun listen. Young has prepared the way for the second book - and I'll be listening to see what's in store for Mena and her friends. Here's an audio clip excerpt of Girls With Sharp Sticks.