by Bethany Wiggins
Summary: There is no cure for being stung.
Fiona doesn’t remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered—her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.
Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.
Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.
Source: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I loved Stung! I thought the story was incredibly creative, fast paced, action packed, and breath taking. I love post apocalyptic worlds, but a lot of times they have the same or similar overall reasons for the end of the world. Stung, however, was a completely new concept for me and I enjoyed the new and thought provoking end of the world scenario. The premise in Stung was clever and creative and very well executed!
The book began with Fiona waking up in her bedroom. Except when she woke up, everything around her was obviously abandoned. She went to sleep in her bed next to her brand new poster at the age of 13 and woke up next to a crumbling, aged poster in a adult body she didn’t recognize. On her hand was a strange tattoo. Immediately, I was hooked! The writing was incredibly descriptive and I was sucked into the story quickly. I loved how I didn’t know the details of how the world ended since Fiona was piecing together the story as she went.
The world in Stung took my breath away. It was harsh and cruel, especially for Fiona. The few women she ran across looked like men and begged her to cut her hair in case anyone discovered she was female. She had to pretend to be a boy or deal with some sickening consequences. Fiona was attacked almost immediately by a strange beast-like creature with human qualities and ended up hiding underground and meeting people who chose a life in the foul smelling sewers without real food in order to stay alive. And then she was treated like a monster by a group of soldiers and restrained. Nowhere was safe for her. I can’t give much more of the plot way because I loved figuring out the world as Fiona did and being introduced to different aspects of it. It was so horrifying, but fascinating at the same time.
Parts of the story reminded me of Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. The writing is completely different, but Stung was equally descriptive and intense. When Fiona ended up in the care of a soldier named Bowen, she recognized him slightly and it reminded me of when Juliette met Adam inside of her cell and recognized his eyes. There was just something about the situation that felt so terrible and intense and emotionally draining that reminded me of the intensity of Shatter Me. I found myself gasping and saying “Wow” to myself when I was reading!
Stung was absolutely incredible. I devoured the book and I highlighted so many descriptions and scenes in my Kindle because I was blown away by the writing and how it made me feel. I loved the premise and the unique situation in Stung because it was so unpredictable and clever. I highly recommend this book to people who love a good YA post apocalyptic story with adventure, romance, and some dystopian elements. And if you are getting tired of the same old end of the world scenarios, Stung is refreshing and unique in that aspect.
As much as I loved Stung and everything about it, I tend to enjoy gritty, violent, and dark themes and I realize not everyone else does. There are some things that some people may not like. The world in Stung is bleak and while it isn’t as violent or graphic as some other post apocalyptic stories, there are some pretty horrifying themes and situations. For example, Fiona poses as a boy to protect herself because women are scarce. Which meant that if a man discovered Fiona wasn’t a boy, she would most likely be attacked and violated. While there aren’t any really graphic scenes involving this, the possibility of Fiona being attacked by a man is no secret and a source of fear for her. People may find themes of that nature uncomfortable while reading and I always like to warn other readers about mature themes and violence.
Stung is definitely a must read and I really enjoyed it. I can't gush about it enough and I wish I could share more about the plot, but I liked the surprises and unraveling of it while reading, so I won't spoil it.
Stung releases April 2, 2013 and is available for pre-order:
Labels: Dystopian, Post Apocalyptic, Review, YA