Thursday, August 1, 2013

Reboot by Amy Tintera

Published: May 2013
Publisher: Harper Teen
Pages: 355
Copy: Library
Summary: Goodreads
Five years ago, Wren Connolly was shot three times in the chest. After 178 minutes she came back as a Reboot: stronger, faster, able to heal, and less emotional. The longer Reboots are dead, the less human they are when they return. Wren 178 is the deadliest Reboot in the Republic of Texas. Now seventeen years old, she serves as a soldier for HARC (Human Advancement and Repopulation Corporation).

Wren’s favorite part of the job is training new Reboots, but her latest newbie is the worst she’s ever seen. As a 22, Callum Reyes is practically human. His reflexes are too slow, he’s always asking questions, and his ever-present smile is freaking her out. Yet there’s something about him she can’t ignore. When Callum refuses to follow an order, Wren is given one last chance to get him in line—or she’ll have to eliminate him. Wren has never disobeyed before and knows if she does, she’ll be eliminated, too. But she has also never felt as alive as she does around Callum.

The perfect soldier is done taking orders.

I picked this book up off the shelf at the library because, believe it or not, the cover really caught me. And when I read the synopsis I just knew I had to read it. I think this is because I’m a big sucker for cold, emotionless protagonists who turn out to not be as cold and emotionless as we all thought they were.

 As soon as I started reading, the book just took off. The action is almost non-stop, while somehow managing to maintain the character development. The idea behind the book is that the antidote to a certain virus makes people mysteriously “reboot,” as in, wake up from being dead. And the longer they’ve been dead, the faster, stronger, and less human they are after they reboot. If an adult reboots, it’s not a very good thing, and they usually get shot in the head. If a kid reboots, however, they are useful to HARC, the organization that controls pretty much all that’s left of civilization.

The setting was so beautifully thought out. The descriptions were great and gave the story an eerie, but also totally plausible feel to it. It wasn’t hard to imagine the differences between the humans and the reboots, or what the city slums and the HARC facility looked like. One of my biggest pet peeves is not being able to envision what I’m reading, and Tintera did not disappoint me.

I liked Wren, the first-person protagonist right from the start, pretty much as soon as I realized she was a pseudo-zombie-but-still-really-human. Having been dead for 178 minutes, she was strong, fast, and had an almost totally reserved personality. So when she meets Callum, who is basically her exact opposite, sparks fly in one of the most satisfying ways. Callum, who was only dead for 22 minutes, doesn’t understand why Wren follows every order she’s ever been given, why she would willingly kill people when she’s told to. He challenges every belief that Wren has ever held since rebooting. Though their love story is kind of the typical “opposites attract,” it was still very fulfilling, and you will love watching them fall in love. I think one of the best things about these two characters is that while Wren is physically very strong, Callum actually has a stronger personality and sense of morality that he drags into his relationship with Wren.

And then things get interesting when Wren and Callum find out there’s a group of human rebels who have been helping reboots escape. While these humans are doing it for their own personal gain, it still provides a way out – something Wren didn’t even know she wanted before meeting Callum. Though I know the story will continue in future books, I have to say the ending was so satisfying for me. I pretty much fall in love with any book with a good ending and this one had everything I could have wanted. I cannot wait to read the next instalment in this series. For a debut novel, I have to say that Tintera did really well!

Okay, things I loved about this book: Wren; Callum; Wren and Callum (for the love story aspect); the setting; the action; the parts that made me stop and think; the ending; the narration. Things I didn’t love about this book: the page after the last page when the story was over. Over all, I give it a solid 9/10.

Thank you so much to Natasja for joining us on The Paperback Princesses with this great review of Reboot. Natasja works with me (Curlypow) at the library and its lovely to have her input.

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