August 26, 2014

Blog Tour Review: Feuds by Avery Hastings

I'm just gonna stare at that cover and blog tour banner while you all read about the latest in dystopian YA fiction, okay?

No, but seriously, I'm thrilled to be kicking off the FEUDS blog tour on today. Thanks, as always, to Paper Lantern Lit for being amazing and, please, everyone, brace yourself for the swoons you're about to encounter in this book...

Title: Feuds
Author: Avery Hastings
Release Date: September 2nd, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Page Count: 272
Source: eARC from Paper Lantern Lit/St. Martin's Griffin
(I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest
review. No favors were exchanged, my opinions are my own.)

First Reaction: A Romeo-and-Juliet story that's sure to make you swoon.
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For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.

Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.

Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world... in Avery Hastings's Feuds.

Davis Morrow is a Prior, the "haves" in this Romeo and Juliet story. She is smart, strong, immune to disease - basically, the genetically modified evolution of (wo)man. She's also a well-liked ballerina, the daughter of a prominent, up and coming politician and she's a sister. She is the legacy of her mother, who died in childbirth due to the negligence of an Imperfect - a fact that Davis has never been able to forget, a fact that fuels her hatred of the Imperfects.

Cole is an Imperfect, the "have-nots" of the tale. He doesn't have the genetic advantages Davis does and he definitely doesn't have the money to keep his widowed mother and brother off the streets. Instead, he fights in the FEUDS, or the "Fights Established Under Demolition Sites." The FEUDS may be illegal, but Cole is the paid prize fighter of the Prime Minister - the man Davis's father is running against. The FEUDS are also how Cole plans to save enough money to get away from the poverty of the Slants.

Both our main characters are running on their own tracks when Cole's patron insists Cole seduces Davis in order to start a smear campaign against Davis's father. When Cole bumps into Davis at a party, instead of getting the job done and walking away, he falls for Davis. And, what's more, on the same night, he discovers that, while everyone seems to think Prior's are invincible, there's a disease called Narxis spreading, a disease that means sudden and violent death for Priors.

FEUDS is a dual point of view debut novel that deals with many complicated themes. There's the lust and growing love between Davis and Cole. There are also the lies that simmer between the couple, as Cole spends most of the book passing himself off as a Prior. With the addition of an incurable disease and the tension between the Priors and the Imperfects that pushes the need for Cole's lies, it's almost impossible for anyone to truly know what's going on until the very last, dramatic page - and maybe not even then (it's a series, don't worry).

Bottom line: The marriage of political unrest and disease layered with copious amounts of romance will make any and all lovers of dystopia swoon over FEUDS (and Davis and Cole because, wow there's some serious kissing up in this book).

                            ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Avery Hastings is an author and former book editor from New York City. Avery grew up in Ohio, graduated in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame and earned her MFA from the New School in 2008. When she's not reading or writing, Avery can usually be spotted lying around in the park with her affable dog. Like her protagonists, she knows how to throw a powerful right hook and once dreamed of becoming a ballerina. In addition to New York, Avery has recently lived in Mumbai and Paris, but is happy to call Brooklyn home (for now).

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So what do you think? Are you ready for romance? Are you ready to swoon? Tell me all of the everything in the comments below!