Branded by Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki is a book that I recently discovered while roaming my Instagram feed, and I must say, it just goes to show how the best books are always found in the most unlikely places. (And I was blessed enough to get an ARC!) The book stays true to the current dystopian trend, following the demolished life of eighteen year old Lexi Hamilton, who has just been branded as a sinner.
After decades of violence, including a fifth World War, the American judicial system is in tatters. No longer are the days of innocent until proven guilty. All it takes is an accusation. Neighbors, friends, and even families turn against one another in a desperate attempt to escape their own horrific fate in “The Hole”, and all-inclusive prison with almost no boundaries. Based on the seven deadly sins- lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride- “inmates” are marked with a colored band around their neck to distinguish their sin. They are then stripped of all rights, both natural and lawful, and forced to live in The Hole for the rest of their lives, however long it may last. The novel takes you on an amazing journey to discover the boundaries of human moral.
This book is a roller coaster of a read. From start to finish, there is never a slow moment, including a fair share of gut-wrenching plot twists. Love, rebellion, and the need for what is right and just are major themes in the novel, and they combine to form a concept that I found to be magnificently thought provoking. I would absolutely recommend Branded to those who enjoyed The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, and Divergent. The book is to be officially released on June 3rd, and I, for one, highly suggest buying a copy. It is sure to become the next big read!
*There are multiple romance scenes that are constructed for a more mature audiences, and should not be read by a younger generation. However, it should definitely be added to their reading list for a later time! (It’s worth the wait!)