received a free advanced reader's copy in exchange for an honest review from month 9 books*
Technology is addictive. I have a hard time drawing myself away from my phone or my iPad. Genesis Girl contains a world where technology has caused ruin; cell phones caused a sweep of brain cancer which killed a great number of people and made others wary of any form of technology. It is a rather stark, but realistic picture of the future we could someday face. This movement is called the Vestals. They are free from all forms of technology, raised to lead very sheltered lives until they are chosen by bidders to become the face for various campaigns and sell the products they are told, leading lives they really have no control over.
Any novel that starts with someone getting kicked in the balls is going to be awesome. This book truly does begin this way. It is action packed and fast paced throughout. I never felt like there was a time when I was bored or not dying to see what was going to happen next. The main character Blanca sells for the highest amount during the ceremony the Vestals undergo when they turn old enough. In a moment, her life is changed forever. She goes from living among her own kind to living in a world she was taught to manipulate in subtle ways and do whatever she can to please her bidder. She doesn't believe she has any free will or choice of her own. Blanca craves to be told what to do, how to act, and who to be. When Cal, her bidder, tells her to make her own choices-- such as becoming a part of his family as a daughter-- Blanca struggles. She has a hard time processing not being controlled by other people because it's what she has been taught her whole life.
Blanca surprised me by how strong she is. In the beginning, she wants to lose herself in being told what to do and not imagine a world where she is able to make choices. As chance and opportunities are presented to her, she begins to see the world in a whole new way. Although Blanca has a hard time, she learns to embrace the new world she is living in.
Jennifer Bardsley did an amazing job with Genesis Girl. I was hooked the whole time I was reading it. Blanca has such a great voice and she is always herself. I appreciated the reality of the novel, hoe dangerous technology and social media can be if used the wrong way. This book also teaches it can be a positive tool, as long as it doesn't overtake your entire being. I couldn't stop reading this book and was already dying for the sequel before it was even over. Genesis Girl is an amazing and addictive read. Check it out!