Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: Famished by Lauren Hammond

Title: Famished 
Author: Lauren Hammond 
Genre: Young Adult/Dystopia
Publisher: S.B. Addison 
Number of Pages: 280
Source: Gift from the author

 There is no United States. There is no world. An asteroid has destroyed what the human race knew as earth and The Great Famine has wiped out most of the surviving human population. For the few remaining survivors, food is scarce-- precious--a luxury. A luxury that most humans can t find. Seventeen year old Georgina Carver is fortunate. She s survived the destruction. She eats three times a day while the rest of humanity is plagued by The Great Famine. And she s safe, hidden away in an underground colony with her family and several other families of survivors. All of that changes the day she s randomly selected to be a gatherer. Georgina must leave her safe yet simple world and venture out into a world unknown. A vast, dangerous, destroyed world that could literally eat her alive. After Georgina is severely injured, her life begins to fall apart. She can' t remember how she got home or what happened to her while she was on the new earth. The boy she is crushing on avoids her and she keeps having visions that involve an unknown person with violet eyes. As Georgina begins to unravel the truth, it doesn t take her long to figure out that maybe her safe yet simple life isn t that safe at all.(amazon)

 Famished is one of those books that I alternated between really liking and not being so sure about it. I had it read in one afternoon, and while I had some problems with it I'm still thinking about it hours later wondering about the fate of the heroine. :)

Famished was one of the more grittier YA Dystopian books I've read.  The world that 17 year old Georgiana Carver knew is no more. An asteroid came and ruined everything. After the asteroid came and it was obvious that things were only going to get worse, Georgie's dad started building an underground shelter for them. Eventually 14 other families came to live with them and helped create an underground society. It is told in first person, and through Georgie's eyes we get to see the new world that was created. She is tired of being underground, but at the same time is frightened to go outside because of the tales she has heard about the cannibals that came to be after food starting running scarce.  I loved her descriptions of the world and felt like I was there with her. I really liked that her parents were around and that she had a nosy little sister to deal with.

The world Georgie discovers isn't the world she was used to. She knew it would be different, but wasn't prepared for it. I have to admit, that while I really liked Georgie, she drove me a little nuts once she was outside. She just complained a lot about everything from being chosen to about being worried about not finding her way back home. She eventually toughens up though, and realizes that whether she likes it or not, she has to do what she was sent out to do-find the items on the list. After finally remembering where the hiding spot to her colony was, she gets into trouble & is chased by cannibals.  For me, this is where the book really started getting good, but at the same time lost me a bit.  The cannibals were just hard for me to get into. Even though their circumstances were described as to why they were such a formidable enemy, I had a hard time  being afraid of them. 

Aside from the cannibals though, I really enjoyed the mystery that Georgie unravels when she returns home from gathering. There is a plot underfoot, romance to be had, and bad guys to go after.  The ending caught me by surprise because I wasn't ready for the book to be over with yet. I kept expecting there to be more..which leads me to believe that this might become a series.