I liked that this book was on the border of YA and Adult, it dealt with the age range of Young Adult, but at the same time, it didn t skirt around issues that teenagers face normally I ve noticed that most YA won t curse or really address the issue of sex, but this book managed to cover what it really was like for teenagers before their world exploded and then what it was like after.I really liked that this book could double as a YA for mature readers within the genre While there isn t sex all over this book it is a topic that comes up a few times when talking about Lily and Carter There is also the constant mention of Breeders , young women who chose to have babies and therefore are used like tissues by the Collabs, jock like young boys who choose to work with the Dean of The Farm All of these terms are a little confusing when trying to explain it to you right now I thought it was interesting that all of these Farms yes, human Farms were set up on college campuses It reminded me a little bit of The Loners, the way that the jocks and sporty guys joined the collaborators and the girls its insinuated the ones that have looser ethics join the breeders which means that Collabs can sleep with them whenever I loved the devotion that Lily and Mel had to each other and how Carter pushed to help them both even though it was for his own reasons I liked that Carter didn t talk to Mel like she was autistic, but rather like she was a normal person When you look at how they got from point A to point B, its really shocking to realize that this book only took place during a span of 4 days or so.Of Note I saw Jenn from Crazy For Books with it on the first day of BEA I asked her what it was about and her response was I m not sure, something about ticks and bugs which being the girly girl that I am, made me go, ick When I saw that my mom has snagged a copy, I asked her to read it and let me know if it was a good read, and when my mom handed it to me and was like OMG This book was great I knew I had to read it even though the publication wasn t until December and I read it in June So if you re unsure about this book because the description mentions Ticks, know that its about vampires and their twisted monster cousins and not the bugs, because if it were killer bugs, there would be no surviving Anyway, give this book a chance if you re looking to explore outside of YA, but you re not sure where to go There was no love triangle which was great, and you get a little bit maturity. SpoilersFor some reason or another I had really high expectations for this I think it was the cover , sadly I wasn t impressed The premise sounded interesting enough even though it was pretty similar to a bunch of other YA dystopian vampire type books In The Farm, vampires have taken over the world is it weird that I want that to happen in the real world IDK, it just seems like fun , anyway all the teenagers are rounded up into farms because their blood is extra sexy and oh so tasty Two of those teenagers are Lily and her autistic twin sister, Mel Lily and Mel plan to escape but when Lily s former crush, Carter, turns up things get complicated and also somewhat sexy as Lily and Carter give into their wuv and passion and general lustiness Lily and Carter were kind of boring, they were the same old flat cookie cutter characters that can be found in any YA book Lily was the usual boring, insecure, whiny heroine and Carter was the typical beautiful, strong, mysterious, douche hero Mel was a decent character although she came across as intriguing in Carter Lily s POV rather than her own I hated Carter he was a dick There was nothing swoon worthy or attractive about him All he did was constantly lie to Lily and then berate her when she did something he didn t like The loser didn t realise that if he was honest with her from the start then Lily wouldn t have done any of the crazy and risky things she did everything she did was in order to escape and survive, how was she supposed to know Carter had his own plans for them to escape What pissed me of most about him was how he thought that the only reason he could fall for Lily was because she was an abductura and had compelled him to have feelings for her it was arrogant and insulting and it showed how little he thought of her because he believed that they only way someone like him could fall for someone like her was because he was forced toReal nice I also wasn t impressed when Carter beat Lily up, threatened and tranqued her I suppose I should get over all these heroes physically abusing the heroines since it s what they all do nowadays apparently if a hero doesn t abuse a heroine, it s not real love Lily s feelings for Carter were pathetic she could have been an okay character if she had told him to fuck off but instead she let him treat her like shit Then again you re not a real heroine if you don t let the hero abuse you and treat you like dirt.I did like Mel and Lily s relationship it was the best thing in the book Overall, this was well rubbish The first half was slow and the second half was predictable, the world building was unimaginative and most of the characters were cardboard cutouts. Life Was Different In The Before Before Vampires Began Devouring Humans In A Swarm Across America Before The Surviving Young People Were Rounded Up And Quarantined These Days, We Know What Those Quarantines Are Holding Pens Where Human Blood Is Turned Into Food For The Undead Monsters, Known As Ticks Surrounded By Electrical Fences, Most Kids Try To Survive The Farms By Turning On Each Other This is the second book that s been recommended to me because it supposedly has something in common with my book that I should learn from, and it s the second book that s made me want to shoot myself if this is how I m supposed to write.Fortunately, it was an eminently skimmable book, and that s how I read it, by skimming large chunks at a time.So, generic somber hued ethereal girl YA cover Vampire apocalypse Ninth grade crush shows up to rescue her Yeaaaaah The one single bright spot or at least, point of interest was the main character s autistic sister.The main problem with The Farm, besides its elementary prose with vocabulary and sentence structures pitched at a sixth grade level, predictable plot with predictable Hot Boy and cartoonish vampires, and dead dumb setting, is that McKay stuffs three or four major elements into a novel that can only handle one.Flesh eating monsters known as Ticks have mostly wiped out mankind, except for those few who remain in enclaves called Farms, which are actually like concentration camps whose inhabitants are almost entirely teenagers Teenagers are extra tasty to the Ticks because of their hormones Yeah, I m not even sure what metaphor Emily McKay was going for there They are separated into castes Greens, Breeders, and Collabs Lily, the main character, has an autistic twin sister named Mel She and Mel are plotting to escape their Farm Then her high school crush, Carter, shows up The book then annoyingly alternates between first person Lily chapters and third person Carter chapters Mel gets a few POV chapters as well They escape from the Farm and find out that there are also real vampires The suave, immortal, master vampire with Dracula powers kind of vampire Carter has teamed up with a vamp named Sebastian, and they re apparently part of some rebellion against the master vampire who s responsible for the Tick apocalypse And they are looking for abductura, who are humans with a rare gene that gives them mind control powers, and they think Lily is one.Are you going Whaaaat at this point Because I sure was.Lily loves hates Carter and they spend the book on the run or occasionally fighting Ticks, while Lily learns six impossible things before breakfast vampires, abductura, Carter the super hot popular boy has been in love with Lily the geeky nobody since ninth grade , and the book ends with a pretty predictable twist since this is of course the first book in a trilogy.It s not horribly written, but it s written for the comprehension and attention span engagement of the average, and I mean average, YA reader, meaning, it s pretty dumb Frankly, I think it would have been a better book if McKay had dispensed with the vampires altogether Justin Cronin already wrote this book and it was much better.Mel was one of the few things I did like about The Farm That said, I don t know how believable Mel is Mel was interesting, but this is how her internal monologues go This rabbit hole feels cozy and we re not trapped even though Carter s still acting like Bugs Uncle Rodney understands about music even if he worships a dead god.I can try I have all night to find the music The pink gum helps.The shark is gone out tocking after Ticks Finding food before it finds us But part of me misses his watery silence Who will pilot us, if we re not pilot fish to his shark Her stream of consciousness internal monologues were interesting, but made me think that McKay was modeling Mel after the Cylon Hybrids from Battlestar Galactica.McKay also tries too hard by half to be clever Carter and I had gone to school together back in the Before Despite what teen novels everywhere would have you believe, sitting beside a hot guy in ninth grade biology is not the basis for eternal love at least, not the requited kind And yeah, I admit it, in my romantic moments, I imagined that I alone saw through his tough, bad boy exterior to the wounded soul inside Carter had been the kind of guy who ran hot and cold One day he d be all charming smiles, the next brooding glares Some days he d flirt with me, others he d ignore me completely What can I say, that charming, bad boy thing he had going was like catnip to a geeky girl like me And yeah, my predictability disgusted even me I d spend the first two periods of every day reminding myself not to be an idiot because a guy like Carter didn t even exist in the same social universe as I did and I d show up to class ready to banish my crush forever, only to have him flash me one of those crooked smiles that made me melt inside There s got to be a trope to describe trying so hard to subvert the thing you are mocking that your subversion turns into outright imitation And yeah, elsewhere in the book, there s an explicit Vampires don t sparkle line Also, because Lily learned archery in Girl Scouts, she picks up a bow to start shooting vampires with Uh huh.Lily is mostly annoying She s your standard issue feisty girl YA protagonist, with an extra side of thick as a brick stubborn as a wall, because I lost count of how many times she d stop Carter or someone else in the middle of a life and death flight from the bad guys to demand that they give her answers Right Now Or she s Not Going Anywhere She does have a few genuine moments of self awareness and character development For example, when she works out that Carter may have fallen in love with her because she has mind control powers, she is freaked out and refuses to pursue their relationship further For a few chapters She also, with a little help from their vampire friend Has it occurred to you, Lily, he continued either unaware of my bone deep revulsion or unconcerned with it that Mel is as much her own person as you are Perhaps it is not anyone s fault but her own realizes that she s been pretty horrible to her sister All those months on the Farm, I had treated her like she was a burden I had acted like some sort of saint for taking care of her God, that must have irritated her Suddenly I thought about how her speech patterns changed on the Farm I had assumed it was stress, but maybe it wasn t After all, she d started talking again when Carter showed up Carter, who d always treated her like an equal Maybe I really was the problem Why had I always treated her like she was a burden, when we were really in this together the whole time So, I will give this book two stars for the small bits of redeeming value I gleaned from it But it makes me die a little inside reading other reviews saying it was So scary And gory or exciting or original or had a really interesting plot since these are obviously readers who don t read much of anything outside of lowest common denominator YA pulp and have nothing really scary, gory, exciting, original, or interesting to compare it with. Giving up at page 172 I got this from Book Club, I recall my friend saying it was OK but she wasn t sure she d bother with the rest of the trilogy I always like to make up my own mind, but despite a promising start, it was rapidly becoming apparent that this is another derivative vampire PA Dystopian YA romance trying too hard to distinguish itself from Twilight which it has already referenced repeatedly There would only be any point continuing if I were willing to invest in the sequels, and having looked up some reviews of those, I m really not willing to spend the 30 and 15 hours that it would take.17 year old Lily and her twin sister Mel, who has autism, have been living as prisoners in an abandoned university in Texas that has been converted into a farm, since a plague of blood drinking monsters known as Ticks swept across America six months earlier Supposedly rounded up for their safety, the teenagers soon discovered that on this farm, they are the food producers, donating blood weekly to feed the Ticks, who prefer the flavour of adolescent hormones, but when they turn 18, which is days away, Lily fears they will be put outside to be eaten When a former schoolmate, Carter, the goodlooking bad boy that Lily had a crush on years earlier, turns up with a mysterious mentor, she has to decide whether she can trust his motives as he offers to help her escape.And that s as far as I got, the plot having taken a turn for the ridiculous with Carter s revelations about the origins of the vampire apocalypse I was getting frustrated by the limitations of the world building, then there s a long winded explanation of who Sebastian and Roberto are, while they re supposed to be preparing to escape, because Lily is being all bolshy She reminded me too much of Bella from Twilight to want to hear of her whining self pity and I wasn t interested enough to read I used to read a lot of YA but in my late 40s have finally grown out of it or perhaps just discovered that the plots and characters are basically all the same The writing was fairly basic, the most interesting part were the chapters from Mel s point of view, but they actually didn t make a whole lot of sense There were also some annoying plot holes the Ticks are described as mindless ravenous beasts, yet they have the technology to create and implant chips into the Greens that monitor their blood and allow them to be tracked The US government has disappeared completely without a fight The teenagers parents just let them go and nobody came back for them Maybe these questions are answered later but I don t care enough to find out.I m not rating this as I didn t finish it, but from what I have read it s a 2.5. 2.5 stars There are some minor spoilers in this review The Farm started out great It might have stayed that way if it would have just been what it sounded like it would be In the beginning Lily and her autistic sister Mel are trying to escape a farm where their blood is being harvested to feed vicious vampire like creatures called ticks The Farm is a place where teens are taken until they are 18 There is a lot of mystery about what happens after everyone at the farm turns 18 They disappear and Lily is sure nothing good happens to them so she decides she and her twin sister Mel need to escape before their 18th birthday And along the way they meet a boy named Carter who helps them.Unfortunately the story takes an unexpected turn Once we find out why Carter is really there I thought it veered off in the wrong direction I mean did we really need another book with the girl who is special trope I also felt like there was no good reason for Carter to have hidden things from Lily in the beginning Why couldn t he have been upfront with her about what he was doing there, at least about the helping her get out part And he was so convinced that she was what he thought she was, but the reasoning behind it seemed pretty flimsy to me Since it s a vampire apocalypse type story, I was expecting a lot of creepiness, maybe something a lot like The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle Now that was a creepy YA book Unfortunately the creatures in this book weren t creepy at all They even sounded like Sasquatches the way they were described, which I thought was weird Also the whole reason for the ticks existing didn t work for me either A regular vampire decides he wants to rule the world so he ends up creating some sort of virus with his venom in a lab that turns people into these vicious, mindless vampire like creatures I would have liked it much better if the regular vampires had been left out and the monstrous vampire like creatures had been the only ones Honestly though, all of those issues were small compared to my main problem with this book And that is I have a real problem with a book that breaks its own rules, and that s exactly what The Farm does repeatedly If an author is going to set up rules to their book mythology it s a good idea to stick with them, otherwise why bother with making the rules in the first place We have the ticks in this book that are supposed to only be active at night, only to suddenly find out they are out in the daytime now too They are supposed to avoid churches or holy ground, only to find out that there is an exception to that rule as well And they are supposed to be afraid of fire, but surround an entire burning building At the end of the book and yes I did see that little twist concerning the sisters coming a mile away I already know which rule will probably be broken in the sequel Even with all of the problems I had with the book I still found myself kind of wanting to find out what happens next, mainly with Mel, but in the end I decided to just look up spoilers instead of read the next book.Review also posted at Writings of a Reader Things I liked Mel s chapters While I don t know how autistic people tend to act, the poetry of her pages lured me in and I quite enjoyed them the plot was interesting, even if the plot twist was predictable WAYYYY too many plot twist clues the characters I could see them all as different people and liked little pieces of each of them so that s nice.What I didn t like the insta like Not working for me the plot twist was good, but as I said before, there were too many clues for one plot twist. The other day, while I was surrounded by hordes of rabid book fans, I was asked a question A question that was rather elementary when it came right down to it, but still incredibly intriguing One that if I m being honest I m surprised is being asked now 3 years into my reviewing journey It was What are you tired of My first thought naturally was laundry I have no idea how my children manage to wear everything they own in a single week, but alas they do, therefore I m up to my elbows in dirty boy socks on a daily basis.Of course this is not what she meant So I dug down deep Ok not that deep I m way too superficial for that And pondered the question.My answer Vampires.Don t get me wrong There was a day not so very long ago where vampires in literature were my pathetic stay at home mommy version of crack But the I read, the I wanted to punch them and their always perfect abs and flowing glossy hair in the face Which of course would then get me killed So I m going to go ahead and retract that statement It s not that I m entirely tired of vampires They have their perks What I m tired of are nice vampires Give me blood and guts Give me vampires that are drunk on bloodlust and have absolutely no moral judgment A squirrel You want me to eat a squirrel Hell no I want that blonde over there trying desperately to order the world s most complicated cup of coffee She looks like a tasty caffeinated treat In short, I want my fanged foes to be exactly that FOES.So to you, Ms Emily McKay, I thank you for being slightly demented and wildly unforgiving in regards to your vampires that read a lot like zombies which, I ll never get tired of Life was different in the Before before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined These days, we know what those quarantines are holding pens where human blood is turned into food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night Getting across won t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help Carter was a schoolmate of Lily s in the Before Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even dangerous threat to the human race The most intriguing aspect of The Farm is that the reader has absolutely zero idea who to trust Not in a traditional mystery novel way were several people could be the killer, but something much dramatic Without giving too much away because I hate spoilers There is a specific trait to one of McKay s characters that makes him her difficult to read How s that for vague This trait is not sad, or inappropriate or even in layman s terms bad Instead it is incredibly influential And because of its influence it makes every aspect of the book intentions, emotions etc questionable You ll find yourself agreeing with sentiments, only to find out they weren t at all what you believed them to be You will fall in love with characters only to second guess them pages later NOT KNOWING is the driving force of this book It weaves its way into every plot turn, every self actualization and heart felt monologue found inside.That said, without expertly written characters there would be no story.Lily and her twin sister are about to turn 18 For most people this would be exciting But for a prisoner of the Farm, turning 18 is paramount to getting the death penalty You are considered no longer useful and put out to pasture Literally Outside the walls of the farm live Ticks Genetically modified vampires that drink blood and ravage cities much like a zombie plague Lily and Mel s only hope of survival is to make a run for it The only problem is that Mel is autistic In the Before her autism was manageable In the After it becomes a bit of a burden This burden is where McKay s writing ability really shines.Showcasing any illness can be difficult The balance must be exact Too far to the left you appear insensitive To far to the right you are drowning your reader in a pity pool Both can be detrimental to a body of work But in the case of Mel She was not her sickness, or a barrier between her sister and the freedom they both so desperately sought Mel was quite, but attentive Nervous, but brave She saw what was beneath EVERY surface, not just the ones directly in her line of sight She was, without pretense beautiful So, Misty what about these vampires you claim to loath so much Well, like I said before with the exception of one they were less like vampires, like zombies Which made this book play out like an Apocalypsie than a stroll down Vamp Lane Much to my end of the world loving pleasure.Overall There was a heavy dose of action Plenty of heart, and enough shock and awe to keep any reader on the edge of their seats And it being the 18th of December, I can safely say this will make my top 10 of 2012 I cannot wait to dive into the next chapter of this incredibly engaging story, and see what renowned ROMANCE yes, I said romance writer McKay has up her evil side sleeve in the future.Happy reading my fellow Kindle ites and remember never give up on the predictable, sometimes it will surprise you. I really liked The Farm until I didn t I guess this is another case of me getting the wrong impression from the description that s happened a lot to me lately, but, most of the time, it s the teaser giving away too much In this case, just the opposite, because the minute I got to what Carter s secret was, my enthusiasm for this book instantly went to zero Let s just say it s not a good sign when your own characters are making fun of how stupid the plot twists are.From the description, I m thinking this is going to be a book about humans being farmed for food to feed vampires and two sisters having to escape from The Farm And it is, at least at first A bit predictable, but one of the sisters, Mel, is mentally handicapped and her point of view is rather good I have to hand it to Emily Mckay, she did a really good job making sure Mel s story comes across despite how she s telling it I didn t like Lily as much, she s really on edge and her frustration with her sister even frustrated me, but it s easy to tell her heart s in the right place nonetheless So Lily and Mel go about describing their predicament and making plans to escape, and then, as promised, new kid Carter comes into the picture with a hidden agenda and the girls plans go straight to hell So far so good, right Not really, because that s exactly when the problems started popping up left and right for me First of all, Carter obviously knows exactly what s going on, so it s kind of weird that McKay would write from his point of view at all when the first few chapters hinge on the girls and the reader being in the dark about his secret Even worse, she writes his point of view as I know what s going on, I feel real guilty about not telling Lily, but I m gonna keep the whole thing to myself Wow, what a useless point of view that tells me nothing, especially with how ambiguous his reasons for not telling Lily are But as it turns out, Carter should ve kept his secret a secret, because knowing that secret ruined the rest of the book for me.Why It turns what was a plot about escaping a facility where kids are farmed for their blood to feed mutant vampire like creatures called Ticks into a plot about vampire real ones, not Ticks conspiracies and people with mass mind control powers WTF McKay obviously recognized how unbelievable this is because Lily calls Carter out on it every time he opens his mouth and says something even ridiculous than the previous bombshell he drops Actual line from Lily I don t need to think about it to know that this is the stupidest, most ridiculous fantasy I ve ever heard My reaction I don t need to think about it to know that this is the stupidest, most ridiculous fantasy I ve ever read And it s not like these plot twists are even necessary to the story, the only thing they do is turn Lily from an average if annoyingly stubborn character who may not always know what s good for her into a lame savior type with a massive hero complex Oh, and the massive number of inconsistencies that result the Ticks are nocturnal, nope they attack during the day, the Ticks can t enter consecrated ground looool , nope they attack a church because it doesn t look like a church even though Lily and Co hid in another church that didn t look like a church a few chapters earlier, the Ticks are dumb brutes, nope they implanted Lily s tracking chip I m sure this last one is just an author slipup, but it all goes to show the premise is just convoluted.I m not saying the book stops making sense once Lily, Mel, and Carter plus their friends Joe and McKenna escape the Farm Most of the time, the gang s fending off Ticks or trying to avoid recapture and I m actually having a good time reading about it, Mel and McKenna as the stereotypical cheerleader turned tough survivor in particular, although Lily and Carter are so generic I couldn t remember their names while writing this review and had to leave them blank before going back to look in the book and filling them in mad lib style But, somebody usually Carter always has to bring up the stupid premise this book doesn t even need and the only thing it s good for is a lame Twilight Vampire Diaries reference before I m reminded that even the most well conceived books can go bad on the way to crazyville.I think Emily McKay should ve quit while she was ahead The book s fine as it is without the need for the ridiculous backstory slash explanation for the Ticks, all it does is add a dose of crazy to a perfectly good book that didn t need it Maybe she s doing it to set up a sequel, but I don t think I ll be back. Wow Just wow This book grabbed me from the first page and didn t let go The story is told in multiple POV Lily dominates the story, but Carter and Mel both have some chapters along the way While I gravitated toward Lily and her protective nature, always worrying about her sister, Mel, than anything else, I really loved the chapters told by Mel She s autistic and boy does the girl have an interesting mind She really adds depth to the story.Lily is only concerned about Mel and her own safety, which means getting off of the Farm before they turn 18 18 is the age they are supposedly released, but Lily thinks it s really the age they are fed to the Ticks So Lily devises a plan, but everything gets derailed when Carter, a sort of friend and major crush from the Before, shows up He s not at all what he seems, but Lily must trust him in order to go through with her plan to escape.Carter has lots of secrets and I won t spoil any of them for you, but let me tell you that nothing is as it seems in this story McKay has tons of twists and keeps you guessing And be ready to experience every emotion in the book There were scenes that had me cringing and grossed out Other scenes made me want to cry And the tension is high just about all the time You re in for a crazy good ride with this story It s easily on my lists of favorite books this year.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the
- 420 pages
- The Farm
- Emily McKay
- 06 April 2019 Emily McKay