The Ward by Jordana Frankel
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date: April 30, 2013
Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure. However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface. Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.My Thoughts...
Combined unique elements give this a fresh Dystopian feel. Ren is a racer in the Ward, a district that is suffering from illness and a lack of clean "fresh" water. It isn't an easy place to live, nor is it easy for Ren to gain acceptance by the "guys" in the racing arena. One mistake lands Ren into a precarious situation, one that also makes her realize she cares for her friend turned sister more than herself and she will do whatever she has to do to make sure she gets the treatment to make her better.
It took me a minute to adjust to the protagonists lingo. Words like "fresh" instead of saying clean water, and a few others. Actually, I found it a little annoying and distracted me from the flow of the story. The picture painted was interesting and unique. Not a fan of car racing, I did enjoy the uniqueness of these races, bouncing from one rooftop to another, using water pressure and other elements to change it up.
This story is packed with action, romantic elements, deception, and mystery. I'd say this story is mostly action with a small percentage of romance. With Ren being more of a tomboy, I had hoped she found a guy who not only made her feel pretty, but enhanced her feminism. She certainly was a character with a tough exterior and took a beating not only physically, but emotionally as well. This was a good read and by the end I felt that I liked Ren a lot more than I had throughout the first 3/4 of the book.
The secondary characters were pretty cool. I had a slight bookish crush on her Bookie...can't lie. Even though he had a mysterious edge, I could tell he had feelings for Ren. Then there's the Scientist....he turned up to be an awesome character and one that I really liked, but yet, not enough for me to want him and Ren together.
She seemed to always land herself in predicaments that had a ripple effect, causing more grief or an added layer of frustrating obstacles. The cure for which Ren and the Scientist worked hard for was pretty clever I thought. She plays a major roll in the turnover in the health of not just her sister, but for all the people in the Ward. Loved the ending! The symbol of the copper penny was pretty cool in my book, and I loved how the doormat was covered with them at the end. I know this seems like gibberish to those of you who haven't yet read this, but seriously was struck giddy with a smile by it.
Overall, I liked The Ward. I found it to be unique and pretty darn interesting. If you give it a go, be prepared for lots of action and an ending that will make you smile.