Sunday, February 22, 2015


My rating: ★★★★★

Authors: Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki

Series: A Sinners Series (Volume #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian, Romance

Page count: 380 (Paperback)

Release date: August 19, 2014

Places to buy this book:
Barnes & Noble
Book Depository

Places to find the authors:


Fifty years ago The Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society.

To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line.

Now, LUST wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit, and the Hole is my new home.

Constant darkness.

Brutal and savage violence.

Excruciating pain.

Every day is a fight for survival.

But I won’t let them win. I will not die in the Hole.

I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.

My review:

Branded is not your typical dystopian book; there are times when you cringe and can't help but visualize the harshness of this world and see that it's not far off from our own world. This book is dark, yet addicting as you learn more about the haunting past of Lexi Hamilton, a teenage girl accused of committing the crime of Lust and sentenced to The Hole, and Cole, a guard who is assigned to Lexi throughout the whole story. What they didn't realize was the unintentional connection who was not friendly to her in the least bit at the beginning of the story, until things start to change. 

(P.S. I read this book right around the time it was released, so... sorry for the late review!)

I would definitely not want to live in this cruel world where Lexi, the main protagonist, gets accused of a crime she never committed and was sentenced to this terrifying world, and as a young, beautiful girl, I couldn't help but fear for her life. I love how the idea on the story is surrounded by the Seven Deadly Sins and how people are judged, not based by their gender or race, but by their brand, despite the fact that Lexi isn't the only one who was branded for a crime she had never committed. 

As a reader who loves dystopian novels, I can't help but but be in awe of the originality of this novel and how it was built and pieced together! I'm always on the look out for novels that can grab my attention and "Branded" has done that spectacularly. After the book was released, I've noticed that multiple reviewers talked about how they felt frustrated that Cole didn't have more "depth" and that Lexi constantly acted like a child. In Cole's case, I think that Abi and Missy did that on purpose, because a reader can't expect to be given all the information about a main character like himself in the first book, that's kind of why there's a sequel and a third book; as the reader, you get to learn more about the characters as the story progresses and how they change. For Lexi, yes,  I agree that she didn't act quite like the way people wanted her to act, but let's be real here, "The Mortal Instruments" series by Cassandra Clare has a female protagonist, Clary Fray, that acts extremely stubborn and childish at the beginning of the series, but she later grows and becomes a strong, female character that people learn to acknowledge. So that's why I think it is alright for Lexi to come off as childish in this novel because she's blindly thrown into this world where there's strangers who either want to spit at her or rape her for being branded for a crime she didn't even commit. I think it's acceptable if she wants to have a meltdown every once in a while, wouldn't you?

ANYWAY, I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants a new, fresh take on a dark, dystopian world with danger at every corner and love in more shapes than one. I cannot wait until the second book, "Hunted," comes out so that I can dive back into this addictive world!

I want to take a moment to applaud the authors for never giving up on this book and for being such positive, loving authors who show such kindness to their readers and fans every moment they can. They are a true inspiration to young teens who aspire to become authors one day themselves.

~Whit Lo