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The Farm by Emily McKay
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Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
Everything I can say about The Farm comes back to one word: Frustrating. So, yeah, be prepared for a slight bit of a rant...

I should have liked this book. (Actually, I should have loved this book.) It had all of the right elements, and I actually held off on reading it until I knew I had the time to read this, fast, and then immediately go on to the next two books. And yet, in all honesty, I may end up giving away the other books in the series with this one, without reading them, even though I bought all three from a used book sale at the same time.

That's how frustrating this book was.

First, there's the spoiled and incredibly unlikable main character, Lily, who's nearly as unbelievable as she is annoying and inconsistent. Her sister's sections are more interesting... but also incredibly heavy-handed, as are the sections of the too-obvious love interest who is, simply put, such a stereotype that you'll recognize him on sight, let alone sound, from cover to cover. There's no other way to say it.

Editing is also a problem. There are little plot holes and inconsistencies all over the place. In some cases, I can see where an editor must have asked a question in the margin of a draft (expecting revision), to which the author hurried off an after-the-fact explanation instead. These spots are sort of frighteningly obvious in too many cases. Add to spots like this the fact that the book feels rushed, undeveloped, and built from stereotypes... and you've got a long list of problems.

At page 50, I was still trying to get interested, but the characters were holding me back. At page 100, I couldn't stand the characters, and had too many questions about the plot. By the halfway point at around page 200... I was just reading to try to finish it and figure out if it would potentially get any better. And it was a fast read... I'll give it that.

In short, this could have been a great book. Instead, it reads like a book that was rushed to publication, without enough time taken to either characterization or development, let alone the details of world-building. It needed more work, a more careful editorial eye, and another few rounds of drafting. Then, maybe, it could have been great.

So, will I go on to read Book 2 since it's already on my shelf? If it focused on Lily, the main character here, there'd be no chance. None. But... it looks like it doesn't, which is the only thing leading me to say maybe. One way or another, I'm not going to jump into it. I may, though, look at some reviews, wait a few months, and at least read the first few chapters. I was, after all, interested in some of the margin characters who had more subtlety, and were less wrapped into a bad teen romance surrounded by half-built dystopia... and it looks like those characters might be the focus going forward. So, maybe. We'll see. For now, I'm just really excited to be able to say that I'm done with this one. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Apr 18, 2017 |
Originally reviewed on shortramblingreviews.wordpress.com

the story is about Lily and her autistic sister Mel, their life on a farm and their escape into the wilderness where they have to deal with Ticks, mutated humans who feed on blood straight from the heart. Lily has help from Carter, an old crush from “the before”, and Sebastian a vampire.

I will start with what what was good. It has a unique take on vampires, or at least not one that I hadn’t come across before. Some of the characters were interesting, like Sebastian, If i wrote a vampire book I would like to think i would have written a Sebastian into it.

The universe this is set in is consistent if there isn’t a vast amount of depth to it, there are hints of a rich environment but they aren’t explored. each of the chapters is written form either Lily’s, Mel’s or Carter’s point of view which is a good and bad idea.

This is as good as it is bad. The main character Lily was whiny and emotionally all over the place, I felt there was an unnecessary romantic story line between her and Carter, who she knew in “the before” and hadn’t seen in two years, and magically turns up to “save” her. The ticks (mutated humans) were essentially beasts, had a tiny brain but for some reason could comprehend that churches were sacred and wouldn’t enter until they did. Carter obviously knew what was going on and it didn’t make sense when the chapters were from his point of view because he shows he knows whats going on but cant tell Lily, and he keeps it to himself, seems like a complete waste of time.

Shame, this could have been great except it wasn’t! ( )
1 vote grlewry | Sep 22, 2016 |
I'll be honest, guys and gals. A lot of people enjoyed this book, but sadly I wasn't one of them.

*Caution: if you feel you'd like this book, don't read further because there will be spoilers in my rant*

There are only two redeeming qualities in my opinion - Mel, Lily's autistic twin and the sweetest character ever, and the world-building itself (or what tantalising pieces of it I could glimpse).

Everything else is a trainwreck.

Lily is a condescending, callous, judgemental, horrible b*tch. I really wanted to strangle her all the bloody time. Mel feels like a burden to her, she whines, she sneers at pregnant girls, and the way she behaves towards her pregnant road companion later on is revolting. There is no human decency in her.

Carter is completely smitten by Lily (God only knows why) and talks more about his military education than he actually acts on it.

And don't even let me start on Stephen (I hope I got the name right). The most pathetic vampire you'll ever meet. Most of the conflict in this book could have been avoided if he just tranqued both girls before taking them on the road. I just couldn't understand how he kept letting Carter and Lily to mouth him off when he was the strongest and supposedly most experienced two millenniums-old being around?!! *facedesk*

You see my problem? I was unable to believe the story, because to me most of the conflict was unnecessary, didn't make sense and simply kept pissing me off. I do not appreciate the characters continuous stupidity and inability to think rationally of what will be the best for their communal survival. The only way I'd read book #2 if we get rid of Lily's storytelling altogether and concentrate on lovely Mel, otherwise HELL NO.
( )
1 vote kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
*Spoilers clearly marked.


Read that synopsis. Read it. Sounds awesome, no? Killer humanoid ticks. Humans herded like livestock. Vampires. Harrowing escape. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Unfortunately, the execution was mehrp. Awful. Awful. Awful. Awful. Another creative, super-cool, and unique idea bites the dust. Boo.





See, I wanted some of this:





some of this:





and a lot of this:





Instead, I got a very boring and angst-y clusterfuck of bad. I can’t say it was too predictable, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. It was unpredictable, because the storyline was outlandish. Every time you got comfortable with the story and where it was headed, you’d get a huge infodump completely changing the rules of the world.

The Farm is like a bootleg Inception. It’s a shitty concept within a shitty concept within an awesome concept. It’s not like Inception in that it wasn’t good.
-_-

The MC. UGH. The horrid MC. (Goes back to check what her name was, because who cares?) Lily. That annoying, stupid, argumentative, little twit. I wanted her to die SO badly. I don’t know if I’ve ever read a character who argues and bickers as much as Lily. She argued every single insignificant move they all had to make. Every one. Without fail. There were pages and pages of bickering about decisions. As a writer, if you feel the need to tag all the other characters as frustrated or exasperated when talking to your MC, you should probably do something about your shitty MC! Lily was portrayed as being tough and able to take care of herself, but she would never follow directions and she always did the dumbest shit – like run headlong into danger. Carter, the “love interest”, even says something along the lines of “You’re just going to run headlong into danger without a plan or backup?”
-_-

If your secondary character says something like that to your MC, then you as a writer KNOW that your MC is a douchebucket. Why would you purposefully make your MC a douchebucket? I just don’t get it. Don’t you want people to like her? Blah.

Okay. Sigh. This review is as painful to write as this book was to read.

Alright. Let's continue.

Carter – The asshole “love interest”. Who isn’t a love interest. But is a love interest. But isn’t. Yeah. I’m confused, too. This dude shows up and worships the ground Douchebucket walks on, despite spending 95% of the time bickering with her. It doesn’t matter what about. He says, “We have to go left.” She’ll argue they have to go right. He’ll say, “If we do such-and-such thing, we’ll die.” She’ll argue that they have to do it anyway. It goes on and ON and ON and ON AND ON, until YOU want to die. It was infuriating. It didn’t matter what he said. You knew that one second later she would disagree and then PAGES of bickering would ensue. FFFFMMMMLLLL.

I wish, so badly, that I could spoil the shit outta this book (without a spoiler tag) and tell you about the asshole move this frikkin asshole Carter pulled on the douchebucket. I hate the douchebucket, but even I had to jump on her side after this. Unfortunately, my conscience gets in the way and there is no way to skirt around the asshole move without spoiling it. So here it is, tagged: This motherfucker had the BALLS to tell the douchebucket that he knew the only reason he fell for her was because she had some kind of superpower that worked like coercion. In other words, “I love you, Douchebucket - even though it’s only because you’re coercing me to with your freaky mind powers that you know nothing about. But I love you. So much. Though, not of my own doing. I love you.”

He literally told her that he knew this was true, because when he first saw her, he knew he could never be attracted to her. He knew he was out of her league, so for him to have fallen for her, there must be some paranormal mind powers at play.
He said these things. To her.





Then, he adds insult to injury. They later realize that it’s Douchebucket’s sister who has the mind powers, so Douchebucket couldn’t have coerced Asshole to love her. Instead of thinking, “Gee. I must love her of my own volition!”, he insists that her sister must have wanted them to get together, so of course it was she who coerced him to love Douchebucket.





Fuck you, Asshole, for making me feel for Douchebucket.


Moving on - because I’ve run out of tables. This book sucks. The action it did have wasn’t bad, but it was so sparsely strewn about, that it could never satisfy someone who goes into it mostly for the vamps or ticks, like I did. It’s 60% angst and “wuv” (barf), 30% bickering (plucks own eyes out), and 10% hardcore tick action (if ya know what I mean).

Here’s the kicker, though (serenity now). This book did suck, but the next one shows slight promise, simply because of something that happened to Douchebucket’s sister at the very end. Her sister was pretty cool. I actually liked her.

I don’t know if I’ll read it, but I might feel compelled to skim it at the library.. Curse my insatiable curiosity.





For more of my reviews, visit my blog:





( )
1 vote JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Really enjoyed The Farm, its a gritty, scary vampire Dystopian book. The Ticks are horrible and well described. Cant wait to see what happens next. ( )
  BookLoversLife | Apr 24, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 20 (next | show all)
This was a great book! McKay has mast fully used multiple points of view to enhance the story and develop characters that are brilliant! Escaping the farm is only the beginning of this wild ride!
added by Srosch | editLibrary thing, Stephanie Rosch
 
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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 more 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 more dangerous threat to the human race.… (more)

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Penguin Australia

An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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