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Stung by Bethany Wiggins

Stung (edition 2013)

by Bethany Wiggins

Series: Stung (1)

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1542777,562 (3.65)3
Authors:Bethany Wiggins
Info:Walker Childrens (2013), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 304 pages
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Stung by Bethany Wiggins



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Stung is an awesome book. Fiona the main character is a girl who has awoken to a world not like ours. The world is filled with beasts or people with the vaccine. The vaccine makes you a rampage killing and a mindless freak. If you have a mark on your hand that looks like a circle with legs you are a beast or had the vaccine. Fiona has the mark and she is the highest level. Fiona has no clue what is going on.

Fiona is awoken and wondering where she is. Eventually she gets caught by the militia. She meets Bowen. Bowen is her guardian. After a couple of days at the camp Bowen decides that Fiona is not safe there. Bowen takes her to a old factory where he store food and supplies in case he wanted to go rouge. The militia had tracked them down to the factory so they ran. After a night they find an old hotel. Bowen and Fiona are stating there until Bowen's brother gets there were a gang followed him. Bowen got shot by Fiona. His brother calls in the militia. Then they all go down an elevator shaft escaping the militia and the gang. Fiona gets caught by people. The people put her in a cage next to her brother. The next day a level 3 and a level 10 and her brother fight till the death. After the level 3 dies the level 10 dies. Bowen gets there and blows a hole through the ceiling. The doctors come people get medical help and the end.
  JJS.B3 | Jan 11, 2015 |
This sounds really good
  DaphneH | Dec 1, 2014 |
I had a really hard time getting into this one and I almost didn't read it. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't my thing. I didn't like the style of writing.

That said, I would give the story itself 3 stars. I thought it was ok, and would definitely work for someone who doesn't want to read a huge book. I thought the "romance" part was a little forced, and I had a hard time really wanting to like the characters. It was confusing right up until the end when all of her memories came back. It seemed rushed and didn't flow well for me.

Thanks to netgalley.com for allowing me access to the title. ( )
  Mirandalg14 | Aug 18, 2014 |
**This is gonna be spoilery. It cannot be helped. I will, however, tag any major spoilers.

This went from okay/decent to bad to fuckin awful. AWFUL. I can't believe how bad it was by the end.

At 97% - “Three minutes,” the doctor says over his shoulder, sounding just like a … doctor.

Yo, are you even trying anymore?!

Stung is a book with no pretenses. You’re thrust into a world you know nothing about with no explanations. I won’t lie, I was totally confused in the beginning. I knew the MC was in the dark as well, so I just settled in for the ride and stopped worrying about it. I’d get answers as the MC got answers. By about halfway, I realized that even though the MC was getting answers, I still had no frikkin clue what was going on. As a matter of fact, even after having finished, if you asked me to summarize what this book is about:

Bees? Pollen? Intense nonsensical teen luv?


The point is that this book is bad. So bad.

As I mentioned, Fiona (the MC) has no idea what’s happening. All she knows is that she’s woken up somewhere very strange, very dark, and very dangerous. The danger isn’t just to her. It turns out she’s a danger to everyone else, as well. She’s kept shackled and has a bunch of dudes pointing weapons at her and nearly killing her if she so much as sneezes. Sounds pretty good so far, no? Brace yourself.

Some shit happens and after a day of having held Fiona captive, the dude who was in charge of the Dudes With Weapons, Bowen, manages to whisk her away, because of course, there’s just something about Fiona that makes him see her differently than all the other dangerous “beasts”. They go somewhere and hideout for another day and then love. No, seriously. Love. She loves him. After two days, she literally says “I love you.” I shit you not. Sigh. That was the beginning of the end for me. At that point, the story stopped being a dark, dangerous mystery. It became a cheesy wuv story between two immature teens. I wasn’t able to take it seriously after that.

Worse than the insta-love was the sexism and portrayal of gender roles. OMG. Honestly, I couldn’t believe some of the shit I was reading. If this book is to be believed, when the apocalypse comes, all men will become raging, violent rapists that act like complete Neanderthals. The mere mention of a woman will send them into weird maniacal rages and have them whooping, growling, and hollering in anticipation of all the rapin’ that’s a’comin. Geez. Now, sure, there would be rapists after an apocalypse, but I’d like to give men slightly more credit than to think that they’d all go rapin’ mad.

Making this angle even worse, is a moment between Bowen and Fiona after she has finally changed outta stinky clothes and into a pink sundress (because that’s so practical during an apocalypse).

This heart-warming exchange happens:

”No,” he says. “You cannot wear that.”

I look down at the sundress. “What’s wrong with it?”

He drags a hand down his weary face. “You look like a… woman. It’s not safe.”

I think of the raiders and look back down at the dress. “When we leave, I’ll change,” I say. “But for now, it’s comfortable. I feel like the old me.”

Bowen presses his hands to his temples and looks back out the window. “Fo, you’re not safe from me… Fo, I’m a man and you’re a beautiful woman… When I look at you, especially when you’re dressed like this, I can’t think straight, because even though my brain tells me that you’re the most dangerous thing I’ve ever encountered, my heart… my body-“ His mouth snaps shut and he stares deep into my eyes.

That’s right. She should change out of the pink sundress, lest he rape her, because, surely, a man cannot possibly be expected to control his body around a beautiful woman. So, if you insist on wearing that godforsaken pink sundress, expect rape. She changes her clothes, btw. She changes into baggy clothes and apologizes. To him.


The air smells like… women – hairspray, lotion, perfume, powder – and bleach.

Fuck is you talkin about?!

Unable to move, I stare up at the glass seal, at the crowd of people staring down at me and cheering for my death. At the women – gasping, disgusted, but not looking away. At the men - drooling for violence and blood.

Of course the delicate flowers are disgusted, but the strong men just drool for more death and destruction.

"Now I see why you're so attached to her, Bowen. You're gettin' sugar," Tommy says. (After seeing Bowen and Fiona kiss.)

Because Bowen couldn't possibly be attached to her for anything more than his gettin' some sugar. -_-

Ugh. Whatever with this garbage. Add to all of that how stupid Fiona is and how she's constantly making idiotic choices. She even manages to shoot an ally accidentally.. You get the gist.

Other than the beginning, which was confusing, but at least mysterious, there was nothing innovative or good about this book. It’s crap. Skip it.

For more of my reviews, visit my blog:

( )
1 vote JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
Do not pass go, do not collect $200.

The world has crumbled, and our main character, Fiona, doesn’t know why. She only remembers being 13-years-old, but when she looks around she realizes no one has lived in her house in years and that her reflection looks much easier than it should be. Eventually, she learns there was a bee flu and deadly bees and a bad vaccine and all sorts of things, and that this has pretty much led to a downfall of society as far as she knows it.

Well, first of all, there is almost no world-building in Stung. We get a little background on Fiona’s life. Everything the reader gets to learn about the world in Stung comes from ONE televised interview that takes up two pages at most. It’s basic, but I will say that at least this part makes sense. It turns out the vaccine has turned many children into beasts–an unfortunate side effect–that can’t talk and don’t act like humans at all. The more doses a child has, the more beast-like and un-human they are. Fiona is a level 10, and shouldn’t be as human as she is. That’s the main mystery in the second half of the book, and by far the best part about Stung. Other than this minor world-building, though, there are still so many questions left.

For one, there’s a large human trafficking ring because if a trafficker brings in a certain number of marked beasts or children, they’re paid in ounces of honey, which has become a most precious commodity. My question–WHY? The bees have gone extinct, so honey is valuable. Okay, that sort of makes sense. BUT many other plants and animals have gone extinct and have to be artificially grown. Since those would actually have some sort of nutritional and filling value, WHY is honey the most precious resource? You would think people might be able to sell it for money, but I don’t know because Stung never addresses this question.

Towards the end of the book, there’s another case of logic I could not buy. Fiona has been given the vaccine for the bee flu for ten months–several years ago–when she was thirteen. The same vaccine that makes people beast apparently has healing qualities when taken in small doses, and so Fiona is instructed to. . . KISS someone to transfer trace amounts of the vaccine to him. Or so says the doctor:

" You still carry trace amounts of the vaccine. It has certain advantages in very small doses, certain healing properties.” Doctor Grayson calmly explains. “If you can pass more of them on to Dreyden. . ."

Okay, I do not claim to know much about science. But I have trouble buying the minute traces of the vaccine left over from five years ago can be passed on by kissing would actually help someone who was gravely injured.VACCINES DO NOT WORK LIKE THAT. It's beyond suspension of disbelief at this point. This type of logic comes up time and time again in Stung, from the way Fiona tries to pass for a boy to how the major world-building issues are addressed.

Speaking of Fiona. . . why is she the main character? Oh right, because of something that happens to her. That’s another theme that comes up again and again. Fiona may be one of the most passive characters I’ve ever read. I seriously cannot think of a main character who actually had less of an outcome on the plot than Fiona. The one thing she does that really affects ANYTHING–besides just existing–makes everything worse in a big way. And the thing is, I can’t tell you anything about Fiona. She is a part of the story the plot happens to, and not a person who happens. She has no defining traits except she used to play piano. Is she friendly? Angry? tired? Caring? Ambitious? Daring? No clue. No personality.

The only thing I know about Fiona is that she has the ability to fall in love within a day. She walks into a militia camp, recognizes someone from home, and falls in love. It’s insta-love on both sides, but at least in Dreyden/Bowen’s case, he nursed a crush on Fiona throughout her entire childhood. Which doesn’t make the insta-love okay, but at least more understandable. Fiona seems to just fall in love–or decide she’s in love–because he’s something from her old life. And once they’re together, it becomes mostly about their relationship, which I can’t buy because of the sexism and other problematic elements.

Dreyden’s/Bowen’s nickname for Fiona? Fotard. It was a way to pick on Fiona as children and then becomes a pet name. It’s never said, but I can only assume that Fotard is Fiona retard. Is there really any other childhood insult? This is problematic and honestly, completely unnecessary. That entire problematic element could have just been deleted from the book. It’s small, but irksome. That, however, is nothing compared to the sexism.

Men now outnumber women seven to one, which apparently means that all men are now incapable of looking at a woman without 1)raping her, 2)Selling her to gangs that will rape or trade her, or 3)Taking her for a bride to repopulate society. This is problematic in itself, with the idea that this would just be what happens in a post-apocalyptic world, but fine, I’ll buy into the idea it’s dangerous to be a woman. What really highlights the sexism, though, is Dreyden/Bowen. Since he’s the love interest, he’s clearly not like the other men. He’ll protect Fiona and would never hurt her(supposedly). This is great, right? Well, it would be, and it seems to be, until things like this happen(Fiona has just put on a dress since they’re hiding in an abandon hotel after cleaning up):

“Fo, you’re not safe from me. I’m sorry. It’s just, if I let my guard drop, even for a second. . .” His cheeks flush bright pink and he takes a deep breath. “I won’t be able to keep my hands off you.”

Sorry, you’ve just lost any sympathy as the love interest right there. This isn’t a one-time thing throughout the book. The romance in Stung is incredibly unhealthy because it is not between equals. Time and time again, Dreyden/Bowen orders Fiona around and she just takes it, without ever questioning anything. I definitely understand why a militia guard would fall into the role of giving orders in high-pressure crises, but this happens even in the quiet moments, when Dreyden and Fiona are just talking or hiding. This is another order he gives Fiona soon after he tells–not asks–tells–her to change out of the dress.

"You always have my gun with you. And you always keep one bullet in the magazine. If you get caught, you use it. On yourself. Can you agree to that?”

Look, the world of Stung is obviously dangerous. And while I don’t really take issue with Dreyden giving Fiona the gun in case she decides that death is better than whatever fate, that should be her choice. But because Dreyden can’t handle the thought, he tries to take the choice out of Fiona’s hands. While this isn’t the only time her orders her about, it’s the time I felt really showcased just how demanding he was.

Later on, a doctor talks to Dreyden and Fiona and talks about Dreyden’s psych evaluation:

"Based on your psych analysis, you have a soft spot for helping women."

On it’s on, this sentence wouldn’t be a big deal. But based on the fact this comes after Dreyden has said all that other stuff, it makes me shudder. Helping other people, sure. But helping women, even though you tell Fiona you can’t control yourself around her when she’s wearing a dress? Dreyden is one of those characters who thinks he’s being better than all the other men in the book while still enabling the sexism himself.

Stung had a good premise, but other than that, the story was just too problematic for me to ever invest. The overt sexism and insta-love puts this on the list of my least favorite books I’ve ever read.

( )
1 vote Stormydawnc | Jun 23, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0802734189, Hardcover)

Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But when she opens her eyes, she discovers her entire world has been altered-her house is abandoned and broken, and the entire neighborhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right wrist-a black oval with five marks on either side-that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she's right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. Only the solution was deadlier than the original problem-the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts who were branded as a warning to un-vaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected from disease and beasts inside a fortress-like wall. But Fiona has awakened branded, alone-and on the wrong side of the wall . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:41:54 -0400)

When a vaccine to save endangered bees causes their sting to turn children into ferocious killer beasts, the uninfected build a wall to keep the beasts out, but Fiona wakes up on the wrong side of the wall.

(summary from another edition)

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