Stung by Bethany Wiggins

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Title: Stung
Author: Bethany Wiggins
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Walker Children's
Pages: 304
Buy the Book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Rating: ★★★★★

There is no cure for being stung.

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 hand—a black oval with five marks on either side—that she doesn’t remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. She’s right.

Those bearing the tattoo have turned into mindless, violent beasts that roam the streets and sewers, preying upon the unbranded while a select few live protected inside a fortress-like wall, their lives devoted to rebuilding society and killing all who bear the mark.

Now Fiona has awakened branded, alone—and on the wrong side of the wall.

For some reason I am really into all of the covers for the books I'm ready. Most of them capture a character from the story along with a background that depicts an important plot point. Well, this book cover is different. It's an eerily intense cover and that is what makes it immediately eye catching. I love this cover because it standout against all the other books I've read and for some reason, I am tempted to say that this is by far my favorite cover so far. Simplicity in its beauty is by far the best. 

Stung by Bethany Wiggins is intense from the beginning, drawing the reader into the story of Fiona without any warning at all. It all starts in her childhood home and she can't remember anything beyond her thirteenth birthday which means she's forgotten what happened when the world suddenly turned upside down. Her room, her home, her body which now bears a strange mark on her hand... Nothing is what it was in her memories and she doesn't understand why. But the tension continues to rise when she sees her younger brother, who isn't so young anymore, has become some sort of monster. Now she must journey across the barren wasteland, hiding the mark from those she meets and hoping that maybe her sister's fate might have been different than her brother's. She finds herself face-to-face with a boy from her past when she is captured by the militia. Will she escape the hands of the people who seem desperate to kill her? Will she ever see her sister again? Why isn't she like her brother since everyone seems to be waiting for that to happen? What will be her fate at the hands of a boy who just might kill her as easily as he might save her?

Now I am only going to talk about two people in particular, diving into their character like I typically do and then I will talk about the good guys versus the bad guys. So much of the story is entwined with secrets which I refuse to reveal because it's important that you read the story to understand how awesome these characters are. I won't pinpoint the bad guys because you won't know until the end and I won't praise specific good guys because, well, you'd have to read the story to truly appreciate the amazingness of this story. So here I am telling you to go read the book before I even complete my review. Now onto the great part part: my actual review.

Fiona is the wonderfully amazing main character that I previously mentioned in my summary above. In the beginning, she is kind of an enigma, at least to me. She is an intense character that seems have so many secrets to her name, some of which she knows and most she seems clueless about. Not that I can blame her in the slightest. I think in some ways she was repressing the horrors of her past because it was easier that way. Sometimes the memories are the hardest part of our lives. I think her naivety to the situation she finds herself in is endearing instead of frustrating like I thought it would be. Instead of being content to just go through the motions, she is desperate to understand the world she finds herself in. She makes friends with the wrong people and because of that, she finds herself getting involved in worse and worse situations. The best quality she has is not appearing weak in the face of danger. Although people seem to think that it is a sign she is some monster, I think it's just easier to pretend that she isn't quivering on the inside.

When Bowen was introduced, I wasn't sure what to think of him and apparently neither did Fiona. He appeared to be cocky, angry, and strong. He had a hard inside to go without his hard exterior. It seemed like he was nothing like the boy that she remembered from her childhood. Apparently this world has hardened him to the point that he isn't recognizable and she just hopes that maybe somewhere underneath all that ice there is something remembers her and remembers the world they used to be a part of. I think what truly showed his real character was when he discovered who Fiona was and it was like a switch had been flipped. He wanted to protect her from everyone even if it meant injuring himself, his resolve to remain disinterested fading as quickly as it came. He knows that Fiona isn't some monster and he is desperate to prove it, just as desperate as he is to keep her close to him. Without a doubt he is the love interest of this story and I think he defines sacrifice and selflessness. Why, oh why, must writers create such swoon worthy love interests? Anyway, he is a beautifully created character and it shows that the author took some care in fashioning such a perfect love interest for her main character.

The lines blur a lot between good and bad, the saviors and the devils. It's hard to say exactly who is on what side until the last page of the story which is why I think I couldn't put the book down until I finished it completely. I really believed that one character was a good guy only to find out on the last page that that same character was really a bad guy in disguise. When I realized who the good guys were, I understood what made these characters hide themselves and why they were the greatest support for Fiona even when they couldn't be by her side. I fell in love with all of these characters and I learned to respect the bad guys even though they were bad. Some of the characters, I will warn, are really wolves in sheep's clothing and are hiding their true intentions. Nothing will surface until the end. Trust no one except Fiona. 

I love this story. It's an intense, beautiful, and epic novel that is a true example of a great author taking on a great story. So, go read it.

About the author

Bailee is the type of person you would expect to find with her nose buried in a book or a notebook and a pencil in hand. She loves reading and she loves reviewing the books she reads. This is certainly becoming a passion of hers.

2 comments :

  1. Wow, compelling review! Thank you for sharing your thoughts about STUNG. I am about halfway through this book and really enjoying the love story, the gallop pacing, and the suspense. This may be my favorite of the year so far.

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