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. He created the Hole where sinners are branded according to their sins and might survive a few years. At best.
BRANDED revolves a around the life of Lexi Hamilton, a young girl who has been branded a sinner and is taken to carry out the remainder of her life in the Hole. Being a criminal filled, dangerous and disgusting prison, Lexi is constantly in danger after being branded blue with LUST. Cole has been designated her guard though it is unknown why she is getting this protection. She gets given a job at the hospital and it is here that Lexi meets both friends and foes.
What I love so much about this story is that is so unique and original. You know that a book is good when you can't put is down and I can say, hand on heart that I am well and truly addicted to the world that Abi and Missy have created!
In young adult books these days there are a lot of strong female leads, none more so than in the dystopian sub genre. It's a competitive category but Lexi is seriously no comparison. She is beautiful and loyal and strong even when everything is against her. As much as we all wish for some fictional characters to be alive, I genuinely want Lexi as my friend. Her character holds pain yet is inspirational.
BRANDED has so many strong characters that I love, a lot that I can't mention in case of spoilers, but the ones I can mention include Cole and Alyssa. Throughout the story there isn't much given away in regards to Lexi's past and that's something I love. It keeps you guessing and along with it you learn more about the characters. Cole seems harsh and cold at first but there is so much that will have you falling for him.
Alyssa is a girl that Lexi meets while working at the hospital and, without giving too much away, you will soon be falling for her too. She is cute and loveable, and represents everything good in the world even though her unfortunate circumstances in the Hole. Her relationship with Lexi is ken that made me emotionally unstable for days.
Abi and. Missy have created a world that I cannot get enough of. I can't recommend this book enough! If you like dystopian, fantasy, action or romance this is the book for you! It is dark yet loveable, and I assure you that you will not regret picking this book up. I give it 3 out of 3 stars but could quote easily give it way more; it is definitely one of my all time favourite books! Abi and Missy are two incredible ladies that have not produced an amazing read but have inspired me in so many ways!
BRANDED is truly incredible and I cannot wait to see where Abi and Missy take it next!
BRANDED is the first book in the Sinners series and you can pick it up from Amazon and Barnes & Noble from June 03rd.
An Interview with the Authors
1)What was the inspiration behind BRANDED?
Abi & I used to meet up to talk about books we were reading and we decided to write our own. She came up with the concept, and from there we built a gritty, violent, unfair society. It just came to life!
2) What made you want to start writing?
Missy- I’ve always enjoyed writing but it was more of an outlet before. Now, we’d both like to make it a career. As far as what made us start writing? We felt we had a story worth telling. We loved our characters, our society, and what we were writing. If you don’t love what you’re writing, it won’t work. Abi- I needed an escape and I wanted to see where my imagination would take me, and writing with Missy is amazing.
I think we both infused parts of ourselves into Lexi. We’ve both overcome hard situations that made us stronger. We both have naturally curly hair & light eyes. And both Abi & I have close relationships with our Dads.
4) I personally think that BRANDED would much such a brilliant film. If you could choose who would be your dream casting?
Maybe Josh Hartnett as Cole, a girl likeMegan Fox for Lexi? I don’t know… just someone who’s younger, and athletic, but not Hollywood skinny. Whatever dog plays Zeus better be kickass!
5) If you were put in The Hole, what sin would it be for?
Missy- Probably wrath. Haha.
6) Who was your favourite character to write?
I think Zeus was definitely the most pleasurable character because he was light-hearted and funny compared to the heaviness of the rest of the characters. He was our comic relief.
7) Which scene was best/toughest to write?
Missy- For me, the final battle was hard to write. I kept making it too short and had to lengthen it. Haha. I wanted it to be more realistic to what it’d look like if a rag-tag band of people went up against a well-trained regime.
Abi- I would have to say hte ones with Alyssa and Keegan. I’m not going to say what they are but readers will know.
9) Is there anything you wished you could have put in the story that didn't make it through final edits?
Missy- For me? Originally, yes which is part of why we felt we had to rewrite and add so much. But now? I definitely feel like we left it all on the table.
10) Which authors did you read growing up?
Missy- I loved Ann Rinaldi & Bodie Thoene.
Abi- Nicholas Sparks
11) What is your advice to aspiring writers?
Practice your craft. Believe in yourself. Push yourself because it’ll only make you better. Be ready to be committed! Being a writer isn’t easy like most people assume. It takes a lot of time and sweat!
12) What made you want to write this book together? Do you feel it was better having a cowriter to work with?
This is probably the most popular question people ask us. We have always talked about & shared books we enjoyed. We’ve also been close friends since 1999, so our friendship has already weathered a lot of changes. It was never really a choice to co-author… it was just something we did because it worked. We both have different strengths we bring to the table, and so capitalizing on those strengths came easy. There are definitely bonuses too. We can critique each other’s writing, we spur each other on with new ideas for scenes and characters, and we get to share in the highs and lows of being writers.
As far as our process, well, it’s so intertwined sometimes you can’t really tell who is writing what. We both have ideas of scenes and sometimes we hand things off to each other just because we know the other person might be able to write it better. Most of the time though, everything you read has been touched by both of us.
13) What do you think of the reaction you have got to the book so far?
We’re thrilled! We have the best fans!
14) When is the next book coming out?!
We’re currently writing book 2 right now! We don’t want to rush it.