Branded by Abi Ketner & Missy Kalicicki
A Sinners Series
Now LUST wraps around my neck like blue fingers strangling me. I’ve been accused of a crime I didn’t commit and now the Hole is my new home.
Darkness. Death. Violence. Pain.
Now every day is a fight for survival. But I won’t die. I won’t let them win.
The Hole can’t keep me. The Hole can’t break me.
I am more than my brand. I’m a fighter.
My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.
I turn on the faucet for a long while only to discover ice-cold water rushing out. The water never warms and I begin to understand. The Commander thinks he can wash away my soul by freezing me to death. He thinks he can destroy me by stripping away my possessions. But he can’t and I won’t let him take my memories, my ambition, and my pride.
He thinks I’m so easily broken.
The Commander doesn’t know anything about me, what I grew up with, what I endured—the father I lost, the mother I hate, the brother who walked out of my life, and the stepfather I was forced to accept. He thinks since I was rich, making me poor will cause me to give up. What he doesn’t understand is that, after my father passed away, I grew up behind walls of hatred. I had nothing, but had everything at the same time. I owned expensive clothes, enjoyed good schooling, and lived in a nice home. But my body was just a shell protecting an empty, desperate heart. My life was a colorful façade.
I had so much time to sit and think. I spent the majority of my life between four walls. I was abandoned, neglected, starved, betrayed, and abused. I’ve already been treated like the scum of the earth, so the Hole is nothing new. He wants to erase every sign of my existence on this earth, but I won’t let that happen. He can strip me naked, but he’ll never reach my soul.
It’s personal, completely personal.
First of all, stop right there! Open a new tab and go purchase a copy of Branded!
I won't be able to get into words how much I love and recommend this book but I will give it a shot. From the second I started reading I was hooked. The first few chapters had more action than most books have overall! I loved the descriptions in this book it made everything feel so real.
I have to say I have read tons of dystopians and even a few horror books and none have disturbed me as much. I say this in the BEST way possible! I do have to warn squeamish readers, there are some graphic scenes but they add SO much to the story. It was a reminder of just how horrible this world was. Often times when I read dystopians I picture myself living in the world, and usually I think to myself that I could do it. In the case of Branded, I didn't even want to try because I don't think I could survive. The environment was so harsh and unforgiving. I loved that there was a lot more chaos in this world than you normally see in societies. In many books we are often painted this picture of Utopia and then shown the issues with it. Branded on the other hand painted the picture for what it was right from the start.
I absolutely loved the characters. They all had so much personality. I must say though that my favorite character was Alyssa. She helped ME see beauty in even the darkest of situations. Another favorite character of mine was Sutton. He was a voice of reason and I loved seeing someone that had not let the Hole break them. Branded also had plenty of despicable characters that were so well written that I cringed at any mention of them!
This book made me angry, uncomfortable, sad, happy, nervous, and hopeful. I enjoyed feeling all that. Sometimes we have moments in life devoid of certain emotions and it is important to remember to feel. I really enjoyed the uncomfortable parts because it led me to question my own tolerance. There were times where I questioned if I would have the energy or will to live in such a harsh society. The thing is, that the Hole is not complete fantasy. There are situations in parts of the world right now where that much harshness and violence is a fact of life for it's citizens. It made me really grateful for the society I live in now regardless of it's flaws.
There is not much more I can say about this book without spoiling the experience. I read the book with out much knowledge about it and I am grateful for that! All I can say is please go out and buy this book! It is an amazing story of bravery, fear, love, and hope. I cannot wait until the next installment in the series! I need it NOW! :)