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Exceptional (Exceptional #1)

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  3,207 ratings  ·  251 reviews
In the future, things are anything but ordinary...

In 2022, the United States commissioned a group of scientists to experiment with genetic mutations. Their goal was to create a serum that would alter the human genetic code, making the subject stronger and faster. They succeeded but their victory was short lived. Not only had they created a super serum, but also an airborne
ebook, 1st Edition
Published February 24th 2012 by Jess Petosa (first published February 15th 2012)
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The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsThe Man Who Watched The World End by Chris Dietzel1984 by George Orwell
Best Dystopian & Post Apocalyptic Novels
17th out of 183 books — 246 voters
The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire by Suzanne CollinsDivergent by Veronica RothMockingjay by Suzanne CollinsInsurgent by Veronica Roth
YA Dystopia Novels
270th out of 925 books — 9,136 voters

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Community Reviews

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Mar 06, 2012 Erin rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: YA Paranormal Romance readers
YES, YES, YES, YES, YES!!!!! Finally, I have come across a dystopian novel that does not just prattle on about how awful the world is for ten chapters and then toss in a mini-romance as an afterthought. I thought maybe Shatter Me (which, admittedly stands in a class of it's own) may be the only one, but Jess Petosa pulled it off in spades!! I LOVED, LOVED, LOVED this book!

Exceptional brings us Ally, an Ordinary living in the settlement just outside the City where the Exceptionals live. Though sh
I really wanted to like this book, but it just fell short. I loved the idea of it, but there were many areas were is seriously lapsed. Here's a quick synopsis.
- World is a great idea
- Pretty decent overall plot
- Poor character development (characters often make random decisions that are not explained to the reader)
- Kind of ridiculous romance (love-at-first-sight infatuation...)
- Lack of world building (we don't get much explanation of things)
I was constantly put off by the lack of e
***NOTE: There is swearing in this review. Sorry!!!***

This book. Oh lordy, this book. I bought this book on my Kindle after finishing The Breeders and finding it in my Amason Recommendations. The idea presented in the summary was interesting, a world of two evolved humans; one immune to a serum-virus, and the other a superhuman race of powerful, violet eyed beings.
Sadly, the writing in the summary beat out the novel. Exceptional had its pros and cons, but in my opinion the cons FAR outweighed
Nancy Rossman
As a disclaimer, I am going to remind everyone that our W Valley Women's Book Club just finished WARM BODIES. So as I started this paranormal, sci-fi piece my first thought was Yogi Berra's expression, "Deja vu, all over again." Two star-crossed lovers (although they never do it...irritating)from different sides of the tracks, and whose family would never agree to, etc. There was more technology, it's the world decades from now,wars are a thing of the past but the Exceptionals use their incredib ...more
Rebecca ♥ Matrim, Kishan, Warner ♥
I liked the idea behind this. The Exceptionals and the Ordinarys and the world it created. But from the very beginning I could sense something very sinister about it that I didnt like. It was like an itch that wouldnt go away and prevented me from enjoying the experience. And once the forced breeding was introduced my feelings were justified. It bothered me as much as it did in Wither, and even more at times because we were forced to accept Ally's situation. Maybe it has something to do with bei ...more
I really liked this book. I found Ally to be a strong character and I absolutely LOVED Luke. He was so sweet and I thought he and Ally fit each other perfectly. I liked the secondary characters a lot as well. Aden, Luke's father, is a total jerk and I felt really bad for Luke.
I'm kinda sad to say that the Rogue concept was a little dull because I really liked this book, but it's I'm still ecxited to see where the rest of this story goes. I can't wait to see what happens with Luke and Ally.
What I hate more than anything is having to write a bad review for a book. But I'm just going to treat this like how I would review a peer's creative writing paper.

This book is a dystopian book. Scientists make a serum which causes genetic mutations and it is airborne. It spreads all over the word causing the population to perish to what is now known as Ordinary's: those who the virus does not affect and Exceptional's those who are affected by the virus and are superior beings. They have powers
I was intrigued by the book because I didn't see what was coming next. A lot of the typical dystopian fiction, young adult reads are somewhat predictable and this one was not. Loved Ally and her character development. I really was constantly surprised at the twists and turns in the story and can't wait to start on the second book.
Sophia Buitrago
Tiny spoiler warning:

I found the plot very interesting in this book and still currently think that. The whole idea of Exceptionals and Ordinarys was very intriguing and that's initially what drew me to read the book in the first place. The thing that bugged me about the book was that I felt as if the author was so eager to move the book along that she didn't develop the situations that were happening or even some of the relationships. For example when Luke and Aden had their first fight it seeme
Luke M.
Exceptional by Jess Petosa was a novel with a very intriguing plot that captured me from the very beginning. The background to this book is that a virus was accidentally created that caused humans to either die, become enhanced with strength and speed, or be unaffected if they were immune. The virus split society in two; the Exceptionals, and the Ordinarys. Ally was an Ordinary and Luke was an Exceptional. Through the course of this novel the reader sees how their lives were inevitably connecte ...more
So I have to say I wasn’t sure about this series when I first picked it out…but I was looking for something to read on my kindle and I saw some good reviews.
All I have to say is I am so ecstatic that I did snatch up this book because boy was I wrong. I love books from self published authors...the stories seem to go wherever they want.
And this story was no different. This story consumed me…I am not joking when I say I could not put it down. The characters, Ally and Luke were fantastic together.
I felt this story was very similar to the Hunger Games series. It is a quick read, entertaining for the most part. I do feel the author rush parts of the story. I was disappointed with how she did not develop certain characters, ie how Luke's mom was so in love with her garden then slipped into a room and never heard from; Aden and exactly what his powers were and why his relationship with Luke was so problematic. My hope is that as the series continues the author will develop the story and prov ...more
Meh- I liked the concept, not something I have yet read in the dystopian genre. But the book didn't feel like it was finished all the way, kind of like a girl all dressed up to go out, but with wet hair and no makeup on. I just felt like it could have been polished up a little more. I didn't feel like the characters were developed enough to have the feelings they were having, and then when it did start to get good, it ended. Not sure if I will read the next one. Very interesting concept, but jus ...more
The review sounded AMAZING, so great in fact I thought it just might be my new favorite novel. But somewhere between the book review and the novel itself... it fell short of my expectations.

The story idea is great. Fantastic. I love stories with super humans, with social standing differences, the whole 'Romeo and Juliet' love story of people from completely different worlds falling in love. Only.. Somehow all these elements that should make an incredible book... just was not great.

I think the
Exceptional is an outstanding novel with gripping detail and characters that the reader will miss when the book is over (I'm so glad there are sequels!). Exceptional takes place in 175 AV - the time after a deadly mutant virus sweeps across the world wiping out most of the population except for two groups- those who the virus mutates into a super-human population called the Exceptional and those who were somehow genetically immune to the virus and remain normal humans - the Ordinary.

In this new
Kendall Thyes
This book is exciting and a little different. It talks about what may/could happen in the world because of science. Ally the main character is effected by this science directly. She is considered an ordinary girl, witch is a person that was not effected by disease that science has created. Ally is captured and brought to the city to be an exceptional worker. But she was not brought to the city by any exceptional, she was brought to the city by the exceptional Luke. Ally expects to be going to th ...more
Alisi ☆ needs to stop starting new books ☆
I give up! I tried, I fought, I battled, and in the end, I could not finish this horrible, horrible book.

It's bad from top to bottom. The plot, while somewhat interesting, is generic in its construction and the characters are all cardboard. It reads like your typical dystopian novel.

Humanity has broken into two groups, those that got infected by a virus that made them 'exceptional' (yes, the title of this book will point to how, um, clever it is) and those who were immune. Everyone else died. A
Oct 09, 2014 Ashleyjo added it
Shelves: dnf
I liked the prologue. It set up the world expediently and with enough info to get a broad picture. Seems like an interesting place....

Then, the story starts and the ship sinks fast and furious.

The language & sentence structure is extremely simple; I'm talking junior high level reading here. The phrasing is just plain weird.

"Her voice was more of a breath..."

"Skillfully haunting..."

"Just waiting to see if you chicken out."

"The gesture made Ally furious for some reason. She didn't normall
Series Review: Petosa has some great ideas and I think that having a publisher (I believe she's self-published) would really refine her writing and given her a bigger audience.

The idea is unique and interesting: a dystopian society where the government begins experimenting with gene mutations. They create a serum made to enhance physical powers in the military but it evolves to a type of virus that can create super-humans with sometimes deadly results. Eventually, there is a divide between the s
Joshua Miller
good book, a little less sexual tension would have worked for me but a well developed story and characters that you felt could be real. a little SciFi but not over the top. I am on to book two
This book is ridiculous. The plot is so far-fetched I couldn't even suspend disbelief and you kind of have to be open to that if you're reading dystopia. I mean the girl watches her boyfriend's dad kill her mother and two days later she moves back in the house with him. No biggie. ALSO Jesus Christ get an editor! There were numerous grammatical errors, including my personal pet peeve, an its / it's screwup. The horror! Not going to read the remaining books in the series.
Finally finished it and I have to say that although I mostly enjoyed it I found it rather lacking in something and honestly felt like it dragged a little and found myself being forced to read on. And just when something interesting would start to happen the main characters Ally and Luke would just accept their circumstances and not continue to fight but succumb. Oh well, The premise of the story was still interesting and I liked it I just wanted more depth.
I decided to read this book despite the negative reviews because I'm a fan of sci-fi suspense with a little bit of romance.

The basic premise is a future earth where a genetically engineered human race with varying abnormal powers rules over "ordinary" humans, sometimes placing the Ordinaries in inferior camps and forcing them into menial labor. Alli, the main character, lives with her mother and twin brother Stosh in an Ordinary settlement until circumstances take her to the Exceptional city wh
I didn't expect to like this book as much as I did. In spite of some minor problems, I was intrigued with the story and the world. Ally was a frustrating character because she made decisions that were clearly questionable, such as leaving the house when Luke told her that she needed to stay in for her safety that day. He should have been more clear, but it still seemed pretty clear to me what he meant, and she should have understood him. And, all of the things that they hide from each other was ...more
T & G
Sep 07, 2014 T & G marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
T & G Book Boutique Review

Jess Petosa

4.5 out of 5 stars

"I can't sit around and focus on the negative anymore. My situation isn't going to change, so I need to make what I can of it.”

Thank you Ms. Petosa! The cover definitely says it all! This book is in fact "anything but ordinary." We are taken into a dystopian society in which our government (seriously when are they not responsible in these books) has accidentally released a virus that makes people develop
This book is a great read. Right from the beginning I was hooked on everything from the plot to the characters. Must-read for fantasy/romance(maybe) readers.
I really wanted to like this book. I liked the idea behind it,
but it needed an editor. It read more like a fanfiction than
a novel.
While this book had a lot of similarities to other Dystopian novels that I've read I couldn't seem to put it down. I definitely recommend.
OH MY FREAKING GOD! Possibly the most amazing thing I have read! I am so in live with Ally and Luke, it's not even funny!!
Zoey Huizing

I loved the book however I hate cliffhangers especially (SPOILER ALERT) when it ends with freaking MIND WIPE!!!! So Jess Petosa I both love and hate you at the same time. I would rather this have a Romeo and Juliet ending than this. Please promise that someone kills that bastard that Luke calls a dad. I mean come on the dudes obviously evil and needs to die. Any way getting a little off track the book was "exceptional" I loved the plot and the moral of the story I plan on reading and
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Goodreads Authors...: Audio Publishing 4 12 Oct 08, 2014 10:01AM  
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Jess Petosa resides in Indiana with her husband, three daughters, and two miniature long-haired dachshunds. Her imaginative day dreaming led her to a career in writing dystopian and science fiction Young Adult novels. Every now and then she dabbles in romance novels as well.

You can find her on Facebook under Jess Petosa and Instagram [jesspetosa].
More about Jess Petosa...

Other Books in the Series

Exceptional (3 books)
  • Rogue (Exceptional, #2)
  • Ordinary (Exceptional, #3)
Rogue (Exceptional, #2) Ordinary (Exceptional, #3) Forget Me Compliance (The Trulonian Trilogy Book 1) Compliance (The Trulonian Trilogy #1)

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