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The Only Boy

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Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.

Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.

Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.

Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.

268 pages, Paperback

First published December 17, 2013

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Jordan Locke

2 books30 followers

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 84 reviews
Profile Image for Sophie's Reading Corner .
827 reviews329 followers
October 24, 2015
But the Cleansing didn't stop the struggle for power. The Cleansing didn't end violence. The Cleansing didn't bring peace. When free to find their own way, the women are just as destructive.

In this dystopian world, a worldwide infection killed almost everyone, only a few women survived, building a new society with rules, such as not touching each other or never getting out of the complex. There are also some doctors who create humans, but only girls since boys cannot survive. There's a Matriarch who rules them all and punishes those who disobey by throwing them into the pit or even killing them.

Taylor is a new resident who joins them and he gets somehow close with Mary. The thing is that Taylor never wanted to join them, he wants to get back home and he has to be careful because his secret cannot be revealed. Somehow, he is the only living boy who is healthy and pretends to be a girl, because he knows that his secret could be fatal.

There are also Earthers, people who live out in the woods, hunting the few animals that have remained alive after the disease and an enemy to the Sections.

Taylor and Mary come close and when his secret is being revealed, she doesn't know how she should act about it. Should she reveal this to the Matriarch? Should she keep it to herself and endanger the whole section?

If I lived years ago, there would have been billions of men on the earth. I might have seen hundreds of them every day. Now there is one. Now there is Taylor.

I've been intrigued to read this book for a very long time. I was interested the moment I read the blurb, but I was also hesitant because it was unlike anything I've ever read and the reviews weren't very flattering as well. Still, I took my chance and thought that I needed to read this and figure this out myself.

Now that the book is over I can say that there were some parts I enjoyed and the whole idea had some potential, but it was also lacking. In dystopian books you need to have a good idea about the world and how exactly it works, you get questions and you need answers, especially if you need the solution about the problem.

I can't say I got my answers nor a solution. The end was rushed and therefore I didn't understand what exactly happened and if there was a solution to the 'only boy' issue. When you write a whole book, you can't leave your readers with half answers. I was reading this for days and now that I've finished it, I felt disappointed with how the author handled the epilogue. I get it ,you have a villain and your purpose is to get him out of the way, but still I don't think that was also the solution to the problem. What was the cure for the disease? Are boys going to be healthy from now on? So many important questions were left unanswered and that doesn't make me a happy reader.

I don't know if those were answered and I was unable to understand. I don't know if the author plans to make it a series instead of a standalone and that's why I didn't get everything properly answered. All I know is that this had great potential, but overall it felt lacking. And something else, after reading this, I can definitely say that a world without men sucks. You can get feminist all you want, but that's a true fact!

If you need YA with a unique concept, with suspense and adventure, you can pick this up. You may end up loving it!

Thank you for the gift copy Read More Sleep Less Blog! :))
Profile Image for Amber Forbes.
Author 5 books119 followers
February 7, 2014
In spite of the waning dystopian genre, Jordan Locke’s ‘The Only Boy’ breathes new life into it. I found this book on Twitter through this cover alone. Jordan Locke actually created this cover, and I must say, Locke did a fantastic job.

The main crux of this book is there are no more men in the world, as they have been wiped out by a plague called the Cleansing. Thus, it is only women that remain–or so Mary thinks.

Mary has never seen a boy in her life. She lives in Section One, which is a crumbling hospital with plenty of other women. Pictures of men have been removed from all books.

Then there is Taylor, whose dangerous secret is, of course, that he is a boy. In order to remain in Section One, he must pretend to be a girl; however, this is not an easy feat. The threat of death looms above him should he be found out.

Taylor wants to leave Section One because of the Matriarch. Her idea of safety is to keep Section One under totalitarian control. Even so, Taylor doesn’t want to leave Mary behind. But what will happen when Mary finds out just who and what Taylor is?

Upon seeing the cover and reading the description, I knew I had to snatch this book up right away. I love the dystopian genre, but the dystopian books in my bookstore are beginning to sound the same. They’re not even drawing from The Hunger Games. The most recent ones are being drawn from Divergent, because they all involve some sort of test, and it’s getting very tiring. In fact, Locke had to self-publish this novel because it couldn’t find a home due to the “waning dystopian genre.”

But this book manages to be its own dystopian.

There aren’t too many YA books with a male perspective. What’s even more interesting than a book with a male perspective is that Taylor, as for as he knows, is the only male alive and must live among nothing but women. I love how Locke doesn’t fall into the trap of believing that girls and boys are completely different from one another. This book shows they are not, and even Taylor himself learns that they are not.

So what is it like being the only boy among women? For one, he has to hide a razor blade in order to keep his face shaved. For another, he has to wear baggy clothes in order to hide his obviously-male figure. And last, he knows that if he were found out, he’d be killed because the plague killed men more quickly than women, and if there are/were any remaining men, they’d likely be carrying it. However, Locke instills an interesting secret within Taylor’s genetic code itself, and you’ll just have to read to find out what that is.

I love Taylor’s development. I love how he looks at the oppressive structure of the compound and realizes that women can be just as cold and violent as men. There is no touching allowed at this compound. Or affection. Or comfort. They avoid touching one another due to the plague, and affection and comfort are the same way. In fact, if a child is crying, the women leave that crying child alone. Thus, Locke presents a different side to women, one that isn’t so nurturing. In our culture, it’s a common-held belief that only women are capable of being nurturing. But this book shows that one’s environment determines one’s true behavior. In an environment based on pure survival, women will do what they need to do to survive.

I can’t forget about Mary, either. Her perspective is interesting because she has lived in Section One all her life under the oppressive rule of The Matriarch. She is a curious girl and wants to know what life was like before the Cleansing, but the Matriarch will allow no such knowledge. In fact, The Matriarch has made it so that men are unneeded. The women in Section One don’t need men to reproduce, not when all babies are basically genetically modified. So…GMO babies!

And so Mary is constantly getting into trouble, being put in the pit, sometimes with another, sometimes by herself. One can be in the pit for days or weeks at a time. Oftentimes those in the pits survive on water alone. This conveys just how dictatorial The Matriarch can be.

Even more interesting are The Earthers, people who are looked down upon by those who live in The Compound. In fact, Mary is convinced The Earthers killed her mother…with a gun. However, The Earthers have no such technology, so draw your own conclusions from there.

The Earthers live off the land alone, but I can’t give away too much about these people. All I can say is that the world building is fantastic because Locke delves well into Mary and Taylor’s perspectives. Doing so allows Locke to delve into the many layers of the characters’ worlds, and the characters themselves. Locke also does a fantastic job of making readers sympathize with secondary characters, such as The Matriarch’s daughter, who happens to be the bully of the compound. When I learned that The Matriarch showed no affection to her daughter, even as an infant, I really began to empathize.

Overall, I give this book a perfect 5.
Profile Image for Rachel Miller.
69 reviews21 followers
April 3, 2014
This review was originally posted on giantsquidbooks.com.

I have dystopia fatigue in a BIG WAY. Now to be fair, this is mostly preferential–it’s just not my favorite YA subgenre. But I was starting to feel like all the dystopias out there were following the same old formula–just a recycled plot with a slightly different premise.

And then I picked up The Only Boy.


The Only Boy is REALLY GOOD!

The Only Boy proves that a great book can stand out even if it’s classified in a genre that is pretty worn out. It’s not a dystopia that does a good job–it’s a great book that happens to be a dystopia.

Here’s the deal: Generations ago, the human population was ravaged by an epidemic that wiped out the entire male population and most of the female population. Now, small swaths of society have managed to survive by artificial reproduction and the enforcement of laws intended to prevent further spread of the disease. Men are now considered a danger to society; all images of men are erased from textbooks–even male plant species are eliminated.

The story picks up when Taylor arrives at the Section One compound from Section Seven, another community located about forty miles away. Section Seven has been attacked by Earthers, a seemingly lawless society. Taylor is the only survivor of the attack. And Taylor is a boy, trying to pass as a girl in his new life.

Mary, our other protagonist, quickly befriends Taylor. When she discover he is a boy (and keep in mind, she has never seen a boy before!), she has to decide if she will help him, or risk disease and punishment from the Matriarch of Section One.

Jordan Locke’s writing just draws you in from the start and doesn’t let up. The book is written in a first person perspective, but it switches between Mary and Taylor. Locke’s writing is sparse, with limited details and short chapters. Every sentence–every word, probably–moves the plot forward. This makes it an incredibly fast read. I loved that Locke took the risk to experiment with the style–it absolutely works and sets The Only Boy apart from the typical YA first person voice, while still keeping the reader close to the narrative.

Another place where The Only Boy stands apart is within the plot itself. There is a throughline of Mary’s resistance against the laws of Section One and the Matriarch, but that actually stays in the background for most of the book, while Mary and Taylor just try to survive. Locke takes us outside of Section One to give us a glimpse of Sector Seven, and the community of the Earthers. And this is key–in this future society, there is not just one rule, one law, one way of doing things, but multiple societies who follow their own norms.

Not only did I appreciate this plot structure for its freshness, but it also works really well. The parallel perspectives matches Mary and Taylor��s parallel stories as they each endure hell trying to find each other. While their motivations may be (relatably) that they are dumb teenagers in love, their travails end up making the bigger point about the relationship between power and gender.

And not to repeat myself on this blog too many times, but I just have to point this out: The Only Boy STANDS ALONE! No spoilers, but I’ll just say: there’s no cliffhanger–there’s resolution. SO SATISFYING! Thank you, Jordan Locke.

4/5 for characters – I loved the alternating first person perspectives; Mary and Taylor each have such strong voices.

5/5 for world building – Locke develops three visions of a post-apocalyptic society, making this world multifaceted.

4/5 for prose – The prose is focused and tight, with world building and descriptions built into action. This made it impossible for me to put down!

5/5 for themes – Locke’s intelligent approach to the dystopia concept was so refreshing–especially with themes on gender assumptions and the way societies are structured.
Profile Image for Marni.
323 reviews62 followers
May 29, 2014
I would like to thank the author for providing me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Doing so does not sway my review in any way.

When I came across the opportunity to review this book, I jumped at it. I've read dystopian books where men weren't allowed in certain groups, some where the women kept men as slaves but none where being male could cost you your life and talking about men could get you put in confinement.

When we meet Taylor, he's just come to Section One. It's quite different from where he grew up. There people touched each other, food was grown not canned, and life was quite simpler. As the reader gets to know Section One, you know quickly that there's going to be trouble. One, because just how long can a teen male hide the fact of what he is when he's surrounded by females and two, because he befriends Mary who misses the touch of her mother, hates all the rules the Matriarch has in place and just wants to be free to do be who she is.

Written in Taylor and Mary's POV's, alternating quite often, you get a sense of both as people and their hopes and dreams. Unfortunately, the alternating is sometimes too quick and you start to feel like you are a third wheel listening in on a conversation. Both characters need to get their heads out of the clouds and start to think before acting. So the immaturity that comes through isn't cohesive with how they would be really acting if it was real life and they weren't characters in a book.

The things I found out about during the procession of the story, made it feel rather rushed at times and disjointed at others. Time lines for the disease seemed to muddle in places and secrets that come out seemed to come at times that didn't make the most sense.

Now, after all that, the story itself kept me fixated. I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I wanted to know how things were going to fix themselves. I wanted to know what the ending would bring. With the two POV's you feel yourself connecting with both of the main characters and wanting certain things to pan out for them. And honestly, that's enough for me. This may not have been a phenomenal read, but it was good and I do recommend it to anyone who likes dystopian fiction.
Profile Image for Angela Caldwell.
Author 1 book208 followers
May 27, 2014
THE ONLY BOY was well written and entertaining. I like the dystopian genre, but I wanted more from this story. I hope Jordan Locke writes some more books soon.
Profile Image for  ♥ Rebecca ♥.
1,361 reviews382 followers
November 11, 2014
This review can also be found on my blog: A Match Made in Heaven

I was really looking forward to reading this because I found the concept so interesting. I wanted to see a girl who didn't understand "why she breaks the rules, just to be near him." The idea of a girl not knowing anything about boys, having never even seen one before, yet falling for one all the same, without even knowing he was a boy. It sounded like a 'love conquers all' type of story, which is pretty much the whole reason why I read romance. The more obstacles a love has to overcome in order to survive, the happier I will be in the end.

Although I still enjoyed this story overall, it ended up not being what I had thought at all. The mystery of Taylor's gender is actually solved within the first few chapters, after he reveals the truth to Mary. No one else knows, but it is no longer the obstacle it was. Actually, I suppose his true gender is more of an obstacle than being a girl ever was, because Mary has been taught to fear men her whole life. She didn't even know what the relationship between a man and a woman could be. They figured it out through bits and pieces of surviving information and instinct. Once Mary comes to terms with who and what Taylor is, and her eyes begin to open to the true potential of life, they decide to strike out on their own.

The time they spent together in Section Seven was both sweet and painful. I enjoyed seeing them try to live the domestic life together, and learning new things about each other. But that inevitably leads to clashes of opinion, like any new couple would. But with their lives always at risk being separated could cost them dearly, and they almost lose everything when they stumble upon another group of survivors. I did get pretty frustrated at times with the amount of near misses, the amount of times Mary and Taylor got separated and continued to come so close to being reunited, but not quite making it. The story felt more like a post-apoc than anything else, as Mary and Taylor attempt to survive in a world ravaged by disease.

The narration and characters felt a bit flat and two-dimensional, although I did appreciate certain things about them. Mary and Taylor were very dedicated to each other, even if they didnt tell each other soon enough, and some things could have been avoided if they had only known how the other felt. I especially loved hearing all the sweet things Taylor thought about Mary. How she was the sun in a world of gray. I still cared a great deal about them, and I was nearly pulling by hair out with worry at times. It was a simply story about finding love in a broken world. Not highly recommended, but I am glad I read it.

“I love you. Not your body, not your face." I hold her hand to my chest. "As you are. As you will be.”
Profile Image for Paula M.
552 reviews638 followers
September 16, 2014
"Throughout history, men have been a destructive, repressive force. Believe me, we are better off without them."

This one deserves to be in the Most-Unique-Book-Ever shelf. The idea of wiping out Men in the map? I know *some* women out there who’d wish that.. maybe I might have played with that thought before but, what if? What if Men went extinct? What will happen? Will women survive on their own? Heck yeah we will! But it’s not the same of course. The balance is gone and as much as how some of men out there acts, we do need them. The Only Boy made it’s readers think and showed us the possible consequence of wiping guys on earth.

I’ve been in a rollercoaster of emotions! It all starts when Taylor, a boy (gasps!) comes into Section One after his compound was bombed. Mary is in Section One and when she saw Taylor she found herself intrigued and interested.

Locke executed the concept very well. It’s believable and well written. His characters are very strong and has a voice that are unforgettable. Like I said above, I went through a rollercoaster of emotions because of The Only Boy. There’s no dull chapter and what Taylor and Mary went through kept me at the edge of my seat.

I’d say that Mary and Taylor’s romance was kind of unbelievable since, hello, Taylor was the only boy that Mary knew but I love how the author tested their relationship. This is the kind of romance that says that, yes, they do belong to each other.

My only problem though is the ending. It’s fine, really, but I’m not a fan of open endings unless it’s a series. I would really like to know what’s going to happen to them. Other than that, The Only Boy is a fast paced and an unforgettable read. I’m starting to like Dystopia again. Praise for Jordan Locke!
Profile Image for Roxanne Kade.
Author 2 books70 followers
June 2, 2014
Wow! This book was exciting and so different from what I was expecting.

I will admit that I didn't really read the blurb ( I hate reading blurbs because sometimes they give too much away ) and I'm actually glad I didn't, because it allowed me to find the little gems that were placed throughout this book, and to enjoy every second without knowing exactly what was around the next corner.

I'm not a huge fan of Dystopian fiction, but I have to say that most of the books in this genre that I have had the pleasure of reading have been amazing and this one ranks right there among my favorite.

Rich, clean and crisp - the writing was superb. I felt like I was right there with the characters as they struggled in a world full or rules and deception. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea of a disease that wiped out most of every living thing on this planet, except for the female species. It certainly was enthralling. This book is filled with a number of exciting characters, some endearing, others I loved to hate.

But, as entertaining as this book was, it also held strong message. It showed the lengths humans are willing to go to for survival, but also our selfishness and self-righteousness.

This story was fascinating and thrilling. Fans of David Estes' Dwellers and Country Sagas will absolutely love this story. A great read.
Profile Image for Books Laid Bare.
2,275 reviews36 followers
August 10, 2016
I was given a copy by the author in exchange for an honest review
The story tells the tale of Mary and Taylor – two young people caught in an unfathomable situation, some 200 years after an epidemic targeted and destroyed the population of earth. The unclarified disease first decimated the male population but women were not immune and they too suffered at its hand and in the end only limited small pockets of survivors remained.
Mary lives in Sector One with around 300 other surviving females – under the guidance or should that be dictatorship of the Matriarch.
The Matriarch has her rules and they are followed without exception or the consequences and punishment are swift. She appears to have a preference for solitary confinement, but since one of the rules state that you are not allowed to touch anyone- ever – then I suppose their whole existence is a form of solitary confinement.
Mary spends much of her time dreaming of life outside the rules and is quite partial to pushing her boundaries. She craves something more that she has in Sector one, desperate to experience life away from the control of the Matriarch and to experience for herself the freedom of the past.
Taylor has been brought up in Sector Seven, a more relaxed environment where the rules were not strictly adhered to and where human contact was encouraged. When his family are killed by an aeroplane assault on the sector, Taylor is left with no-one so he ends up in Sector One.
There is only one small problem with that situation – he has to hide the fact that he is male from everyone because there is no telling what would happen to him- his ultimate fear is that they would kill him immediately should he be discovered. The whole process is easier said than done and Taylor quickly comes to discover that keeping his secret is really not possible – and he is resigned to the fact that he will be discovered.
The story winds its way quite quickly through the details of the events surrounding the disease, and while we are given only a little general information as to what the epidemic was, the exact cause in not clearly defined – this may be a deliberate act on behalf of the author, it allows us as the reader to input our own interpretation of events without fear of them being completely dismissed.
Told from both Taylor and Mary’s points of view the story gallops a long at a pace and I am happy to say that it does drawn you along with it.
To be honest it actually helped with the pace of events and that in turn helped to keep the story fresh. It was a creative touch to show how both characters could see the same event in such different perspectives – it causes more than one situation where both Mary and Taylor end up at crossed purposes and misinterpret each other’s actions.
I liked both Taylor and Mary, although at times I wanted Taylor to just be a bit more “manly”, I mean he truly was the last man standing – I wanted him to lead the team to over throw the Matriarch but it was Mary that proved to be his strength. Never the less this did not deter me from investing time into their situation and being keen to ensure that they garnered their freedom and that of the others around them – to develop their own utopia.
I found some of the other characters distasteful, the Matriarch of course was reprehensible but Mary’s aunt Joanna was in particular one character that I found difficult to comprehend, how she could show such derision to her own flesh and blood.
The story is well constructed and creative, but that is not to say that it is absolutely flawless.
If anything I actually think the story may have had the making of being told in two and not just one novel, this would have given the author time to expand on the back story of both characters and to allow both the characters and plot to expand.
Overall, I found the book a welcome distraction and once I had started I found it a story that I wanted to finish.
The author did a first rate job and as this was my first foray into this field, I have to say that it was a very pleasant experience. I will definitely read more from this author!
Profile Image for Kimber Wheaton.
Author 4 books249 followers
February 13, 2014
I received this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The Only Boy is a dystopian with a unique and interesting premise. The world created by Jordan Locke is eerie, strange, and one that makes me nauseated just thinking about it. It takes place a couple centuries after most of the population has been wiped out by an epidemic that first targeted all the males. Pockets of the descendants of survivors live together in this haunting tale.

The story alternates points of view between Mary and Taylor. Mary has spent her entire life in Section One with about three hundred other females. Rules are harsh and include no touching—ever. Breaking any of the ridiculous rules earns time in the pit. Even before Taylor arrived at the compound, Mary was longing for more, for human contact and freedom from the tyrannical Matriarch's rule.

Taylor lived in Section Seven, where the rules weren't followed to the letter, where touching was allowed as well as individuality. When his home was destroyed, he ended up at Section One, hiding the fact that he's male from everyone. He assumed that he'd be killed on sight if anyone found out about him. But Taylor's old enough to need to shave on a regular business, so it was only a matter of time until he was discovered.

The point of view jumps back and forth between Mary and Taylor, sometimes within a few pages. The voices are nearly identical, and several times I had to reread a section because I forgot whose POV I was in. Because this story is told in first person narrative, we only know what the two characters know. I was left with tons of unanswered questions due to this. I'm still confused about the disease itself. It hasn't been eradicated, women are still turning up infected. How? Where does the disease come from? How is it spread?

Supposedly animals were infected in addition to humans and many species died out. Deer are still around, though, and I can't help but wonder how they reproduce without males. The women of Section One use in vitro fertilization to make more girls. They don't bother with boys because they die almost immediately from the disease. How did Taylor survive? If he's immune, I hope they can use him to develop a cure.

Overall, I really enjoyed this story. The plot is intriguing, the characters a bit less so. There's a lot going on in this book for one novel. Poor Mary and Taylor go from bad situation to bad situation with no chance to recover in between. This was another book I had a terrible time putting down. I was hooked into Jordan Locke's strange world immediately and didn't stop reading until the end. The ending was quite satisfying, though in a lot of ways it was more beginning than ending. I liked the hope that still burned within the characters. So many dystopian authors tend to forget how important hope is.

If you like the dystopian genre, then I think you'll really like this novel. It's nice to find something a bit different from the norm. I'm not a huge dystopian fan (mainly for the lack of hope in so many novels), but I really enjoyed The Only Boy, like I said earlier, I couldn't put it down. It's appropriate for ages 13+ and also for precocious preteens. Some scenes contain graphic violence which may disturb some readers.
Profile Image for Becca ♡ PrettyLittleMemoirs.
409 reviews65 followers
January 10, 2014
The premise of The Only Boy was pretty explanatory. We did delve into the storyline right away, but by the middle I was absorbed until the end in just one weekend of reading. I felt that I could understand how it would feel that Mary and Taylor were watched by the Matriarch all the time with every move they made. It was definitely spot-on for a dystopian world and the society was a very original idea that I loved.

Immediately, we are thrown into the mix of the story in the alternate POV's of Mary and Taylor. Personally, I felt more compatible reading Mary's point of view, maybe because her voice just sounded better in my head than Taylor's, or maybe because I resonated with her as a girl. But nevertheless, with the alternative POV's weaving quick from one to the other, sometimes I felt a little lost because of that quick-moving point of view, but because it was passed faster than usual, I did like that I didn't miss out on any of the action.

Mary, our lead female role, is stuck in Section One, surrounded by hundreds of women in a hospital, but being cooped up didn't stop her mind from drifting. I would describe her state of mind as very "wanderer" as in she was very interested in the times that had passed and liked to think of a time when things weren't so strict and controlled by the Matriarch. Whereas Taylor holds a very harmful secret that could get him exiled, even killed, that he was a boy in a compound where they aren't permitted. And after having a connection with Mary, risking breaking the rules would mean being away from her. So does his other choice; running. So there are a lot of reasons why nothing goes smooth sailing for them.
Together, I thought they were pretty much right for each other. By the Epilogue, I was so captivated by their amazing journey and story. I was happy and sad; happy that things were good for them being with each other, but sad that the story was over. It was a bittersweet feeling.

I was pleasantly surprised and caught up in the twists and turns that The Only Boy took me on. It was unique in it's society and rules, engrossing in it's words and throughout; amazing. For fans of Dystopia and Post Apocalyptic books, this would be a perfect fit.

Full review: http://prettylittlememoirs.blogspot.c...
Profile Image for Kellie Maddox-Ward.
743 reviews518 followers
April 24, 2014
I am a sucker for a great dystopian book.
Unfortunately this one was just OK.

It had a lot of potential and I think if cleaned up could be good.
The first half was great and intriguing, but the second half not so much.

Basically Taylor is the only boy left alive.
A disease swept through the world and killed the men first.
Women came second.

Until Taylor. He doesn't know or why he's alive.

Long story short, he meets Mary. They have insta something. Mary doesn't know he's a boy. finds out.
Bam insta love.

Then the shit hits the fan, and there is more men, and then they spent half the book apart.
and then they are together again but aren't cos he's with someone else but still loves her... then all this shit with her family and the earthers and yeah I just started to lose interest.

Maybe it was my frame of mine when I read it, but it was just a quick read that seemed to climax too early and the ending just couldn't keep with the first half of the book.
Don't get me wrong there was a big ending... then a.. well a kinda HEA I reckon.

It just didn't hit the spot.
I didn't feel the chemistry between our H&h
but if you like Dystopian books please do try it! Maybe you will like it better.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Léatitia Brière.
Author 2 books15 followers
February 22, 2014
(In advance, I'm sorry for possible English's mistakes, I'm French :))

I really loved this book !

From the begining to the end, it's full of surprises, when you think it's going to be this way, something or someone comes up and it changes everything. I read it in less than 24 hours, it was so easy to get in the story and follow the characters as they struggled with their memories, fears, and their own ghosts.

Sometimes, when I read a book, I prefer one character over another but this time, maybe because I could read their points of view, I enjoyed both Mary and Taylor.

The writing is also really good and I think it goes right to the point. I'm not sure how to say it but it's efficient. I didn't loose myself with details. Maybe I loved the writing also because I'm not really used to it. And I like the rythm of the two points of view.

To finish, the story in itself is brilliant. I love the fact that there is two different worlds, the ones of the Earthers and the one of Mary. I could say three because there's Taylor's world too.
To conclude, if you loved Delirium or even Hunger Games, you should definitly read The Only Boy. It is really refreshing !
Profile Image for Ahnika Hendrickson.
17 reviews1 follower
May 12, 2014
WOW... Amazing book!! I highly recommend people to read this book! I actually started reading this book on May 9th, and I just finished it on May 11th. This book is so addicting! First off, the cover is very interesting.. it definitely made me interested to learn more about it. But the book itself, was sooo good! I am not going to give away any spoilers, because I do recommend this book. However, I will let you know this is a very cool book- it has the post-apocalyptic vibe, which is very interesting. The Only Boy is a very special and unique book, and I would definitely say that it is one of my favorite books, to be honest. It is even inspirational; watching the characters develop and grow, and learn to fight for what they believe in. I really want this novel to be a movie!! Thank you Jordan Locke for creating these amazing characters that brought the story to life. :) I want to read more books... make this a series :D
Profile Image for Kristen.
141 reviews2 followers
May 23, 2014
I loved the book "The Only Boy"! I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys YA dystopian novels. I found this book through a recommendation on Twitter and ordered it from Amazon. It is a self-published novel and I have to wonder why a traditional publisher didn't snap it up because it is a great book that would have mass appeal. I blew through this book in one day, so caught up in the story that I didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed the characters, plot, and pace of the novel. Well worth a look!
4 reviews
May 10, 2014
I got this book from the author and I'm glad I was given a chance to read it. It's written in 2 points of view and is interesting to read the differences in how the characters see the same event. There is mystery, suspense, and friendship, and love. It had me wanting to get to the end to find out what happens. Also wasn't as predictable as I thought in the beginning. Very well done! Look forward to more from this author!
Profile Image for vvb.
557 reviews14 followers
May 19, 2014
Very engaging dystopia tale told in two voices. There are back and forth perspectives from main characters, Mary and Taylor which was effective in understanding the characters and their predicaments.

Got me thinking of the power of women and matriarchal societies.

Side note: I must admit, it was refreshing to read a story that was presented and resolved in one book rather than part of a trilogy or series.
Profile Image for Rhomy.
299 reviews76 followers
March 30, 2017
Meh. It was an interesting concept but (IMHO) it was poorly developed.
Everything happens so fast. His disclosure, the way Mary and Taylor feel attracted to each other.
There are a few things that don't add up. Like some people still eating canned food after decades... nothing lasts that long. or the fact that all the vehicles have fuel even though noone scavenges very far.

Anyway... it was a fast read but there was something missing and I didn't buy the romance nor connected with any of the characters.
Profile Image for Bianca.
211 reviews
May 31, 2014
Let me kick off this review by saying that I am a sucker for dystopia. I read everything I can find from this genre, because I usually love everything that comes with a story about our future. There were few times when I couldn’t get into a dystopia book, but I can’t even remember the titles of the books. I do remember one, though. And it’s called “The Only Boy”.
This is not my style. Writing negative reviews. I would rather not write a review at all then write a negative one. But this time I have to do it.
I was so excited when I found out about this book. The premise was amazing and the synopsis so intriguing! BUT! I had a problem from the beginning with it. In my opinion, the synopsis is too long and it says way too much about the book. I think there would’ve been a lot more mystery and suspense if the author would’ve let us guess who’s the boy and not tell us from the beginning.
Besides that, my biggest problem with this book was the main character. Mary. She annoyed the hell of out of me. She was so childish and I still don’t know how old she is, but she seemed like a 13 y/o horny teenager to me. She was always trying to be someone else, someone prettier for the boy. I don’t engourage this idea at all, that the girl should try to be someone else for a guy. Plus, she was ALWAYS changing her mind. Every hour, there was a new idea and opinion about either Taylor or their love in her hair. I was confused half of the time while reading this book.
And not only because she was always changing her mind, but because of the exchange of POV’s between Mary and Taylor. I saw that some people appreciated, but I wasn’t one of those person. For me, it was confusing and way too quickly and abrupt and it confused me.
The book was too fast-paced and because of that, there was no mystery or suspense. I hated the fact that the author chose to tell us things and facts, not show us. Everything was on fast forward and felt shallow and emotionaless.
The idea of insta-love usually annoys me. But this time? It annoyed me even more! Because sometimes, the insta-love is so well done and so not cliché, that it doesn’t bother me. But Mary and Taylor’s love story was so full of cliches that I couldn’t stand it.
So basically Mary sees Taylor and is attracted to him even though he’s supposed to be a girl. Ok. And then BAM! They kiss ONE TIME and then they think that they’re in love with each other. Seriously? Then, throughout the book, they don’t talk too much, they don’t get to know each other, they such kiss a couple of times. The dialogues between them are so meaningless that I still don’t understand why they love each other so much. And I couldn’t feel the chemistry between them either. Or feel the love. I couldn’t do that.
And this is probably because I couldn’t connect with the characters. This time, they were just characters to me, not person, as I usually see and feel some characters.
“The only boy” was a huge disappointment for me. I personally don’t recommend it if you are not a fan of dystopia or fast forwarded love story.
Rate: 1.5 star out of 5
Profile Image for Kathryn Svendsen.
468 reviews11 followers
August 11, 2016
The world has changed. Men have been wiped off the face of the earth by an incurable disease (and many of the women too) For generations now male baby mortality has been 100 percent and so there are only women left in the world and there are very few of them left. Most of the world is left in ruins with small pockets of habitation. The disease affected not only humans, but animals and insects. In Section One, a new girl comes to live when her previous home, Section Seven is destroyed in an attack by the Earthers.

Taylor doesn't like the rules in Section One.

"Rule #8 Touching is punishable with up to two weeks imprisonment. To avoid accidental contact, maintain a distance of eighteen inches at all times.

Rule #22 Non-military citizens must have permission to leave the building.

Rule #17 All property belongs to the community. Any item, no matter how insignificant must be brought to the Matriarch and will be distributed according to need."

Although they had the same rules in Section 7, they were not really followed and the residents there worked together to grow their own food. The residents of Section One ate hundred-year-old canned food that they scavenged from the surrounding city.

Mary befriends Taylor and they both end up in the pit when Katherine provokes Taylor into a fight. It's there that Taylor admits her well kept secret to Mary. Taylor has a Y chromosome.

The Only Boy was riveting. From Taylor's admission, there was revelation after revelation that kept you turning the pages looking for the next twist in the plot. The author's story is well-thought out, and masterfully written from the viewpoints of both Taylor and Mary. Locke was cleverly able to show how the exact same environment looked completely different to each of the young people from their perspectives. If you didn't know that you were reading a description of the same room you might think you were in totally different environments.

The Only Boy is also thought provoking as the theme of the story is dystopian in nature. What kind of society would I choose to live in - the Matriarchal society of Section 1 or the Earther Society?

It was evident that a lot of the rules that the Matriarch lived by were created from fear, yet those rules did not appear to do her much good in the end. I did not like her very much as she did not live by her own rules. She was more of a dictator and certainly not above lies and deceit.

I think that anyone who enjoys science fiction or dystopian themes will enjoy The Only Boy. I highly recommend it to those who do. I gave this novel 5 stars out of 5.

Thank you to the publisher for providing a copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. A positive opinion was not required. All thoughts are my own.

This review was published on my blog Shelf Full of Books http://kathrynsshelffullofbooks.blogs...
Profile Image for Christopher Harding.
Author 31 books2 followers
December 30, 2013
This is a beautifully designed book, inside and out. No credit is given for the cover artwork and design but I'm going to assume, since the author is a graphic designer, that he (she?) did it himself. Very professional looking, and it was the strength of the design which prompted me to buy the book. You have to figure if this much care has been taken on a cover, then a similar amount of care in the writing might reasonably be expected as well.
And it pretty much is. I was drawn in from the very start. There was no prologue, no unnecessary explanation; we're just thrown right into the story. Just enough information is given for the reader to get his bearings, while enough remains a mystery to propel us forward. As the story progresses, bits of information, pieces of the puzzle, fall into place. Nothing is ever revealed completely, however. We're left to fill in many blanks ourselves and much is left to our imagination. We know as much as the characters know, and their knowledge is limited. This furthers the mystery, and we learn as they learn.
The story is told from the point of view of its two main characters, shifting frequently back and forth between the two. This is a great plot device, enabling us to experience the story unfolding from a first person view but without being limited to one perspective. It's interesting and at times amusing to see how two different characters interpret the same events. We get to know both characters intimately and care about their fate.
While the story starts out strong, I felt it became somewhat repetitive around the halfway mark. Also, the characters began to act oddly and I couldn't get a handle on precisely why. I looked forward to the shifting of perspectives in order to learn what each was thinking and feeling, but less was explained than I would have liked. I understand there were mixed emotions while the characters struggled to find their way together despite different preferences and different life experience. I just found myself wishing that was explored a little more. There were other things as well that I wished had been elaborated on a bit more, and the ending struck me as too predictable and ultimately unsatisfying.
Overall, however, despite a few logical inconsistencies, I thought the story was well-written and told in a clear consistent voice. I read through the entire book in a matter of days and thoroughly enjoyed it despite my few criticisms. While it was marred by some typos and spelling and punctuation errors, and the over-use of certain words which could have (and should have) been cleaned up with a good proofreading, I found reading this book to quite a worthwhile experience and I would easily recommend it. I could also picture this story rather effortlessly turnt into a film.
Profile Image for Reads Gay Books.
79 reviews20 followers
April 11, 2014
When I saw the synopsis for The Only Boy I was extremely curious. As a young, passionate feminist, I used to rail about genetics having reached a point which we no longer need the male of our species. As an older, but no less passionate, wife and mother of two boys, I am willing to admit I'd like to keep them around.

The book opens with Mary, a narrator that knows how to paint the scene, then quickly switches to Taylor, who has a secret. We are meant know that Taylor is a boy before he ever speaks.

While I enjoyed the concept, there was something off about the first person present tense. My favorite parts were the characters' memories and flashbacks, as well as quotes the characters read. I realized that was because they were in past tense. If you like present tense, this book is for you! I could see how it was meant to draw you in, see the world from the characters' points of view, but because it switched between characters every few paragraphs, that was difficult.

As the book progressed, because it was interesting enough to keep me reading, there were a lot of parallels between what people think men are, and what is actually just human nature. We are shown through the characters words and actions that men and women are more alike than stereotypically presumed.

The story was a lot of missed cues and missed meetings. The two main characters run the gamut of emotions, including thinking they are both in unrequited love with each other after a couple of kisses. Reminiscent of Romeo and Juilet.

I was annoyed that the girl was constantly trying to be prettier for the boy. Trying makeup and revealing clothes. She also changed her mind every half-day. The plus side of that was that I never knew what she was doing.

When moved to the "Earthers" I found the first truly interesting characters. Characters with depth and back stories that weren't shallow or obvious. I wanted more of them!

The ending of the book was one big climax that was oddly paced. The main characters missed each other a lot, then found each other suddenly, then it was over. The epilogue was meant to confuse until the last page, then ended abruptly.

I enjoyed the idea and the dystopian world, but in the end, the present tense was hard to read. The characters had no depth and seemed to have random development. I kept reading to know if the presumptions I had in the beginning came true, and they did.

A third person past tense narrative would have made this book 3 or even 4 stars. As it is, I rate it a 2.5 out of 5.

Profile Image for Tamara.
504 reviews7 followers
February 23, 2014
The main premise of this book is pretty straight forward....an epidemic - called the Cleansing - targeted the males of the world essentially wiping them out of existence.....or so they thought.

Mary has never seen a boy. Living in a former hospital now named Sector One, she and other women follow the strict rules of the Matriarch. Every book has had the pictures of the men cut out or marked out. If the women break a rule, then they are thrown into the pit......left in a dark and depressing cage with limited water for the duration of their sentence. Some of the rules are outright depressing:

Rule #8 - Touching is punishable with up to two weeks in imprisonment. To avoid accidental contact, maintain a distance of eighteen inches at all times.
Rule #17 - All property belongs to the community. Any item, no matter how insignificant, must be brought to the Matriarch and will be distributed according to need. Failure to do so may result in a weeks confinement.
Rule #30 - An upset child is not an excuse to pick them up or coddle them. If left alone, they will eventually stop crying.

Mary is a very curious girl and always questions life before the 'cleansing'. But the Matriarch doesn't allow the women to have that knowledge. The Matriarch has also made it clear that men are not needed. They are able to provide for themselves and protect themselves. And with the babies basically created in a test tube, men are not even needed to reproduce.

Taylor has a secret - he is a boy - and after coming to live in Sector One after his sector is destroyed, he has to pretend to be a girl or he will be killed or exiled. He resorts to wearing baggy clothing, keeping his hair long and hiding razors to shave. After he meets Mary and they have an instant connection, they both risk everything by breaking the rules and running away from Sector One and this is where the real action begins.

The story is told from two point of views, Mary and Taylor, which shift back and forth between the two throughout the story. This really works out well, as the reader knows exactly whose perspective we are reading about at the time. This was a very interesting and unique dystopian story that was both thought provoking and engrossing. It was well written and the story flowed effortlessly. If you like a different take on the dystopian genre then I would highly recommend this unique and amazing book.
Profile Image for Stephanie H (My Bookish Itinerary).
252 reviews49 followers
February 1, 2015

I really like the cover.

The Story:

Overall, I enjoyed reading this book.
I found that it was very fast-paced.
And to me it felt a little rushed. But I think that was due to the fact that I wasn't really aware of how much time was actually passing by. So what I thought was one or two days later turned out to be weeks or a month later. So after figuring this out, it wasn't as rushed as I originally thought. I wish I would have been able to realize a bit more the time frame.
I found the concept of the story really interesting and intriguing.
There were a couple things that happened that did not surprise me at all, but there were a few twists that I didn't see coming.
I think liked the different points of view. I have read other books that have the dual points of view between the female and male character, but those were done by chapter. Where in this book they switch back and forth within the chapter.
I did feel like the revelation of Taylor's secret was early. I thought it would have taken a little longer for Mary to find out.

The Characters:

I found that the characters were likable, but they were also frustrating. At least for me. There were a number of things about Mary that frustrated me.
I did feel like there was a case of Insta-love in this book. And for some reason I had a hard time connecting with their relationship. It felt a little forced for me.
But overall, I was interested in what would happen to Mary and Taylor. And I was interested in Taylor's past.

This review can also be found on my blog: My Bookish Itinerary

This review was first published on my old blog: Her Reviews of Books Movies and Everything.
Profile Image for Angie.
1,217 reviews131 followers
May 18, 2014
With so many dystopian novels out there, I was a bit skeptical about reading The Only Boy. Was I pleasantly surprised? Oh yes! Not only does this book have an original and refreshing plot, it also doesn't use a world power or controlling government system as the power source that makes the world a dismal place for some to live in.

This time ‘The Cleansing’, thought to be an epidemic, hit the world and killed off the males of all species. Women, however, could also get sick, causing small groups of people, of which 99% women, to gather trying to make a living and protect themselves against the infection.

Mary, and what is believed to be the only boy, Taylor, meets in Section One where the Matriarch conducts her despotic rule in order to protect the women in her care. Together they face the evil Matriarch with her numerous hidden agendas, and the rather barbaric Earthers, while inciting rebellion.

I read through this book in one weekend. Moving forward all the time, The Only Boy is a page-turner in the true sense of the word. As the point of view changes rapidly between Mary and Taylor, the reader is always aware of what is happening to both protagonists. Their memories of loved ones and friends give a clear picture of their back stories.

The action and adventure in this book is carefully balanced by some tender romance as well as some instances of heart rending self-sacrifice. Said self-sacrifice may be a reason for sensitive readers to keep the Kleenex close by.

For a thrilling, refreshing, and relaxing book, I recommend The Only Boy as a worthwhile and fulfilling read. (Ellen Fritz)
Profile Image for Marcia.
1,053 reviews110 followers
November 13, 2015
The Only Boy stond al erg lang op mijn TBR en ik was dan ook heel blij toen ik dit boek voor een prikje kon aanschaffen via Facebook. Na een wereld zonder kinderen – in The Children of Men – las ik nu over een wereld zonder mannen. Een enorm fascinerend idee, waarbij de meeste aandacht gaat naar de personages zelf. Hoewel ik normaal veel waarde hecht aan een gedegen world building die tot in de details compleet is, vond ik het bij The Only Boy geen enkel probleem dat ik wat minder te weten kwam over de wereld eromheen. Stiekem was vond ik alleen het einde wel een beetje teleurstellend, want we krijgen weinig antwoorden. En hoe het verder zal gaan met de personages? Daar kunnen we alleen maar zelf over fantaseren.

Lees mijn complete review op Oog op de Toekomst
April 19, 2014
Wow I had no idea what to expect with this book it's totally different to anything else I've read yet I loved it.

What would you do when everything you know is turned upside down would you fight for freedom an love. This is a story of fighting heartbreak disease and has a kinda HEA. Read it today
Profile Image for Rachel Marie.
306 reviews1 follower
January 1, 2019
Although I used to love dystopians, the genre has been waning out a bit. I can't hold interest in them like I used to, because more and more of it is becoming too similar. The Only Boy was a unique and refreshing take on this genre, one that I enjoyed immensely.

Mary lives in a compound with only women, as all the men were wiped out generations ago. They are ruled by the Matriarch, with her dictator-like reign and insane rules. Until the day Taylor arrives.

Taylor is a boy. After his section was bombed, leaving him the only survivor, he comes to Section One, pretending to be a girl. His ability to pass as a girl is the only thing that will keep alive. Men are so feared, that all mention of them are cut or blacked out from books. No one is allowed to touch, for fear of spreading the disease. A disease that no one knows where it came from, or how to stop it.

This was an unusual concept, but one that Locke managed to execute quite well. The gender roles posed some interesting questions, and the questions it brought up on child-rearing and humanity in general will make you think, adding depth to the story.

Were Taylor and Mary a case of Insta-love? Yes, definitely. It could be argued that Mary only really "loved" Taylor because, well let's face it, he's the only boy she's ever seen. There were some parts when their feelings for each other didn't make sense, and led to some irrational decisions. But they are teenagers, and it wasn't unbelievable for how teenagers act (because teenagers are, in essence, irrational human beings).

But they also were strong characters in their own right. Although this may have pushed the limit for how many times you can "kill" a character, even when they thought they lost each other, they decided to keep going, do what they knew was right to make it a better place for their people.

This was a fast-paced novel, with short chapters and enough description to understand but not overwhelm. Although this isn't something that always works, it worked very well for this case.

So if you're looking for a different and refreshing take on dystopian, then I would definitely recommend this book. It was a unique perspective, that was executed quite well. If you're looking for a different kind of read, this is the one for you.

I received an eARC from the publisher, this did not affect my honest opinion.
This review first appears on The NerdHerd Reads
Profile Image for Kaeranyu.
23 reviews
October 17, 2015
Warning for spoilers and heavy ranting below!

Well, bloody hell. I was looking forward to reading this so much, ordered it, waited patiently for it to arrive and then I start reading and BAM, disappointment.

When I read the blurb I was instantly interested. I mean, a dystopian world where there's only one (good-looking) boy left? Count me in!
In this story, a sickness of unknown origin killed all the men and countless women. Mary lives with other women in a hospital that is controlled by a woman called The Matriarch, who enforces all these ridiculous rules like no touching or no leaving the compound and, if you break any of these countless rules, you are thrown in the Pit which are basically cells in the basement and in them you stay for weeks without any food, just water. Children are genetically engineered and they only create women, for boys never survive long enough anyways. Then, one happy day, Taylor comes along but surprise, surprise, Taylor's no girl! But a BOY! Damn! And you fools thought they were extinct!

So Mary and Taylor become friends and so forth. But that's when the problems start.

The story was so bloody confusing. I'm not sure if it's because I'm used to reading long series and that's why a standalone threw me off but JFC did I get lost a couple of times. I dismissed it at first because, you know, it's really not that bad and I was sure it would get better once I continued reading it but fuck me was I wrong.
It was very quick-paced and that made it even worse because one moment they were talking and then it was the next morning I mean wait wat wtf just happened?. Did not like it at all. I also found the plot to be rather predictable and about the 50th chapter I was so tired I just skimmed the last few pages. Sad to say, the ending wasn't worth it.

I have one positive thing to say about the book though and that's that I really liked the exchange of POV's between Mary and Taylor in the same chapters, I genuinely thought it was creative and fun. Like when he's doing one thing it switches to her and you know what she's thinking about it. It's pretty cool. Also, the scenes with the Earthers were fun for a little while but like everything else in this book, it failed to captivate me.

Another problem, the characters. I call BS on the characters being sixteen and seventeen because, seriously? They behaved like fucking immature 14 year olds to me. *siiiigh*
Mary annoyed me, Taylor annoyed me and their whole insta-love ordeal annoyed me. There was absolutely no chemistry between them! It felt so forced!

Mary was dumb, weak and over reactive and so was Taylor. If the insta-love doesn't already put you off from reading it, how about the fact they spend the whole book moping about how one left the other and they don't bloody stop to think ''well shit, what if there's a perfectly reasonable explanation for this maybe I should stop the self-pity act and figure shit out but it's clear they're too fucking stupid to use common sense, no, this happened because he/she doesn't love me. UGH.
And I just loooove how at the beginning they're like ''I'm not sure if I can trust her/him but I'll just tell her/him this secret and hope for the best!''

And look, I expect certain immaturity from Mary, she's been raised in a place where there's nothing about men, love or sex, so it's true she has no idea what's going on and is rather impulsive but TAYLOR?! Mate what's your fucking excuse? She's the one kissing you, holding you, doing things for you and wtf do you do? You know about this shit way more than her and yet she's the only one doing anything!

And another thing, they are together, they're not, together, not, together, not aaaaaand WUUURRRPSSS it's the end of the book, let's get them together again!
And the whole food ordeal also grinds my gears, Mary with the fresh produce and Taylor with the canned goods, are you effing kidding me?
You're on the run, you don't get to be picky. There's an unwritten rule when it comes to being on the run, you eat what you find, like it or not because you just never know when you'll have the chance to fill your stomach again. And fuck me, he wanted her to come with him but then changes his mind because she doesn't like the soup he made her, so what if she gets bored and changes her mind about being with him? He's just gotta be an arse and that'll drive her away for sure. He cares too much about her, that's why he has to do this! Excuseee you, she's been raised on canned food all her bloody life, how about you cut her some slack? Maybe she'll surprise you. And she put on pretty clothes and make up for you??? Because she wants to attract your attention?? And what about the soup she tried to make you? Since, you know, she doesn't like your food and you don't like hers?

I've just realised that although Mary is also rather unlikeable, her behaviour is slightly excused whilst Taylor's is not. In fact, Taylor was, to me, one of the biggest issues I had with this book. DRAMA QUEEN TAYLOR. Ohhhh he loves her so much, oooh I can't forget about her, oohhh this beautiful girl isn't Mary but if I close my eyes I can imagine it's her ohhhh.

And wait, Mary is infected? lol wat? When did that happen? WHY did that happen? Oh! And Katherine is a total bitch but it's not her fault, it's because she wasn't held and loved when she was a baby! Uhm, okay, does that mean that the rest of them have? Because I'm pretty certain the only chick with anger issues was her AND her loving mother.

And oh my goooddd! The Matriarch had the sickness all-along! Shocker!
And oh my loooord! She couldn't have killed all those people, no no,
silly Mary, silly Taylor, it had to be the Earthers because you weren't with them for months? and not only wasn't there a single bloody airplane around but they never used any modern weapons at all, yet it just had to be them. No, Mary, you didn't suffer The Matriarch's tyranny for sixteen bloody years, hated her and wished her dead but there's just no fucking way she's behind all those deaths.
Wow, what a couple of idiots.

Also, lack of developement when it came to secondary characters. So many yet you never really get to feel anything for any of them. Except maybe Joanna. She says she's trying to keep Mary safe like yeah, locking her up in her room and cuffing her to the bed sure shows love, huh? I'll remember that when I'm showing love next time. ''I'M TYING YOU TO A TREE BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND WANT TO KEEP YOU SAFE.''
Honestly, I felt the same way Mary did when she was killed, nothing. Didn't like her anyway.

And that ending, it was rushed and it fell flat. I didn't like it at all. Then it makes a six month time jump for no bloody good reason and I am instantly reminded of the stupid time jump The Body Finder did and I end up face-palming. Didn't like it there, much less here.
I also think the name Mary is cursed because this is the second time a main character with that name fails to amuse me. And the book too.

Even after all this, I do recommend it. Maybe others will have more luck than me.
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