Late last night, I finished reading The Farm by Emily McKay.
Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...
I knew that the premise of this book sounded interesting, but honestly, I wasn't sure I was going to like it. It sounded like a zomibe novel and I don't usually get into those. They're always cold and distant and I thought this would be like that. The thing that drew me in was Mel, who had autism. I've taught several kids with autism and have a special place in my heart for them.
I'm so glad I gave this book a chance. It was way more than just a zombie or vampire novel. The characters drew me in. I loved Mel's way of looking at things. Everything related to music and the sounds they made. Lily was so super protective of Mel. She was a normal girl but was kick-butt when she needed to be. And Carter had me guessing. I kept wondering if he really had feelings for Lily or was just using her.
There was some pretty good action with some twists and turns. There was a surprise reveal at the end, but I had guessed it pretty early on. I think this is the first book in a series, and while it wraps up nicely and didn't leave me feeling like I was hanging on, there is definitely a whole other story that could be done. And I sure hope so!
I gave this book a rating of 4/5.
This book fulfills items in the following challenges:
2012 Reading Challenge 150+: 86
2012 Debut Author Challenge: 22
What's in a Name? 5 Challenge: Type of House
2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge: 74
*FTC Disclosure: This book was given to me for free Penguin Group
(USA) for a honest review.