Saturday, August 13, 2016

Unknown (Unknown, #1) by Wendy Higgins ~ Review

Source:  Received ARC from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Amber Tate believes the worst thing she’ll suffer in life is dealing with the unrequited love she feels for her brother’s best friend, Rylen Fite. She also believes war is something unfortunate that happens places far, far away from her rural Nevada town. She’s wrong on both counts.

When an unknown organization meticulously bombs major cities in the United States and across the globe, a trickle-down effect spreads to remaining towns at an alarming speed—everything from food and water sources to technology and communications are compromised. Without leadership, the nation is split between paralysis and panic, but Amber isn’t one to hide or watch helplessly. She’s determined to put her nursing skills to use, despite the danger, even if it means working alongside the man she can never have.

In this first installment of NY Times bestselling author, Wendy Higgins’s debut New Adult series, a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic America is brought to life, entwined with searing romantic tension that will leave you eager for more.


Let me start with the warnings about this book.  

It may be tagged with romance but you will only find the amount of romance you would expect in the first few pages of the average romance novel.  By that I mean the attraction, the interest, the friendship but none the kissing or moving towards a relationship that you normally see.  As a matter of fact, there is a huge event that makes it clear that's not in the cards.  And it was hard to read for this romantic at heart.  I understand that changes for book 2 but if you prefer you romance to be a big part of the story then you might want to pass on this one.

This book is tagged New Adult and it is, in the sense that the majority of it is set after Amber has turned 21.  But the first 25% or so of the book is backstory.  It's flashes and summary of her and Rylen growing up, becoming friends and him leaving for the military.  He's gone for many years and they write letters to each other.  All of that time, the book has a YA feel to it. 

This book is also tagged apocalyptic and it really is.  A world that we get to know through those flashbacks is utterly changed in a rapid fire of sadness that I struggled to absorb.  The struggle is real for these characters and I guess I became attached because I hurt with them.

No, it's not your normal Wendy Higgins book.  

I'm being very honest when I say that I struggled with this book.  Parts of it drew me in and parts of it had me sad.  But it was so hard to read.  I just wanted some happy.  When I thought about it afterwards, it was like reading only the first 1/4 of a book.  It's unsettled and I'm unsatisfied.  

I suspect many people will enjoy this type of book and be anxious to read and wait for more.  But there will be some like me that expect something different from this author and I wanted to let them know what they are in for when they pick it up.  

The writing is excellent.  The characters are full and well defined.  The story is poignant if not a bit predictable.  

I like Rylen despite the blindside he brought about.  At first I wanted to throw my iPad but as I figured out why (and I did figure out why before we learned) I can see it in his character.  This is who he is.  I'm just not sure he's my kind of book boyfriend.

The book is from Amber's POV and I like her.  She's strong and determined.  Her efforts to help people as things fall apart is admirable.  And she holds up under some pretty tough circumstances.  I hurt for her, really.

As you can tell my emotions were involved.  But I don't know if I can read on in this series.  Maybe after a break, I could consider it again.  For now, I'm undecided.  



  1. This sounds very disappointing :( But excellent review, dear.

  2. I'm most certainly a romantic at heart, so thank you for disclosing that this is not really a romance! That being said, I love her writing so I'll probably still give this one a go eventually, when I'm in the mood an apocalyptic story. Great review Valerie!

  3. As someone who only likes romance as a subplot normally, I'll be checking this one out.

    Thanks for the great review. I appreciate your honesty. :)

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  5. This must have been a hard review to write. Thanks for your honesty, I will be holding off on this one.