"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Monday, June 16, 2014

Blog Tour (Review): I BECOME SHADOW by Joe Shine (YA)

by Joe Shine
Release date: June 10th, 2014
Published by: Soho Teen
Genre: Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, eBook (Paperback 12/2/14)
Format read: ARC received by publisher for an honest review.


Ren Sharpe was abducted at fourteen and chosen by the mysterious F.A.T.E. Center to become a Shadow: the fearless and unstoppable guardian of a future leader. Everything she held dear—her family, her home, her former life—is gone forever. 

Ren survives four years of training, torture, and misery, in large part thanks to Junie, a fellow F.A.T.E. abductee who started out as lost and confused as she did. She wouldn’t admit it was possible to find love in a prison beyond imagining, but what she feels for Junie may just be the closest thing to it. 

At eighteen they part ways when Ren receives her assignment: find and protect college science student Gareth Young, or die trying. Life following a college nerd is uneventful, until an attack on Gareth forces Ren to track down the only person she can trust. When she and Junie discover that the F.A.T.E. itself might be behind the attacks, even certain knowledge of the future may not be enough to save their kidnappers from the killing machines they created.


This is the best page-turner I have read in the last 5 years!
It's full of punch-you-in-the-guts moments! I was either laughing, teary-eyed or oh-my-gawding on every other page. I cannot believe that this is a debut for Joe Shine!

Ren Sharpe is abducted from her family one night and was told that she was to become something that would have never would have happened if it wasn't for modern technology. The harsh reality of what was to become of her life is tragic and scary and did make me think if there was a possibility of an organization like F. A. T. E. to really exist. Lots of futuristic computers and possibilities where introduced. All very realistic. Too realistic...
Ren's friendship with Junie is what keeps her going. They manage to keep their personalities intact and support one another in the only way that they can manage. Training is life or death, there is no middle ground to latch on to and survive. Ren and Junie's relationship is sweet, necessary, real, and I loved how natural they fell in together, regardless of their circumstances. These characters were raw and hid no emotions, they were so realistic, I really felt for them. I couldn't put the book down, my world became their world and I needed to know that they were somehow, someway going to be okay.

Four years later, Ren and Junie have survived training and are ready to finally begin their new lives with their 'assignments' as a Shadow (- a Shadow is someone trained and programmed to protect their assigned person no matter what, even if it means to kill). Little did Ren know how difficult it was going to be to keep an eye on a geeky college freshman. But with all of her training, she manages in more ways than anyone thought was possible.
The unexpected plot twist had me spinning! I felt all of Ren's emotions - when she cried or got angry, I felt it all along with her too. There is no denying that the author's writing is incredible and had me so invested in these characters, I couldn't think straight for a while. Their world became mine, and was able to think that everything that had happen could possibly be happening at this very moment.

*Side-note: There are graphic/violent scenes in this book. A few moments really took me by surprise and I did gasp out loud and wondered if it was something that was truly necessary for the story... I don't usually like these type of books; however, there is no way to tell such a story without these details. And truly appreciated the authors talent to write what was necessary to get Ren's voice done, and the story to be told right.

Great action scenes, suspense, amazing writing and strong-witty characters...
there is something for everyone in this book!


Joe Shine grew up in Austin, TX (the greatest city ever), and is a graduate of Texas A&M University. He has an MFA from the Peter Stark Producing Program at the University of Southern California, and after brief stints in Los Angeles and Washington, DC, Joe returned home to Austin (repeat: the greatest city ever). 
Joe has a normal human job like most everyone else but hopes to become a full-time writer one day, and this is where you, the reader, must do him a really big solid and love I Become Shadow, his first novel.

1 comment:

  1. Ooh, I hadn't heard of this one before but sounds really awesome! Great review!


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