Author: M.L. Sparrow
Genre: Dystopia, Sci-fi, Romance, [Young-Adult]
Heat Rating: Slightly warm
Page Count and Format: 382 pages, Ebook
Published: September 15th 2015
Source: I received an ecopy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
Blurb (from Goodreads):
My name’s Sunny Grace Beaumont. Branded SGB/2/6895/03.12.93. Only child, self-taught computer geek and cancer survivor. Oh, and did I mention my dad’s the President? As you can imagine that’s sometimes a little problematic, especially when I want to sneak out. But it never got me into quite as much trouble as the night I ventured into the Ghetto – don’t ask me why I was there in the first place… it was stupid. Everyone knows that the Ghetto is where hardened criminals are sent to live out the remainder of their lives. At first the men that kidnap me are just as I’d imagine, mean and thoughtless, but slowly I begin to have doubts.
I meet a guy. His name’s Sin, he has no Brand – a crime punishable by death – and he’s the rebel leader. I should hate him… but I don’t. Instead he opens my eyes to a whole other side of the Ghetto, where people are innocent of the crimes they’re accused of and helpless children suffer dreadful poverty. Is it possible that I’ve been lied to my entire life… that the governments been deceiving everyone? And how can I challenge the law my own dad is adamant to uphold?
Ghetto was seriously so good! The plot, the concept and the characters were pretty amazing. I couldn’t get enough of this world. I loved this book to bits! And one of my favourite blogger- Raven, loved this as well, so I knew I had to read it when I was offered a review copy! 🙂
Sunny Grace Beaumont is the president’s daughter who was brought up in luxury, she doesn’t know much about real hardship in life. She accompanies her father to meetings and speeches and stands by his side with a smiling face though she doesn’t love it all the time. To complete one of her self made projects, she sneaks inside the Ghetto, a place where the criminals of the city are sent to. But it’s the only place that has what she wants. But in this process, she gets kidnapped by the rebel group where she meets Sin, the leader of the rebels. Although at first she is kept there against her will, as she slowly gets to know everybody she understands the conditions of the Ghetto which is far worse than she had imagined and not everybody is guilty of a crime which kind of defeats the whole purpose of the Ghetto. Now, she’s determined to do something about this fact but will she be able to actually produce results or will she end up in more trouble for her and the people that she has actually started caring for?
I really loved the plot. It was pretty unique and refreshing. Sunny is a computer geek and she’s always busy creating new things. But to complete one of her projects she needed a part and her computer showed it was only available in the Ghetto, so she decided to sneak in there with her bot, Ludo. But she ended up getting kidnapped by the rebels. The condition of the people in the Ghetto was really miserable, not all of them were guilty of a crime. And also people accused of crimes such as petty stealing to murders, were given the same punishment, i.e. to live in the Ghetto which was pretty unfair. Sunny started understanding the reality of the situation as she started living with these people.
I loved Sunny’s character. Although she grew up in luxury, she was a down to earth person. Though I definitely liked her character development throughout the book. I loved her determination to help the people of the Ghetto at any cost. Sin was a great character as well, he was the rebel leader in the Ghetto, everybody respected him. But he usually was a closed off person, but that slowly changed in the company of Sunny. I really liked them together, their chemistry was amazing. It was pretty great to see their relationship evolve with the time span.
The other characters were pretty great. And I loved how Sunny formed a great bond with them as well. They all kind of formed a family together. I also loved the concept of All-Cure, a medicine that has the power to cure every disease. And Sunny had cancer, so she she had to take All-Cure with in regular intervals because it kept coming back. I loved how this concept was utilized at the end. The last part of the book was pretty intense, I was practically running to know what happened next and I was satisfied how everything was executed.
Overall, Ghetto was a great read. The plot kept me interested from the beginning and the characters were pretty amazing. I absolutely loved the romance between Sin and Sunny! Everything was executed neatly and perfectly. The writing was smooth and beautiful and the pace was even throughout the book. I look forward to read more works by this author.
I had the opportunity to interview the author of Ghetto. I was pretty excited, so I finally present to you the interview Q&A, hopefully you guys will enjoy! So here goes:
How did the idea of Ghetto come to your mind?
I volunteer for the MS Society, a cause that’s very close to my heart, and I was doing a stall at a summer fair several years ago when someone said to me ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if all the illnesses in the world could be cured with one pill?’ That idea took hold and transformed into the idea for All-Cure. I then thought, if medicine had progressed to such a level surely science and politics would also have progressed, which led to the world in which Ghetto is set.
I really loved Sunny’s character, she’s so strong yet caring. How much do you relate to Sunny?
I actually found Sunny quite a hard character to write at first, simply because she is nothing like me! It took me a while to get into her mindset and figure out how she’d handle situates and respond to certain things. So to answer your question, I actually relate to Sunny very little, especially in the computer genius aspect, as I’m a complete technophobe!
What was the hardest thing about writing this book?
Sunny relationship with her dad was really hard for me to write. I have a really great relationship with my own dad, so I’ve never really understood fathers who don’t put their children first, since my dad always has. Therefore, I really struggled to write the scenes featuring Sunny and her dad, because I had to figure out how they would interact and how this lack of parental guidance would affect Sunny as a character.
How do you develop your plots and characters?
People always ask me this and I can never answer adequately! Unlike many authors, I never plan out my plot because I know that when I start writing I won’t be able to stick to it. I always have a general idea about where the book is going, but nothing’s set in stone until it’s actually published!
Characters are a lot easier than the plot, but again, I normally just let it flow. I knew from the off that I wanted Sunny to start out as almost stuck-up and then develop into a more endearing character as she got to know the truth. The same with Sin – I wanted him to start as tough and unreachable, yet slowly soften as Sunny humanized him. I attempted to do this slowly, through little changes and thoughts, instead of all at once, which wouldn’t seem natural.
What is the thing that you enjoy most about writing?
I love the freedom of it. When you’re writing you can be anyone, do anything, you can say the things you’d never have the confidence to say in real life. I also love that feeling when you’ve finished a book and you type the never last full-stop… Pure satisfaction!
Hearing from readers is also way up on my list of things I love about writing and being an author; to hear that a reader has enjoyed your story and taken something from it has to be one of the best feelings in the world.
Do you ever get Writer’s Block? If yes, then how do you overcome it?
Writer’s Block has never been a big problem for me, if I do get it it’s usually at the start of a new project when I’m trying to figure out where to begin! Or at those really important scenes which you know have to be just right, but no matter how many times you re-write them they’re never just as you imagined! To combat it, I usually just take a break and try to clear my mind – I find taking the dogs for a walk helps.
Any message for aspiring writers?
All I can say is just keep writing and reading – the more you do both of these the more you learn and develop, not only as an author, but also as a person. Also, don’t be put off by a few bad reviews; not everyone is going to like your work, but do take constructive criticism and learn from it.
So guys, hope you enjoyed the interview!
Have you read this book yet? If yes, then how was your experience? And if not, are you willing to give it a try? Or have you read any other works by this author before? Share your thoughts with me!