Control by Lydia Kang Review!

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Title: Control

Author: Lydia Kang
Release Date: December 26th 2013
Publisher:  Dial Books for Young Readers
Source: Bought
Rating: ★★★1/2
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When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.


A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

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My Review: 




Control by Lydia Kang starts off with two sisters, Zelia and Dyl, who live province to province in a futuristic United States with their dad, who's a doctor. An event changes everything and Zelia, under new circumstances, must get her sister back.

The novel starts off with breakneck speed, with the conflict being established by the end of the first chapter. We as the readers dive right in the action which saves a possibly dull beginning and setting up, but also has the disadvantage of leaving us confused and unable to identify with the characters. The futuristic world is never fully explained, instead we are given tidbits on the technology and geographical set up of the place. I would have liked Kang to expand on the world that these characters lived, especially concerning the role of illegal genetic modification so that we got a greater scope of the role this ultimately plays in Zelia's society but hopefully, Kang expands more on this in the sequel.

The plot is nothing new, which is a standard Hero's Journey of Zelia saving her sister, but it was still hugely entertaining and avoided the usual speed bumps of debut novels.

I grew to enjoy the characters, but didn't connect with any of them on a deeper level, including the main character. The characters will most likely grow and develop during the course of the rest of the series (I hope that it's not a trilogy since I see this series having the potential to expand and explore greatly it's own universe). Cy seemed a little too Mary Sue for my liking with his puppy dog-like answers and clinging on to Zelia. I understand that his anger with her arriving was a defense mechanism but his attitude completely changed after getting together with Zel. I wish he kept more of his grit and bad attitude which wasn't bad, just seemed part of his character.

Overall three and a half stars! It wasn't perfect, but definitely one of the better books I've read this year.

What did you think of Control?

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