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When being unique puts you in danger and speaking your mind can be punishable by death, you might find yourself fighting to survive. Sixteen-year-old Rosa lives in one of the eight enclosed cities of The Woodlands. Where the lone survivors of a devastating race war have settled in the Russian wilderness because it's the only scrap of land left habitable on the planet. In these circular cities, everyone must abide by the law or face harsh punishment. Rosa's inability to conform and obey the rules brands her a leper and no one wants to be within two feet of her, until she meets Joseph. He's blonde, fair-skinned, green-eyed, and the laid-back complete opposite of Rosa. She's never met anyone quite like him, and she knows that spells danger.
But differences weren't always a bad thing. People used to think being unique was one of the most treasured of traits to have. Now, the Superiors, who ruthlessly control the concrete cities with an iron fist, are obsessed with creating a "raceless" race. They are convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Any anomalies must be destroyed.
The Superiors are unstoppable and can do anything they want. After all, they are considered superheroes by the general public. But not everyone sees them this way. When they continue to abuse their power by collecting young girls for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they have no idea that one of those girls has somehow managed to make friends even she didn't know she had. And one man will stop at nothing to save her.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Natalie @ ABookLoversLife on 01-28-15
A fast paced read.
If you could sum up The Woodlands in three words, what would they be?
Unrelenting Dystopian Read.
Have you listened to any of Ali Ahn’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
No but I enjoyed her performance. She really portrayed the tone of the story amazingly.
Any additional comments?
This book has been on my kindle since it came out but I was holding off reading till the rest had published. When I was asked to review the audio though I jumped at the chance! The books sounded amazing and were getting great reviews. Well I loved it!!
The blurb above sums it up enough so I'll get straight into what I thought.
I liked Rosa for the most part, she was brave, strong and wasn't afraid to take chances. My heart broke for her so many many times! She lives in a house where her stepfather loathes her and her mother shows her no love. She is then sent off at 16 to try to conform to the way others want her to be. She doesn't and ends up in a prison, pregnant with no idea how she got there or how she became pregnant. Her life now is a small cell, a little exercise and no idea of where she is. She has had such a crappy life but she still fights with everything she is!
Joseph met Rosa in her old town and both went to training together. He tells her that he can't have these feelings for her because people from the same town are not allowed to marry! He tells her they have no future and that she isn't to talk to him again, she is shattered but he has no choice. Joseph was awesome and I loved watching their friendship grow. He does all he can for Rosa and loves her totally.
This book deals with tough subjects but the author handles it really well. You feel for Rosa even when she hates the "thing" inside her. My heart broke for her! She is trust into things beyond her control and its hard not to feel for her. Its a dark and dangerous world with a smattering of joy and love.
This isn't a happy ever after book, it is a Dystopian after all!! It's tough, it's gritty and it's harsh but it makes for excellent reading. There is a lot of questions unanswered and even more questions added but being the first in a series it was expected. It was action packed, with a few twists thrown in. With it's well written story and well developed characters, The Woodlands is a must read. I can not wait to read the next book to see what happens!
Anyway, The Woodlands was amazing and I loved it. It's everything a great Dystopian is and more! I listened to the audio and I'm so glad I did. The narrator really puts her all into Rosa and when the bad things were happening she made me want to give Rosa a big hug! She really brought her to life! I really need to read the next books but I'm tempted to wait till they come to audio because it was so good!! Highly highly recommend!!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
By I Feel the Need, the Need to Read book blog on 02-15-15
Get ready for the roller coaster ride of emotions
What did you love best about The Woodlands?
I started out listening to the audio book for The Woodlands, but I changed to reading the Kindle format after about 25% way through. I am not a huge audio book listener, so I'm not sure if it was just me but the narrator was just a tad over the top for me. It was almost like she was adding extra emphasis to all the words and not just the ones that needed emphasis. I was intrigued by the story so I went and downloaded the e-book (Free!!) from Amazon and finished it that way.
I am really glad that I got the e-book copy and finished the story that way. I really enjoyed the story, the characters, and the drama. Everyone always uses the phrase "twists and turns" and there are some moments, fairly early, where you are completely shocked as the story unfolds. I would call these "jaw dropping" moments as that is kind of what happens when you read them. The author is very adept at making these surprising and not expected, which I tend to like. I would give the audio book version a 3.5 but I give the overall story 5 books.
Who was your favorite character and why?
I'd have to say Clara was my favorite. She is a very positive, upbeat character that has a great outlook even though life has not been very kind to her.
What three words best describe Ali Ahn’s performance?
Too much emphasis
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Yes. There are some major jaw dropping moments that kind of sneak up on you.