ARC Review: The First Twenty by Jennifer Lavoie

23258930Release Date: May 5th 2015

Publisher: Bold Strokes Books

Genres: LGBTQIA/ Dystopia/ Young-Adult

Format: eARC

Source: Publisher via Netgalley

My Rating: 2 Stars

GOODREADS: Humanity was nearly wiped out when a series of global disasters struck, but pockets of survivors have managed to thrive and are starting to rebuild society. Peyton lives with others in what used to be a factory. When her adopted father is murdered by Scavengers, she is determined to bring justice to those who took him away from her. She didn’t count on meeting Nixie.

Nixie is one of the few people born with the ability to dowse for water with her body. In a world where safe water is hard to come by, she’s a valuable tool to her people. When she’s taken by Peyton, they’ll do anything to get her back. As the tension between the groups reaches critical max, Peyton is forced to make a decision: give up the girl she’s learned to love, or risk the lives of those she’s responsible for.

REVIEW: A book that has so much potential, but, sadly, fell flat. I really wanted to like this book; but by the time I got to chapter six, I saw how much the author’s lack of details – and the obvious agenda of the characters relationships coming to fruition – really dampened the key elements that make up a great dystopian world. This book has dual POV, but I don’t like it for the characters POV’s to be within the same chapter. And, that killed the whole book for me.

Peyton is dealing with the death of her “adoptive” father, at the hand of Scavengers. She wants revenge and someone will pay the ultimate price for taking him away from her. Now that he is dead, she has to take on the role as the leader of the Settlers. There’s tension amongst them, one being in the form of Ryan – whom I instantly disliked. He wants the job, and doesn’t think that Peyton is fit to lead anyone.

On the other side, there are the Scavengers. They are outsiders in a world that has been long turned upside down. Their leader Faulkner, is as crazy as they come. He makes stupid decisions and has been misleading them for years. I despise him as well. He and Ryan would have been perfect together – what, with their obvious yearning for power and control. Nixie is an asset to the Scavengers, because of her ability to sense water. Faulkner has a group of them to go back and raid the Settlers warehouse. Nixie is captured and that’s where I thought the story would pick up. So, so wrong.

I wanted this story to give me a great dystopian world – and let the romance fall in somewhere close to the back. Instead, it’s pushed forward – shoved right in your face. There was no mentioning of how the world came to be the way it is. There are little modern day things thrown in for good measure – Radioshack, swimming pools, refrigerators, ect… Something that Peyton asked Graham irked me; why did he and her dad never get married? Really? The world has gone kaboom and there are still marriages? Where will they go to achieve such a thing in this torn up world? The courthouse? I’m not even sure why it was even mentioned. And from the moment Peyton laid eyes on Nixie, her thoughts were overrun with how beautiful she is and whatnot. And then there’s Jasper, whom I really liked. It was no surprise when he met his match, even though there was no indication that the person he nabs is gay. I didn’t see that coming. There are other characters that I liked, but I wanted more from them and this so called Collapsed world.

I can’t recommend this book, but don’t just take my word for it. Give it a go, if you so dare.



6 thoughts on “ARC Review: The First Twenty by Jennifer Lavoie

    • It was just so badly executed. Like, the author isn’t really a writer and just does it for fun. I want detail, fleshed out characters and creative world building. This is like something written in a creative writing class – which I’m sure the professor would give a D grade.


  1. I’m surprised you even managed to finish this one. I would’ve given up after chapter 6.

    It’s obvious the ideas behind this novel is scattered. The details weren’t cohesive to form a believable dystopic world.


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