Book Review: Freak of Nature by Julia Crane

cover35193-mediumSynopsis:

Donate Body to Science. Check.

When seventeen-year-old Kaitlyn checked the box, she never suspected she’d have her life–and her body–stolen from her. She awakens one day in a secret laboratory to discover that her body is now half-robot and is forced to hide her own secret: that she still has human emotions and a human mind. If the scientists who made her find out, they’ll erase what remains of who she was.

Kaitlyn finds an unlikely ally in Lucas, a handsome, brilliant scientist who can’t get over the guilt he feels knowing she was once a vibrant, beautiful young woman. He never expected a science project to affect him the way she does. As he tries to help her rediscover her past, he finds himself falling for the brave girl struggling to find her place and acceptance between the human and computer worlds.

My Review:

I have to start this review by saying, wow, what a great cover! I was desperate to read this book because of a combination of the opening line ‘Donate Body to Science. Check.’ And the amazing front cover, which luckily turns out to be poignant to the storyline – don’t you just hate it when front covers have no bearing on the actual story!

That said, I must admit that the story itself did not live up to its cover and summary. And I soooo wished it had! The love side was all a bit too easy for me – what were the odds that the protagonist could buddy up with a boy of her own age? Some of the scenes felt a little hurried and glossed over. There was also no growth from any of the main characters, which is a definite mistake from the point of view of YA and NA fiction.

From a writer’s perspective the flow was interrupted by heavy handed info dumps and I didn’t get on with the author’s writing style – more my problem than hers though! There were a lot of opportunities to really get into the nitty gritty of the book’s theme, that fizzled out, or never happened at all and I felt that the premise echoed Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein enough to really warrant some ethical exploration of science and messing with nature.

Maybe the fact that the front cover and premise were so exciting it meant that Julia’s writing was never going to match up regardless of how great her skills – is this a classic example of the marketing of a book overshadowing the book itself? Maybe, but I was still disappointed, so I’d give Freak of Nature 2 out 5 stars.

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