Publisher: Boundless Press
Date of Publication: July 23rd 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia
Series: Control Freakz
Forever Gone—Book 0.5
Control Freakz—Book 1
Format read in: eBook
Memories will haunt you.
Natalie has lost everything but herself, and she’s just one of thousands. After Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Hunter and Ethan. With nothing to lose and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government.
Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. But there are unrivaled powers working against them, and with impending doom looming at any moment, there is no one to trust and nowhere to hide. In a life devoid of hope, happiness, and safety, Natalie must battle both the darkness lurking inside and out of her in order to regain one fleeting memory of her past that has all but fallen away for good, but it might already be too late.
The blurb for Control Freakz was the main reason why I got this book. I like to read YA dystopia, and I was intrigued by the second paragraph of the blurb. A horrible president? A dishonest government? Mind control? Sign me up. Plus, I liked the cover. A girl is standing with her back to you, looking at a foggy (or sandstorms??) scene with nanobots up top. It called to me.
Control Freakz started off running. The pacing of the book was also set. It was lightning fast. What I liked is that the book kept up the pace until the middle of the book. I love it when a book keeps the pace it starts with.
Mental illness was also discussed during the first half of the book. Natalie suffered from depression and anxiety. The author didn’t honey coat it and make it go away after a while. Her depression and anxiety were always there, in varying severity.
Control Freakz is told in 1st person POV. I was okay with that expect that Natalie spent a lot of time internalizing her dialogue. It offered a narrow view of what she was going through. I never thought I would say this, but I wish that another POV was introduced. That way, I could see what else was going on.
The Protocol 00 storyline was introduced within a chapter of the beginning of the book. There wasn’t a whole lot of information given about Protocol 00. All I knew, going into the middle of the book, was that Protocol 00 had something to do with the blue pills. Oh, and also, the President was an evil man who had caused chaos among the American people.
The first half of Control Freakz focused on Natalie, Hunter, and Evan’s escape from Phoenix and their journey to a sanctuary in the mountains. When they did arrive at the camp, there was more chaos before they settled down. That leads to the middle of the book.
So, my interest in Control Freakz started to wane by the middle of the book. Even though it had a promising start, I couldn’t help but get a little bored. Instead of focusing on President Ash and the government’s looming threat, it went into camp politics, which bored me. But they played an essential part in setting up for what was going to happen in the last half of the book.
Natalie was driving me nuts. Again, there was a lot of internal dialogue. More talk of wanting to die and wishing life could go back to what it was like. She also screamed a lot. She was annoying. I felt terrible feeling that way because I knew she was suffering from her anxiety and depression, but at the same time, I just wanted her to shut up. I know, yikes!!
I wished that there was another POV that was introduced other than Natalie. Evan would have been a great person, in my mind. There was so much going on with him. He knew that there was something up with the camp leader, and he would find out. He obsessed over it to the point that he went nuts. I would have loved to see what was going on inside his head during that time.
I wasn’t interested in Hunter’s POV. He didn’t have a ton of influence in the book other than keeping Natalie from killing herself. He didn’t jump off the pages or make an impression on me. He was just “blah.” Also, he was too trusting. Way too naive after everything that he had been through.
The storyline about Protocol 00 stalled out too. It seemed unreal that the government knew about the camps of people and didn’t do anything about it. I almost wished that Evan had hacked into the camp leader’s computer sooner. Or that the helicopter came earlier. It would have added a bit of excitement into an otherwise stalled out storyline.
Towards the end of the middle of the book, though, things began to pick up. Evan did something that I didn’t expect and that Natalie witnessed. He also uncovered a couple of things that made me go, “What?” Natalie, Hunter, and Evan’s run from camp and to Danielle was action-packed.
End of Book Impressions
If my interest in Control Freakz had wavered in the middle of the book, it was fully back by the end. Everything that had been left to decay in the middle of the book exploded. I couldn’t read the end of this book fast enough.
Natalie still annoyed me, but she surprised me. She dared to defy Danielle. She found her voice. But even more so, she went willingly to do something that could result in her death. I was surprised. I do know that her finding and reading those files played a considerable part in it. Well, also Danielle threatening to kill her. I was surprised at where she had to break into. It just didn’t seem realistic to me.
Let’s talk about Danielle. She was an enigma. I didn’t agree with the underhand ways that she went about things, but I could understand why she did it. I also got the impression that there was something else driving her. And it wasn’t because she cared about people.
I still wanted another POV, but I am glad that the author went the way he did with what happened to Evan and Hunter. It would have been confusing to read from either one’s POV because of what happened.
The storyline with Protocol 00 reached a surprising conclusion. I was not expecting what happened to happen. That was a huge surprise. Even more of a surprise was the way the book ended. A freaking cliffhanger. Blah. I wouldn’t say I like those. But I need to read the next book, so I guess it worked.
My Overall Thoughts on Control Freakz
I liked reading Control Freakz. It was well written with memorable characters. The plotline flowed well until the middle of the book. That is where it floundered. Fortunately, the author could get the book back on track, and it flew to the end. There is also an unsubtle political reference and jab at one point in the book. Not going to say what, but it did strike close to home, considering everything that is happening now.
There were some parts that I didn’t like. The book does a lot of internalizing, which annoyed me. Also, there was such a narrow scope to the world. Having more than one POV would have been great instead of just Natalie’s. There is also the beginning of the book. Instead of a build-up to the chaos that happened, the book dove headfirst into it. There were zero backstories, and what backstory that was given was broken up. But, because I did like the book, I was able to look past all of that. But some people might not be able too.
I would recommend that no one under the age of 16 read Control Freakz. There is language and a lot of violence. But it is a clean book also. There is no sex. There are a couple of kissing scenes between Hunter and Natalie.