Apr 5, 2013

The Ward by Jordana Frankel Review

The Ward by Jordana Frankel
(The Ward, #1)
Release Date: April 30, 2013
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; 384 pages
Sixteen-year-old Ren is a daredevil mobile racer who will risk everything to survive in the Ward, what remains of a water-logged Manhattan. To save her sister, who is suffering from a deadly illness thought to be caused by years of pollution, Ren accepts a secret mission from the government: to search for a freshwater source in the Ward, with the hope of it leading to a cure.

However, she never expects that her search will lead to dangerous encounters with a passionate young scientist; a web of deceit and lies; and an earth-shattering mystery that’s lurking deep beneath the water’s rippling surface.

Jordana Frankel’s ambitious debut novel and the first in a two-book series, The Ward is arresting, cinematic, and thrilling—perfect for fans of Scott Westerfeld or Ann Aguirre.

I wanted to love this book, I really did. The girl is pretty kickass - I mean, she races a bunch of guys and wins every time. Not to mention, risks her life every time she does one of these races. But even with some characters, who I really liked, it just wasn't enough to make me all that excited about. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed it and would recommend but it's just not one I'm gonna tell all my friends they need to drop everything to read, you know?

The cover is very fitting for the book and I'm grateful for that. It's weird; I go to New York City all the time and visualizing the city under so much water is crazy. The idea of the water level rising isn't too far fetched of an idea - it's a fear a lot of people have, right? Living on the coast, I know I have it but you never realize how crazy it would be; the lack of fresh water, how you would live - would it be like these characters who live on the top floors of skyscrappers and roofs? It's fascinating, the whole concept of this book and the vehicles they use which most models can travel on roofs or water - hell some can even act as a submarine, though only the newest models. How awesome would that be?

Where it failed were some of the characters and the story, in a way, it just didn't grasp my attention and my emotions like a great book should. I'm not sure if there's supposed to be a love triangle in these book, if it might build up to that in the next book but regardless, I absolutely love Callum. (I obliviously have a thing for underdog type guys in series) Derick, who is a guy Ren has been crushing on forever is just. . . not interesting enough to me. There's something creepy about him and I can't say because it kind of gives it away but it was something I suspected. He's older than her but that's not what makes it weird for me (he's twenty-ish and she's sixteen) and he just wasn't that interesting to me. I never once swooned over him though the second this other guy was introduced, I liked him straight away. The more I saw of him, the more I wanted to see him. There's lots of 'bad guys' in this book and it's hard to trust anyone at all. I do like Ren, I think she's pretty awesome, very independent and even though she has a tough exterior there are a few things that prove she, indeed, human. I also really, really like her best friend. He's the type of the guy that if you showed up at his doorstep with a dead body, he wouldn't ask questions but would help dispose of it. At least, I feel like he's that type of friend and he really cares for her younger sister, Aven, who is dying from a disease that has infected a lot of the Ward.

Though there was plenty of action in this book I feel like it never really took off, you know? That feeling at a point in the book where you're on the edge of your seat wondering who might die, who might betray, who might kiss who - those moments that you hold your breath and everything takes you for surprise. Yeah, I really didn't have any of those moments. Maybe a few close calls but nothing quite like a lot of books I read.

Will I read the second book? Absolutely. Would I recommend it to you? Yes, I think it's a great read (I mean, I did finish it in under a day so that must say something, right?) and I think a lot of people will enjoy it a lot more than me, so yes, definitely.

I would like to thank HarperCollins / Katherine Tegen Books for the chance to review this book in exchange for an honest review.


  1. I have a review copy of it and I am really looking forward to read this book. The cover is just AWESOME and I also like kick-ass main characters.

    Sapir @ Diary of a Wimpy Teen Girl

    1. Absolutely. The cover is so awesome, definitely agree there. And yes, the main character was pretty awesome. Who doesn't love a girl who isn't afraid to stick it to the bad guys? I hope you enjoy it! :)

  2. I don't know what it is, but I always pick the underdogs when it comes to love-triangles as well. So I know the feeling! It's a shame that the book never really grabbed your attention, because it all sound like a great concept :) and I think I will like Ren. The cover is stunning!


    1. Out of my friends, I'm the only one that ends up choosing the non-obvious/popular one. I'm glad I'm not alone, I always feel like a minority when it comes to that. I'm not sure if it's going to be presented as a love triangle but I suspect it will. Or maybe that's me saying I *hope* it will ;)

      I wish it would've grabbed me more, as well. But like I said, it's still a great book and I definitely want to read the next one to see what happens. :)

  3. sarabara081 @ Forever 17 BooksApril 6, 2013 at 11:21 AM

    Aww man, I think I had this one built up in my mind because the cover is so fantastic. I'm sad to hear you didn't find the story the same. I still hope to check it out and I'm glad to hear you are still interested in the sequel. Sometimes they can surprise you and be better than the first. :)

    ~Sara @ Forever 17 Books

  4. Same here. It's always like that with covers that are so awesome, you just imagine the book itself is just as fantastic. It's not bad, not at all - just not something I'm gonna dance around the room after reading lol. I'm really hoping the sequel will be great cause like you said, sometimes they come out & surprise you :) I hope you like this book, though :)

  5. I have seen some mixed reviews of this one but, I am so looking forward to it because I love dystopians, but I am still definitely curious about reading this one.

    Kristin @

    Young Adult Book Haven


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