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April 27, 2013

Review: The Ward by Jordana Frankel

The Ward
Title: The Ward (The Ward, #1)
Author: Jordana Frankel
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication date: April 30, 2013
Genre(s): Young Adult (Dystopian)
Source: Publisher
Format: ARC
Pages: 480
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.
The Ward had the most gorgeous dystopian cover I have seen in a while. It really gave me hope that I will finally be able to read an authentic dystopian novel. The Ward, from the cover, is set a couple of years after the Wash Out in 2048, when the world, or at least the coastal cities of the US literally drowned. Due to pollution and the now contaminated water, a new disease, HBNC, emerged, which is known as the "Blight". Now, fresh water is like rare diamonds, where only the richest of the rich get to indulge in such delicacies. However the poor people, the ones our world always seems to treat them as scum, are now enclosed in an area known as The Ward. This is where the main protagonist, Ren, is from. 
Ren, at sixteen, is mobile racer, which I found to be pretty cool. At such a young age she is the bread winner of the family, even if her family consists of herself along with Aven, a girl two years younger than her that she met during her stay in a foster house and ended up loving her like a sister. Aven actually contracted the Blight, therefore she spends all her remaining days in bed. I liked how Ren, someone who you might assume is coldhearted at the beginning, cares so much for Aven to do anything for her. However, I wanted to witness that through their relationship. Unfortunetly their relationship felt a bit too superficial for me. I LOVE sibling bonding and love, from Layken and Kel from Slammed to Jamie and Wanda/Melanie from The Host. You can imagine that I was anticipating that sibling love that always makes my heart break, but it never came. Yes Ren calls Aven "Feathers" (I never got to know why) and people say actions speak louder than words, but I guess I needed some more words to convince me. 
For the World Building, I do have to say I was slightly confused at the beginning. Being a Chemical Engineer, and taking a course in water treatment and another in waste management, you can understand how I was skeptical that somehow fresh water, or at least desalination and distillation techniques were nonexistent. I did get it later on that the water is contaminated, meaning the contamination can't be removed using the above techniques, but I wished I knew that way before, in the beginning, so I wouldn't have had a "huh?" face whenever I read about the lack of water in this world. I also wished we knew more about the origin of the Blight, as well as what other cities (say ones that aren't on the coast), as well as other countries are dealing with this wash out. 
I do believe the bright spot in this novel is the main protagonist. I found her to be SO kick butt and independent. I loved how she had a mind of her own and held her ground in front of anyone. She was never intimidated into doing anything she believed was wrong and even her crushing on a guy never clouded her judgment. Speaking of crushes, there is a possibility of a love triangle, while not present in this novel, might be in the sequel. There is Derek, who is the receiver of the crush and then Callum. At the beginning, I was so conflicted on who to root for, but by the end of this novel I am already a solid member of one of the teams (not going to say which). I WILL say that I hope to get more history and background for each of the guys, especially Derek in the sequel. 
This novel is 480 pages, you can imagine the amount of action scenes and car chases (whether above or under water) that happen. I have to say that the last 100 pages or so of this novel started to lose my interest but the beginning was very solid. I can't wait for the sequel because the scene the book ended in was horrid, in a sense that you want to know what happens. Overall i really enjoyed this novel and while I don't completely label it as a dystopian, it feels more of an adventure novel, I would still recommend it to both fans. 


  1. Thanks. I love the cover too and was curious about this one.

  2. Great review. It was a hard decision between Derek and Callum. I know who I liked. ;)I did enjoy this one, and I am looking forward to the next one.

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  3. Wonderful review. I have been really curious about this book. So many of the dystopian novels lately have been rather disappointing, and I have always enjoyed them in the past. This one sounds like it has great potential. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I'm glad you liked this one overall, despite some problems. The world-building issues seem to come up in every review I read, which worries me a little, but I'm glad you liked the main character so much. I hope the love triangle doesn't actually develop! I could do without that aspect. Great review as always, Juhina! :)

  5. I'm an adventure fan, so I think I could definitely enjoy this one! These car chases are getting me quite excited. The main character sounds totally fantastic, and I love how she's actually kick-butt. However, the slightly superficial 'sibling' relationship does turn me off a bit. I only like these types of relationships in books when they're actually done right. And the confusing world-building is also a slight turn off, to be honest.

    I think I'll have to pick this one up, just to see what I think. Fantastic, review, Juhina! <3

  6. This does sound like a frightening scenario but when you have a hard time believing it could actually happen it takes some of the thrill away. I do like the sounds of this (minus the thought of a love triangle, yuck!). Lately for me, a story better be really good to keep my attention for 480 pages! That's a big commitment. Lovely review, Juhina. :)

  7. I haven't read many, or any, reviews of this yet, but I do remember seeing the cover, it is pretty cool! I'm glad it was good for the most part, it does sound a little hard to believe, but no more than so many other dystopians!

  8. I love both adventure and dystopian so I need to read this!! I've seen some reviews on this one and they're all meh so I shouldn't get my hopes up. Thanks for the review!

    -Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

  9. Ohhh! love adventure and Dystopian. This is on my reading list :D Thanks for the cool review :D


  10. I am really on the fence about this one. I've read a bunch of reviews saying that the world building is confusing, which can be a big issue for me. I requested it at the library and I'll try it out that way…

    You can find me here: Jen @ YA Romantics

  11. I had a few issues with the world as well Juhina, but like you, I ADORED Ren. I thought she was fabulous and I was rooting for her the entire time. I loved her relationship with Aven, particularly since Ren's fairly closed off and doesn't let people close to her, it just made her love for Aven all the more special. I'm now dying for book two as well!

  12. Usually, the interest picks up at page 100. So unfortunately that it's the opposite with this book. =/

    Great review Juhina!

  13. Great review sweetie :D Thank you for being honest. <3 I'm glad you enjoyed it, even though you had some problems with it :) Still not sure if I will like it at all.
    Thank you for commenting on my mailbox. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

  14. Great review! I can't wait to finally get my hands on this one I've been wanting to read it for ages! Too bad you didn't like it more but 3.5 is still a solid rating :)
    - Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

  15. The cover is beautiful. I haven't read a good dystopian in a long time and I'll be adding this to my TBR to get to it soon. Sibling bonding and love is great to see and I'm glad to know it's shown in The Ward. Awesome review, Juhina! :)

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  16. I agree about the cover! It is beautiful! This book sounds interesting. I may have to pick it up at some point. I probably would have wanted to pick it up sooner if it wasn't for the slow down at the end! I don't even know how that's possible! lol.