Written by: Gretchen McNeil
Number of Pages: 352
My Rating: 1 / 5 stars
Published: August 7, 2018
Read in August 2018
Summary According to Goodreads
Welcome to the near future, where good and honest citizens can enjoy watching the executions of society’s most infamous convicted felons, streaming live on The Postman app from the suburbanized prison island Alcatraz 2.0.
When eighteen-year-old Dee Guerrera wakes up in a haze, lying on the ground of a dimly lit warehouse, she realizes she’s about to be the next victim of the app. Knowing hardened criminals are getting a taste of their own medicine in this place is one thing, but Dee refuses to roll over and die for a heinous crime she didn’t commit. Can Dee and her newly formed posse, the Death Row Breakfast Club, prove she’s innocent before she ends up wrongfully murdered for the world to see? Or will The Postman’s cast of executioners kill them off one by one?
I received an e-arc copy of this novel to review from NetGalley, but that does not influence my opinion.
Oh man, did I hate this book. So many times I was tempted to give up and call it a day, but I am not a quitter when it comes to reviewing books. The synopsis of this novel caught my attention immediately when it was announced, and I was so excited to have been approved for the arc, but now I regret having wasted my time. The idea of changing the criminal justice system in this way stuck out to me as something that seems realistic in our future, but the tone and the setting were very much set a decade behind our times.
The story is told from a third-person narrative, which makes it less thrilling and more cliche. At the end of most chapters we get sneaks into the reality show aspect, showing tweets from viewers remarking on what had been streamed. Most of the time I skipped reading the comments because I found them unimportant to the development of the story, and I was already becoming so detached from the plot that I just didn’t care.
Our main character Dee is your typical character in a dystopian - starts off as unimportant and then of course she becomes the centre of everything and all of her friends give up their safety for hers. She was such a boring character to read that didn’t see any gradual development, and instead just seemed to change overnight. For the first while of the novel she was timid and shy, flying under the radar, and the next minute she’s leading her posse ready to start a jail break. There was no transition, so development, and no interest from me.
One of the first “rules” that Dee is first introduced to is to not trust anyone, because no one is your friend. So what does she do? Befriend and trust four people within her first day in the prison. Nyles is the first of these friends that she encounters, your typical potential love interest with an added bonus: he’s British! Griselda is the typical blonde bitch that everyone thinks is gorgeous, and her co-worker Blair who is the caring sweetheart. And finally, the piece that every successful young-adult novel needs - the dumb jock. Ethan is the typical hot guy, with the diversity of him being a gay character pursuing a relationship with Griselda, and I couldn’t stand having him in the story. He gave me such a headache with his naivety, and movie quotes, and what really pushed me over the edge was one line in particular where during an argument he legitimately says; “come at me bro”. I’m sorry, did I somehow go back to high school in 2009?
SPOILER ALERT: Can someone explain to me how Dee lives on an island with about 20 convicted murders and never runs into any of them? Or how about eight experienced killers and executioners met their demise by a teenage girl? It was all so convenient in order for our character to survive. And what killers are going to host a runway show with one of their (shirtless, might I add) victims?
This novel was so unrealistic and over exaggerated, and the only reason it was so long was because the author used the same descriptive sentences over and over and over again. Overall, this was a terrible read and I have to (regrettably) say that I won’t be picking up another one of Gretchen McNeil’s works in the future. I was so looking forward to finding a young adult horror/thriller author, but this was beyond juvenile for my taste. I really wanted to enjoy this, but without the proper depth and development, it’s not worth the read.