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Monday, September 26, 2016

Release & Review - The Gender Game by Bella Forrest

Title: The Gender Game
Author: Bella Forrest
Publication Date: September 24th, 2016
Genre: Dystopia

For fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent
comes a story like no other... 

A toxic river divides nineteen-year-old Violet Bates's world by gender. 

Women rule the East. Men rule the West. 

Welcome to the lands of Matrus and Patrus. 

Ever since the disappearance of her beloved younger brother, Violet's life has been consumed by an anger she struggles to control. Already a prisoner to her own nation, now she has been sentenced to death for her crimes. 

But one decision could save her life. 

To enter the kingdom of Patrus, where men rule and women submit. 

Everything about the patriarchy is dangerous for a rebellious girl like Violet. She cannot break the rules if she wishes to stay alive.

But abiding by rules has never been Violet's strong suit.

When she's thrust into more danger than she could have ever predicted, Violet is forced to sacrifice many things in the forbidden kingdom ... including forbidden love. 

In a world divided by gender, only the strongest survive...

Buy Links: Amazon

3 “Women x Men” Stars

ARC via NetGalley

Thank you!

Look, I know a lot of people are done with dystopia, but I’m certainly not one of them. I can’t call myself this genre biggest fan, but I’ve read my fair share of dystopian books and really enjoyed most of them.

The Genre Game is an interesting NA (though I see people calling it YA) dystopia with an intriguing concept. It didn’t deliver what I expected, but it wasn’t an unpleasant read.

Violet, the MC, is a likable enough character with a good backstory and high stakes, although she doesn’t seem to think of them as often as I’d expect her to. Why? Because when you’re life is on the line, as well as the chance to see your brother again after many years, I’d think you’d be a little more worried about the outcome of the mission that will guarantee or take those two things away. That wasn’t the impression I got from Violet.

The mission I mentioned above is simple: she needs to infiltrate the enemy’s territory (a nation called Patrus, ruled by men and where women are treated like possession) and steal back a mysterious device they took from her nation, Matrus (yep, a place where women rule and men can’t show any sign of dominance or they’re sent far, far away).

To get the mission to work, Violet has to pretend to be married to a Matrus spy living in Patrus, since that's the only way she'll be able to infiltrate the other nation without raising suspicion. I was more than ready for the “fake relationship” romance trope, but nope, that’s not what’s happening. There’s a hint of romance between Violet and her fake husband, but it’s so small it doesn’t matter to the plot at all.

The romance aspect comes into play when Violet meets Viggo, a Patrus-born man with a dark past and history of attraction to Matrus women. Since Violet and her fake husband will need someone to blame once they steal back the device for Matrus, and they can’t have the nations going into war, they plan to put the blame on Viggo. Of course once Violet starts spending more time with Viggo, she develops feelings for him and has to make a choice: continue with the plan and blame Viggo, which will save her life and allow her to reunite with her brother, or put a stop to it and save the man she’s falling for.

In order to make this choices work, I needed two things: for Violet to take more seriously the threat on her life and for the romance to be more intense. Unfortunately, like I mentioned before, I didn’t feel like Violet thought enough of the consequences of not going with the plan. She almost seemed detached from the whole thing, which made it hard for me as a reader to connect with her struggle. And while I liked the romance, I wanted it to be more intense, hotter, sexier and have a little more angst. 

Something else I thought confusing was the villain's motive. I can't get too deep into it because of spoilers, but I'm not sure I understood what the villain wanted to achieve. Since this is clearly the first book in the series, maybe we'll get more of that in the next book. I also didn't understand why Violet was chosen to be part of the mission. She didn't really come across as someone who had all the skills necessary to be a spy.

Overall, this was a quick read with an interesting concept and a likable enough character, but the stakes could've been higher if the execution had been a little more solid. 

*If you liked this review (or not), if you read the book (or not), come say hello and leave your comments bellow.