Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…
And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.
Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…
Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...
This book doesn't come out until December, but it was too perfect for Giving me the Creeps October to not throw it into the melee. However, you're going to be sorry I did, because this is a book you have to read! Ah The Farm!! How I loved you! Let me count the ways you rocked my world.
1- There's an autistic character. And she wasn't a token character. The reader even gets her point of view on occasion and it is beautiful. It made me wonder what kind of research Emily McKay did for the book or if she knows someone with autisim. The revelations about Mel, about what living with her and caring for her means to Lily, the realisation that she's a grace to Lily's life and not a hindrance, it was heartwarming.
2- The scariest things are not the Ticks.
3- The scariest thing are not the Vampires.
4- The scariest thing is horrifying and it's not even a stretch to the imagination.
5- There is a dreamy boy Lily crushed on in Highschool. And he's been scouring the country for her.
There was some part of my brain- the part where fantasies lived, the part fed by teenage hormones and too many romcoms- that ate up every word he said like they were kettlecorn with crack sprinkled on top. What girl wouldn't want to hear this stuff? What girl hadn't spent hours fantasizing that the sexy, mysterious bad boy had be drawn to her the instant they met?6- Lily and Carter have awesome tension. And it is decidedly complicated, but not in a triangle way. It is 100% other complicated, and the complications have me speculating about specifics that I'm absoloutly dying to know. Was Mel in their biology class?? I NEED to know.
7- You get multiple points of view. It's mostly Lily, but there is a smattering of Mel and Carter, and I was always dying for the switch-overs. I loved seeing what they all think.
8- There's an un-easy alliance with a Vampire, and the dangerous dynamic was always threatening to turn to something distinctly not in their favor. It kept things on edge, even more so than the Ticks were constantly causing.
9- The ending spun off in a direction I couldn't foresee, and I can't wait to see what McKay does with it.
10- Everything about this story spells EPIC, but in the best kind of way, where things are still tightly focused on a smaller story within a much bigger struggle.
11- There wasn't even one boring moment. Not one. I could. NOT. Put. it. Down. It made living life as a human very challenging. Eating, sleeping, cooking, working, these were all things maddeningly distracting me from reading The Farm. It was killing me.
12- Lily is smart, tough and flatly refusing to buy into any silly theories about super power like abilities or impossible love stories. There are Ticks and Vampires, survival is topping her list of things to do today. I loved Lily.
"Could you really build a bomb?" he asked.
"Don't get too excited," I quipped. "I mean, I couldn't build, like, a nuclear missile or anything. But when Mel and I first started planning our escape, I figured out how to build a Molotov cocktail."
"And it's doable. There are all kinds of chemicals locked in the chem lab's safety cabinet. I could come up with something."...
"I've lived in a science building for the past six months with almost nothing to do except read and explore," I blurted out. "I'd be pretty stupid if I couldn't come up with something that would explode after all this time."
"Good point." Again there was that humor in his voice.
Was he making fun of me?
I can't even begin to impart how much you want to read this. Trust me. You want to read this. But do you want to, or am I making you want to? Hmmmm, you'll be shocked to know how important that is once you've read The Farm. Good job McKay, I'm officially in love with your story. Now more please!
The Farm, by Emily McKay
Published by Berkley Trade, December 4th, 2012
My copy acquired at the BEA
Buy The Farm on Amazon