The Union (The Union #1)
by T.H. Hernandez
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After global warming and a second civil war devastated the former United States, two different societies rose from the ashes – the Union, a towering high-tech utopia, hugging the perimeter of the continent, and the devastated, untamed midsection known as the Ruins.
Seventeen-year-old Evan Taylor has an easy, privileged life in the Union. What she doesn’t have is any idea what to do with the rest of her life. She only knows she wants to do something meaningful, to make a difference in the lives of others.
When she’s kidnapped and taken into the Ruins as a pawn in a dispute involving her boyfriend, Bryce, her ideal world is turned upside down. What she learns while in the Ruins shakes her faith in everything she’s ever known, from Bryce, to her family, and even the Union itself.
Now Evan must choose whether to stay with Cyrus, the sexy, resourceful survivor who believes she’s in the Ruins for a reason, or return to the only life she’s ever known. But when she stumbles upon a dangerous plot that threatens both worlds, her decision could tear her apart.
**After re-reading, I had to change my rating from a 4 to a 4.5. Rooting for a heroine I love, falling all over again for a sweet, rugged, captivating man, and watching the story unfold made me realize how emotionally attached I was to The Union. Add in the fact that I now understand a scene that left me previously distraught (lightbulb! I get it!), well how could I not love it more? It’s so fun to be back in this world!!**
Hernandez’s debut novel was truly compelling. The story that unfolded in front of me was unique, captivating and had me glued to the pages. I came to care for many of the characters, but two completely stole the show and my heart. The setting was fascinating, and it left me longing to learn more about the world that they live in. But after that ending, I desperately need the second book in this series!
I can’t help wondering if I would have spent so much time agonizing over my future if I’d known I’d be dead so soon. If I’d known, maybe I’d have done everything differently. Now I know my future. My life ends here. Alone. In the Ruins.
What if everything you ever thought about your world was a lie? After global warming and a second civil war wreaked havoc on the U.S., the citizens flocked to the coast. A lifestyle and cities were built called The Union. Evan lives there and while her life is no walk in the park, it is structured and safe from the harms of the Ruins outside of The Unions walled off perimeter. She has just graduated from school, and is trying to find her place in society. To find out who she is and what she truly wants, Evan embarks on a trip with her two best friends. She is even lucky enough to find out that the boy she is crushing on is traveling on the same train as her. But her life gets flipped upside down when she is kidnapped. She is being used as a pawn in a game that she can’t even start to comprehend, and the first move in that game is taking her into the Ruins.
I’m here now, and if I’m going to survive, I can’t wallow in self-doubt and pity. It’s long past time to get my shit together.
Evan is the type of heroine that you will love. She is spunky, honest, intriguing and has so much fire inside of her. I loved the emotions that erupted from her. It was so palpable. But oh man, did she make mistakes. Mistakes that weren’t dumb, but were caused because of how she reacted to situations she had no experience with. And those are the easiest mistakes to forgive and move on from. Especially since Evan tries her hardest to do right by others. This is one of the top reasons why I love her so much! She has such a huge heart and a strong head on her shoulders. Thank goodness, because she’s about to be thrown into a situation where she’ll need both to figure out how to proceed.
“I…” He glances down at me, his pale eyes searching mine. “I think you’re here for a reason, even if you don’t. And…I’m glad you’re here.”
I was going to talk about Bryce, the boy she has a crush on and who ends up on the same train as her. But he started to feel too perfect, or maybe it was something else I couldn’t place my finger on. Whatever it was, Bryce’s ship has sailed for me and a truly beautiful man took the lead front and center. Cyrus. He was sweet, patient, kind and ruggedly handsome. He was someone that was discreetly captivating and pulled you in. There was no way I couldn’t love him. For Evan, he was hope, love and family all rolled into one. He honestly took my breath away. Whether it was the words that he would use or the little actions he would display, he emitted so much emotion. You could become lost in it all, and I loved every single moment of it!
The way he kisses me, like he can’t get enough, the way my body responds to his touch… he captivates me in a way I never expected and don’t understand. I try to make sense of what’s happening with us, but it’s unlike anything I’ve ever known. It’s powerful and scary as hell.
After reading The Union two times (6 months apart), I know that one of my favorite aspects of this book is that I got to watch so many different relationships unfold. Family, friends, and enemies. And you know what? It all felt real. Of course there were moments of worry and heartache, but for the most part, this book felt as though the relationships and characters were the driving force. That’s probably why this dystopian felt so unique to me. Thank goodness the second book, The Ruins, is already on my device because I’d be dying not knowing what was going to happen next. I was more than pleasantly surprised with The Union, and I believe you will too!
***ARC was kindly provided in exchange for an honest review***
|Reading Order & Links:
Amazon (click on covers), & Book Depository (click on book #)
The Union #1
The Ruins #2
The Uprising #3
When not visiting the imaginary worlds inside my head, I live in San Diego, California, with one husband, three children, two cats, and one dog. In addition to my day job as a technical writer and editor, I write young adult fiction. I love the intensity of teen emotions and the way they’re still figuring out life.
When I’m not writing, you can find me with my nose in a book, hanging out with family and friends, hiking, or knitting. I’m obsessed with Facebook, young adult novels, bad lip reading videos, pumpkin spice lattes, microbrewed beers, and the San Diego Chargers.
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