In a world in crisis, children are the future. Part of the cure. Not now. Children are deadly. Marked one to ten. Fiona is a TEN. She just doesn't know it yet . . . She doesn't know her true strength.
Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But she has woken to find her entire world has changed - her house is abandoned and broken, and her neighbourhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right wrist that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she's right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. But instead the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts. They have been branded as a warning to unvaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected inside a fortress-like wall. Fiona has awakened branded, alone and on the wrong side of the wall . . .
This book made me so angry, because there was so many ways it could have been absolutely awesome but to me, this book kind of just fell down a hole of... suck. Maybe it isn't fair to start a review so negatively, but it is so rare that I come across a book that annoyed me as much as Stung. I absolutely hate writing ranty negative reviews, so I'm going to expand on the good and bad of this book, because I'm a critic and I won't blindly ignore that there were some good points to this book, but that the bad seriously outweighed them.
Let me start with the good, possibly the only reason that I read this book to finish: Dryden Bowen. He was my hero... okay so he definitely had his idiotic moments, in fact he had quite a few of them, but as a character his mature and protective side definitely was a good match for Fiona (I'll get to her in a moment). I liked that to start with Bowen is all set to give her the lab, it doesn't start out really positive for the two and I liked this. This book also had some moments of great pacing and the mystery between who Fiona is was also gripping, I wanted to know how things were going to pan out because Wiggins does a good job of building up the mystery.
However, the main character Fiona had me all set to throw my book on the barbeque and use it to cook sausages whilst pretending they were Fiona's fingers. Sorry, that may be a little extreme, but if Wiggins was tying to make a likable character in Fiona she did a sucky job of it, I wanted to punch her so much. Fiona, I get that you've just woken up in a strange world which requires survival skills which you clearly don't have, but how stupid do you have to be to change into a flowy sundress when you may need to blend in and run at a moments notice... and why not hide when someone is coming who may kill you lest you accidentally shoot the love of your life... who you've known for a few days. Okay so they knew eachother before the disease broke out, but he's a new person and you still have the maturity of a thirteen year old, it doesn't just take a few days for true love to happen. Though, to be fair, I guess two days in YA fiction is equivalent to two months in real life.
Overall, Stung seriously dissapointed me, even though I was so excited to read it. I'm sorry Bethany Wiggins, your writing was great but this book didn't quite do it for me... at all.
Overall Rating: D-
Book released 4th July 2013 by Bloomsbury Childrens (UK)
Book received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review