Review Blog

Oct 02 2013

ACID by Emma Pass

cover image

Corgi Childrens, 2013. ISBN 9780552566148.
(Ages: 15+)Recommended. Reminiscent of the TV show Alias and the movie SALT, ACID is a futuristic dystopian featuring a kickass main character assuming multiple identities throughout the novel, with nonstop action, romance and constant twists and turns.
Jenna Strong is serving a life sentence in prison for killing her parents. Despite being the only female, she can take on even the most hardened criminals with a flick of her wrist. One day, her trusted confidante Dr Fisher helps her escape prison - while getting murdered by the ACID police in the process - who pin it all on Jenna. With the best surgeons at work, Jenna is given a new face and a new identity to start a new Mia Richardson.
As a hardened criminal, privileged citizen, fugitive, extremist and saviour, Jenna assumes multiple identities throughout the novel which shows different sides to her. She undergoes major character development as she learns more about the world controlled by ACID. When she meets Max, someone who she rescues and feels obligated to accompany, Jenna's demeanour softens and her caring side comes out. The romance slowly develops over the course of the novel and Max's trust in Jenna furthers her character development, and it never detracts from the story.
Set in futuristic International Republic of Britain, the world of ACID is fleshed out elegantly in detail. ACID is the police force that controls every from the news, information, transport, and even who people partner with (Life Partners) and when they can have children. We learn more about the world through snippets from the news and letters scattered throughout the book, and the world building flowed naturally throughout the story.
While most of the book was captivating, I found it lost momentum later on. A major plot twist happens where the reader knows what is going on miles ahead of the character itself, so when she realises we're already disengaged. While the ending wrapped up everything nicely, it just seemed a little too convenient as a solution to the constrained society.
I love how this book is a standalone novel, and there's no dragging out loose ends for the sake of being a series. The epilogue gives us the perfect amount of closure, while still planting a seed to let us speculate on what happens next. Overall, ACID is a solid debut that explores some new concepts. I would recommend it to lovers of dystopian everywhere and can't wait to read more from Emma Pass.
Jeann Wong

Archived Blog Entries
Latest News
Nebula Awards
Boston Globe–Horn Book Awards 2020
2020 Teens' Top Ten Nominees
Hugo Award Finalists 2020
Book explaining the coronavirus
Feel good and uplifting books for primary children
Humour for teens fiction list

ReadPlus Features
Print similar authors bookmark
Read similar authors
How to find lesson plans
Sample theme animation

Promote Reading
Feel good and uplifting books for staff
Online Children's Storytime Websites List
Free Rights of the Reader Poster
Children's Laureate's charter