I was quite sure I'm going to hate this book, maybe even hate with a vengeance or just find it totally and absolutely repulsive.. but I got a REALLY good recommendation for it so I simply had to give it a go.. So after reading a lot of horrible reviews (and some good ones...) and after postponing it for nearly a year I decided it's time to check this one out for myself.
I'll start with what I was afraid this is going to be - a very long, very detailed, provocative, kinky, BDSM sex scene.. :D and to top it off, this one is Dystopia. I don't usually like reading the end of days kinda books. I don't mind reading near future Paranormal or current Paranormal but real world (I mean, people no supernatural beings) in the future in which all society as we know it is ruined? naaaa... I was never into those, not even in movies though there are A LOT of those.
So as you can see, I had my reasons for not wanting to ever try reading it.. But my friend kept on asking me - WHEN WHEN - so finally I said to myself, well, yeah, lets do this. If I don't like it I can always put it down saying I tried..
We meet Noel, previously a high born who lived in Eden ("the" city) and now, dumped outside the city (sort of to the "slums" I guess). There she meets the darling Jasper who rescues her kinda without intending to into his "family" / gang - the O'Kanes which is run by Dallas who is sort of "in charge" of Section 4 (where she was dumped). She is quickly introduced into the "family" and finds a close friend with Lex who "guards" her from Dallas's wrath (or just mood swings, sometimes I wasn't sure..). While there, the virgin discovers her sexuality in a way she didn't know she possessed (keep in mind she was thrown out of Eden for fornication). Noel is up for right about anything and everything but mostly when it's with or towards Jasper.
Outside of Eden people are free to do as they please, it also means there are far more sexually open than anything we are used to in the world around us. Sex parties is a weekly occurrence which can also include married couples (they call it differently, the wear a sort of collar or a tattooed one when it's a "certain" thing). But since it's all open and fun and games, you have to think carefully if what you want is a "mate". Jasper isn't sure if he should "own" Noel this way and while she is VERY into him she still doesn't understand the world around her and Lex keeps telling her she can do or choose whatever she wants..
Here goes all the sex scenes including Lex giving sexual lessons to Noel.. There's scenes with sex all around them, there are scenes of one girl with two guys or one guy with two girls or two guy and two girls, two girls together and even "god forbid" one girl with just one guy.. There is bondage, pain, dominance, kinky objects and more where they came from. A total sex-fest of a book really :P
Speaking of sex.. I'm reducing a star because there were too many times when it was "too much", I mean, they all get too worked out over the sex.. NO ONE passes out due to an over the top amazing orgasm.. as I see it, Noel is enjoying herself during those sex scenes, well, lets use the word - inhumanly.. I couldn't "buy it". No one gets THAT sexed up.. If we were in any kind of supernatural environment, and we were talking about another species I would have accepted it as it was. But Noel is just a girl.. a very hungry girl.. But if you put this "little fact" aside, the sex scenes were kinda hot. Yeah there we some scenes I was looking kinda puzzled over - like her getting turned on while getting tattooed.. I mean I have tattoos, the process is an OK kinda deal. A little pain, nothing a woman can't deal with, but it's a very neutral kinda thing. If she got turned on by THAT why not get turned on when she Plucks her eyebrows? same kinda pain if you ask me.. (I should add that Noel is into pain)
The other thing I was fearing was the Dystopia. The world is very different than what we live in now but actually I wasn't bothered by that at all because I was finding myself thinking and considering the meaning of the world and the way it is. It would sound terrible, I'm warning you! - I thought the world was interesting in a Sociological point of view. Really. I was reading whole sex scenes and thinking to myself - wow, that's INTERESTING, but not what they shove where, and who sucks who off, but the way they live and why our world is different in the way we perceive sexuality.
I gave this one 4 stars which means I DID enjoy it. Actually I REALLY enjoyed it though not for the reasons I thought I would |(or wouldn't..). Basically because it made me think about things besides the actual plot line. Made me think that there is more to the story than all those sex scenes one after another and the fact that everyone enjoys adding another happy partner (or two) into the mix.
I'm not sure if I could actually explain what I found so interesting but I'll try...
It's mostly that inside the norm there is no place for this kind of sexual freedom. I'm not sure exactly why, I guess because most of the societies we live in are basically religious or used to be so they are conservative by nature. There is also a difference between guys and girls on this matter. A guy who screws around is this cool dude, but the girl who sleeps around is a slut.. Guys who are into a different girl each night are more about the "release" then the girl they are with. I remember I talked to someone who has a lot of casual sex and he explained to me that basically you should be concerned with your own pleasure. He didn't mean ignoring the other person, but he did emphasize that it's something, mmm, egocentric I guess.
In this world invented by the Kit Rocha duo (There is no Kit, it's two friends writing together under this name) it's basically ABOUT the pleasure. I felt that no matter who we are talking about, there is an "issue" about having the other party have the grandest time they could have, and the guys respected the women, if they didn't, they stayed alone since no woman would sleep with them (again..). The woman are really strong and independent. They sleep with whomever they want and easily brush off whomever they are NOT interested in. I'm not saying it's a woman's world. It's SO not (I just didn't mention the aggressive guys, the cage fights they enjoy just for fun of it...). But I think that at least in the sexual sense it's somehow equal or as equal as I think it should be in our world as well.
Also there is the fact that you can be with who you want, you can have multiple partners together or one after the other and there are no jealousy scenes (if there is jealousy it's kept quiet as a personal thing). Just think of all the possessive scenes you've witnessed in your life and how so many of them made you want to puke or physically harm the possessive person for treating the other person this way.
There is something about this world and the concept of NO SHAME, of being who you want to be, experiencing what you want to experience without judgement or criticism. I'm not saying I want to experience all the things they do in this book (and boy oh boy there is a lot of variety....) but I DO think there is no reason for the way society perceives it, I think that something like sex which is basically "having fun" shouldn't be banned when no one gets hurt (or considers him/herself being hurt) and it sure shouldn't be condemned or look down upon. Here it's mostly about the sex but you can think about the "no shame, judgement and criticism" concept in a more general way, which is easy for me because I could never fit in no matter where I was and with whom - would have made my whole world different if the judgment was gone..
We live in a modern world but there is still so many things that considered "wrong" or taboo that really shouldn't be (a lot of them sexual but not all of them) and if it changes over time it's a slow change and anyhow I don't think it will change into what happens in this book where you appreciate the other person and what they experience since our world is individualistic and their's is a "gang like" concept where there is a meaning to the "togetherness". So maybe we missed something by being so obsessed with ourselves, our needs and wants and not the person in front of us if we're talking about sex and if we are talking about life in general...
So yeah, it's been a ride this book. I'm not sure if everyone will see in the book what I did (probably not, that's one of the things you get used to when you are/were a "social outcast") and I don't know if the Kit Rocha duo thought about all the things I did or just invented a world where you can have sex however the hell you wanted and that's it.. but a book is a personal thing - we each get from it different things even if we both love or hate it, it's not guarantied it would be for the same reasons..
I will be continuing to the next one of Lex and Dallas (Beyond Control). I think Dallas is a really "realistic" character - there is a lot of "show" and not a lot of time to express who he really is or what he really wants in life. Sometimes being in charge means you have to put yourself aside so you could take care of everyone else.. sometimes you prefer people think you're an ass but a strong one (which he does a lot) but there is another side to him and I really want to see it in his and Lex's book.
Additional Details: Kindle Ebook, 354 pages, 5-7 May 2014 / On GoodReads