Merged by Jim Kroepfl and Stephanie Kroepfl ★★★★½
"To be great, you have to follow your own dreams, not someone else's."
I received this e-book from Netgalley. This does not affect my review or opinion. All thoughts are my own and I'm being 100 per cent honest.
I absolutely loved this book. I started reading and was sucked into the world the authors created. Merged kept my attention from the very first page until the last. Not one second did I think the story was getting dull. This is such a unique novel with an absorbing plot.
Merged is about seven teens. Seven of our country's most gifted teens will become Nobels, hosts for the implantation of brilliant Mentor minds, in an effort to accelerate human progress. But as the line between what's possible and what's right, draws ever blurrier, the teens discover everything has a cost. Scientists have created an evolved form of living known as Merged Consciousness, and sixteen-year-old Lake finds herself unable to merge with her Mentor. Lake, the Nobel for Chemistry and Orfyn, the Nobel for Art, are two from among the inaugural class of Nobels, and with the best intent and motivation. But when Stryker, the Nobel for Peace, makes them question the motivation of the scientists behind the program, their world begins to unravel. As the Nobels work to uncover the dark secrets of the program's origins, everyone's a suspect and no one can be trusted, not even the other Nobels. As the Mentors begin to take over the bodies and minds of the Nobels, Lake and Orfyn must find a way to regain control before they lose all semblance or memory of their former selves.
The plot was very captivating and unique. I haven't read anything like it before. It was definitely an easy read. I couldn't bring myself to put down the book. While reading Merged, I would get annoyed if someone started talking to me because I just wanted to keep reading. And this is a good thing. The story was action-packed and never once did it get boring. It was fast-paced without becoming confusing. There wasn't a moment where I felt like the story was going too fast and I missed something. The authors Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl made sure they didn't stick too long to one scene, which made the reading go smoothly. They did an amazing job in keeping Merged easy enough to read, which wasn't an easy job since the book involves some scientific talk.
I really enjoyed reading about these sevens characters. They were each their individual self and had great distinctive personalities. What I particularly appreciated was the fact that the main characters Lake and Ofryn weren't assigned to typical gender roles. I love to read a good book about strong women, especially if they're in STEM. Lake is the Nobel for Chemistry and Ofryn is the Nobel for Art. It was nice to see that the main character Lake was so smart. I think this book could set a good example for a lot of girls and boys. This cast also felt very real to me. They all had a lot of personal issues and they weren't perfect. I could relate to a lot of these personas.
Also another positive thing to note is that there are people of color in Merged. This was a very pleasant surprise. I think a lot of YA books lack important characters who are POC.
The one thing I didn't like was the love triangle. I didn't care for that element. That's why this book didn't get five stars. I did enjoy a love triangle when I was younger, but now it just makes me roll my eyes a bit. Although I wan't very fond of that aspect, I did like the fact that the authors didn't focus too much on it. The story still was about the Nobels and all the problems they encounter.
I requested this book on Netgalley because of the cover. I mean, look at that. It's truly stunning. I keep staring at it and still can't get enough.
I know I've read a good book when after finishing it, I'm sad. And I am. I want a sequel to Merged. I want to read more about these characters. The story didn't have a dull moment and was very unique. I really enjoyed reading about these characters and liked the fact that some of them are POC.
Would I recommend it? Yes! I would definitely recommend Merged. I finished the book a couple of days ago and still can't stop thinking about it. That's how much it impacted me. If you love a good YA sci-fi book, you should totally read this one.
Jim and Stephanie Kroepfl are a husband-and-wife team who write YA novels and stories of mystery and adventure from their cabin in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Their debut novel, Merged, was released by Month9Books on September 17, 2019.