Friday, November 1, 2013

Review: Control by Lydia Kang

Title: Control (Control, #1)
Author: Lydia Kang
Pages: 400
Publisher: Dial Books for Young Readers
Release Date: December 26, 2013
When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn't even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

My Thoughts: I didn't quite know what to expect from Control, but I'm glad I had a chance to read it. It was a unique sci-fi set about 140 years from now with plenty of action, memorable characters, and a sweet romance. This book actually kept me up late at night twice because I couldn't stop reading. Needless to say, it was a pretty engrossing read.

Control is full of science and technology. I felt things were as realistic as it could be for a world set in the future that had genetically modified people, and I thought the author did a really great job at explaining the science and having it make sense. Even though some scientific aspects still went over my head (which didn't bother me), it wasn't hard to keep up with the characters whenever they started talking about an experiment or project they were working on.

Speaking of the characters, some of them really made the story for me. After her father died and her little sister Dyl was taken away from her, Zelia (or Zel) moved into a home for unwanted, genetically modified kids. Her new family was such a fun bunch of characters. Vera, Hex, Cy, Wilbert, Marka, Ana... Each stood out in their own way and contributed greatly to the dynamics of their little group. Some managed to surprise me too. I can't specify what exactly shocked me for certain characters, but let's just say I was surprised in both good and bad ways by Zel's new family and even other characters that appeared throughout the story.

As for Zel, I thought she was a great main character. She was smart and selfless. Her desperation to get her sister back made her a bit whiny and frustrating, especially in the second half of the book, but ultimately her behavior was understandable considering the ruthless people who had Dyl. Another thing I feel the need to mention was that sometimes I forgot Zel was seventeen-years-old. There were times she just came off as younger than her age. But there were also parts that definitely reminded me how old she was, like her relationship with Cy. They shared many swoony, romantic moments. And it might be no surprise that Cy was my favorite character in the book. He was mysterious and brooding, and while he seemed full of anger, he was actually a very kind and sweet guy once he opened up. Zel and Cy were just adorable together, and I hope there's more to come.

Control was a thrilling read that I found hard to put down as the story progressed. The ending was bittersweet, mostly heartbreaking if you're a fan of the romance, but it made me want to continue reading more from this world to find out what happens next with these characters. If you're interested in Control, you should definitely give it a read!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


  1. This sounds interesting! I'm not big on the Sci-fi genre but the books I've in that genre I've enjoyed. I'll probably give this one a try! Awesome review Alexa!!!

    1. I don't read much sci-fi either, but this one was good. :) Thankies!

  2. A little worried about the heartbreaking ending…this book has me intrigued.

    1. I'm hoping things will be resolved in the next book, but I'm actually not sure how many books there will be.
      Btw, you liked Chloe/Derek, right? In the beginning, Zel & Cy's relationship reminded me of theirs. hehe XD

  3. I'm glad you enjoyed this overall, AJ! I've been looking forward to reading it, so it's nice to now know what to expect. I can't wait to meet both Zel and Cy. :)

  4. I wish you had enjoyed this more! I had such high hopes for this one. I'm glad you still liked it though. Hopefully the sequel will be more in line with your thinking.