Feuds by Avery Hastings
Series: Feuds #1
Published by St. Martin's Griffin on September 2, 2014
Source: Netgalley, Publisher
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For Davis Morrow, perfection is a daily reality. Like all Priors, Davis has spent her whole life primed to be smarter, stronger, and more graceful than the lowly Imperfects, or “Imps.” A fiercely ambitious ballerina, Davis is only a few weeks away from qualifying for the Olympiads and finally living up to her mother’s legacy when she meets Cole, a mysterious boy who leaves her with more questions each time he disappears.
Davis has no idea that Cole has his own agenda, or that he’s a rising star in the FEUDS, an underground fighting ring where Priors gamble on Imps. Cole has every reason to hate Davis—her father’s campaign hinges on the total segregation of the Imps and Priors—but despite his best efforts, Cole finds himself as drawn to Davis as she is to him.
Then Narxis, a deadly virus, takes its hold--and Davis’s friends start dying. When the Priors refuse to acknowledge the epidemic, Davis has no one to turn to but Cole. Falling in love was never part of their plan, but their love may be the only thing that can save her world...in Avery Hastings's Feuds.
Feuds was far from what I expected it to be and I mean that in both a good and bad way. I started the book knowing very little about it and I went into it with an open mind. To be honest I only really knew that it was a dystopian and all I hoped was that it would be different from the rest. It definitely had a unique feel to it and that was by far my favorite thing about it.
Feuds is told from the alternating points of view of Davis and Cole. Davis is the daughter of a rich Prior who is up for election as the next prime minister. She’s a driven ballet dancer who is very concerned about the role she plays in her father’s campaign. She will do anything to help him get elected so that his new policies can be put in place. She cares a lot for her family and that shows from the start. The only problem is that she really doesn’t know the whole truth about everyone in her family and so she doesn’t quite know what it is she’s standing up for. Cole is a Gen fighter in the FEUDS who does everything for his family and is willing to risk everything for them. He’s strong and fierce but vulnerable and lost at times too. He’s a much more well rounded character than Davis. He’s also someone who should have nothing to do with Davis. However, he’s thrust into her life and once he meets her he just can’t stay away. He’s drawn to her without knowing anything about who she is. She also knows nothing about him though and that’s just how he wants things to stay. They are the definition of star-crossed love but neither of them realize that until it’s too late.
To be perfectly honest, Davis and Cole’s relationship screams instalove. That’s what it is. They meet, they kiss (very passionately, might I add), they have amazing chemistry, and they decide they are it for each other. However, they still know nothing about each other when they decide this. It’s when they find out the truth about each other that their relationship is really put to the test.
The story is a little slow to pick up but it’s interesting. Feuds is set in a futuristic society split between Priors and Gens (or as Priors call them, Imps.) The Priors are the upper class who have been genetically modified for perfection. The Gens are just normal people but they are considered low class because of this. Things aren’t so bad for the Gens though when the Priors start dying from a mystery disease called Narxis. Narxis has no cure and what’s worse, most people don’t even know it exists. The current prime minister of the Priors does not want word about Narxis to get out and he is willing to do whatever it takes to stop the Gens from speaking out about it. For the first part of the book though very little about this is actually mentioned and most of the story focuses on Cole and Davis. I get the necessity of building up the characters but I really would have liked it if the plot moved a bit faster.
Overall, Feuds definitely stands out in the dystopian genre. It’s a bit slower than your usual fare of “down with the capital!” dystopian novels but it has a lot going for it other than that. The characters, the writing, the romance (even if it is instalove) all stand in favor for Feuds. I definitely plan on checking out more from Avery Hastings especially the next book in this series!
What others have to say about Feuds:
The Young Folks’ review: “Feuds, in one word, is captivating.”
Nick’s Book Blog’s review: “Feuds wasn’t the perfect book, by any means, but I do think this series has a lot of potential.”
Queen Ella Bee Reads’ review: “The marriage of political unrest and disease layered with copious amounts of romance will make any and all lovers of dystopia swoon over FEUDS (and Davis and Cole because, wow there’s some serious kissing up in this book).”
About the author:
Avery Hastings is an author and former book editor from New York City. Avery grew up in Ohio, graduated in 2006 from the University of Notre Dame and earned her MFA from the New School in 2008. When she’s not reading or writing, Avery can usually be spotted lying around in the park with her affable dog. Like her protagonists, she knows how to throw a powerful right hook and once dreamed of becoming a ballerina. In addition to New York, Avery has recently lived in Mumbai and Paris, but is happy to call Brooklyn home (for now).