ACID by Emma Pass is set in a dark Orwellian future where a rich minority forces their believes and rule on a dispossessed and abused majority. The tale focused on Jenna Strong but it is hard for me to remember her name since it changes so many times throughout the novel. Jenna is a seventeen-year-old girl whose story begins with her being locked up in a maximum-security prison full of men. Seems dangerous, but it is Jenna who gets thrown into solitary because the jail doctor taught her some martial arts moves and she injures anyone who tries to hurt her.
Genre: Dystopian Science Fiction, Young Adult
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Stars: 3 Stars
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
Soon a group of freedom fighters decides to bust her out of this maximum-security jail. This group she has never met also alters her face and gives her a new life and identity. This falls apart when he meets the son of one of the people she is accused of killing. They go on the run and get involved with a terrorist cell which seems just as bad as the fascist ACID (Agency for Crime Investigation and Defense) she is fleeing. The leader of the cell also strangely does on his own, what a whole prison of males could not, and beats her silly.
Soon she is captured and is given her third identity by the evil rulers of ACID. This falls apart as some of the mysteries in her own life as well as ACID begin to be uncovered. While Jenna hopes she will one day receive her first kiss.
This novel seemed full of contradictions. A teenaged girl is somehow so buff she can fight off a whole prison of sex starved villains, but this fails to get into any real fight until the last twenty pages of the novel. She also seems a little too passive to be a positive role model. She makes some humane choices but is also like an abused leaf in the wind. Jenna seems more like a sad kid who would see a counselor than a hero leading a rebellion.
For an action novel there was no action. Nothing other than her being tied up comes close to a real fight in the first 300 pages of the novel. If you are looking for a morose tale of a girl set in a depressing future, you might like to check this out. If you want a little action in your reads keep in mind Jenna is the toughest character who never uses her strength to protect her 95% of the time.