5 out of 5 Stars
By: Emily McKay
Imagine a world where the United States has been overrun by a mutated vampire virus that has changed every day men and women into hybrid human/vampire creatures called Ticks. In The Farm that is exactly what happened. Scientist found a way to alter people into Ticks that prefer to drink the blood of teenagers but will settle for any living creature. Teenagers from all over the United States have been forced to live in camps were their blood is being farmed to feed the Ticks. Lily is a normal 17 year old girl living on the farm with her twin sister Mel. Mel is severely Autistic and can barely speak. Together the twins devise a plan to escape the farm before their 18th birthday. However their plan is thrown for a loop when Carter (the mysterious bad boy from Lily’s past) shows up at the farm. Carter, Lily, Mel and two others (Joe and McKenna) escape the farm, with the help of Sebastian (the vampire); only to be confronted with reality that the vampire virus has destroyed the human life in the United States as we know it.
Throughout the story details about Carter’s mission to save humanity are revealed; along with how the vampire virus was created and how it can be defeated. I won’t give away any of the juicy details, you’ll have to read the story to get those.
I have read plenty of books with a zombie virus, and more vampire novels than I can count; however, I have never read a book with a vampire virus. I found that aspect of the book to be very refreshing. I also thought the farming of the human blood was very original. Unlike in zombie novels where the surviving humans are just wondering through the country looking for supplies and just trying to survive, The Farm addresses what happens when the government tries to step in and “save” the surviving teenagers and still try to care for those infected with the virus.
Lily and Mel’s relationship is very interesting. Lily is very focused and determined. Her mindset is that Mel is unable to make decisions for herself and that it is up to Lily to care for Mel. Also, there is the sisterly aspect to the relationship. Lily loves and cares so much for her sister that she is willing to risk her life to try and keep Mel safe....to the point that Lily willing to die to keep Mel safe. As an older sister I could relate to the need to try and protect my sister.
Mel on the other hand is very introverted (as most Autistic people are), and has a very strong connection to keep Lily safe. Even though Mel has great difficulty trying to communicate with others by the end of the novel it is very apparent that Mel is willing to sacrifice herself to save Lily.
I am unsure if McKay has any Autistic children or family members, but I think she did a wonderful job of making the reader not only understand what it feels like to be unable to communicate with others properly, but also get the reader to connect with Mel as if she was one of the readers friends or family members.
I also think McKay did an amazing job of choosing the “hero” in this story. I won’t spoil the ending, but I will say that I was very glad that the “hero” turned out to be this person.
Carter is a very complex character. On one hand he is a soldier trying to defeat the vampire virus, but on the other he is simply a teenage boy. Over the course of the story the reader learns the Carter truly means well toward Lily, but he must go about things the a certain way. By the end of The Farm it is pretty apparent that Carter is willing to do whatever it take to keep the group safe, but not at the cost of risking what is left of humanity.
The ending to the book was kind of bitter sweet, and left me with a lot of questions. What happens now? Will their plan work? Where does Lily go from here? When I finished the last page, I was very upset that the book was over. This is not uncommon, but this time I was upset enough that I went to The Farms official webpage to do some research. McKay has posted on the website that there will be a sequel, called The Liar and it is set to be released in November 2013. Although I am upset that I have to wait until November to find out what happens to Lily, Mel and the others; I am very glad that there will be at least another book to wrap up the loose ends!
Over all, I loved this book! I thought it was very original and thought out. It was very well written as well! I would recommend The Farm to any one 12 years and up. Compared to some of the other novels that I have blogged about, this one is definitely one of the least violent. There was no sexual conduct at all. The language was very mild and very few and far in between. Since vampires are involved there is, obviously, some gore but it is very mild. The fight scenes are very thought out but not to the point that they are ridiculous, and they are not overly graphic.
For more information of The Farm go to www.//escapethefarm.com/ This is the website the I visited to get information on The Liar. Enjoy!
“You fight for what you believe in. You fight for what’s right, even when it’s hard. Even when you want to give up. Fighting for what was right, no matter the odds, was heroic enough. You didn't need a superpower to do the right thing. You only needed the will to get it done.”