Book Review: Out of Control by Sarah Alderson

out of controlWhen 17 year old Liva witnesses a brutal murder she’s taken into police custody for her own protection. But when the police station is attacked and bullets start flying it becomes clear that Liva is not just a witness, she’s a target.

Together with a car thief called Jay, Liva manages to escape the massacre but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit two killers who will stop at nothing to find them.

When you live on the edge, there’s a long way to fall.

By now I know what to expect from a Sarah Alderson book – swoonworthy love interests, plenty of action, and an entertaining whirlwind of crazy exploits.

While you know that the premise is implausible, that’s half the fun – witnessing a teenage girl kicking ass and surviving against the baddies who want her dead. And, of course, getting in cars with boys who steal cars. Firing weapons. Going on the run. Escaping police stations. Dodging gunmen. Jumping subway turnstiles. (Now we’re really living on the edge!)

There were a few issues that irked me though. Firstly, Liva is all “Oh no. I have long legs AND I’m slim AND I have boobs AND exotic European features. I’m so weird looking!” Please. You’re hot and you know it.

Secondly, she assumes that just because Jay (love interest) is Latin American and has a bandanna sticking out of his pocket, he is a gang member. Seriously? Cool yo racial stereotyping already.

And Jay, despite the fact that he knows how to steal cars, is pretty much a sweetie, even if he has some pervy moments. He’s loyal, he’s good to his family, and he sticks around to make sure Liva survives, even though he doesn’t have to.

Apart from the few issues I mentioned, the book was an enjoyable read. I’ll admit, I was expecting the reveal of the baddie to somehow be reversed at the end, in some kind of extra twist, but the author left it as is, which was pretty harsh but also better than some eleventh hour deus ex machina. A fast-paced read that will have you turning the pages even as you occasionally roll your eyes.

Rating: 7/10

ARC received from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. 

Hannah is a twenty-something born and bred Capetonian who adores reading and reviewing books, and encouraging critical discussion on all things pop culture. Currently a politics graduate student, she spent two years working in digital marketing before deciding she missed the student life. Loves QI, travel, dark chocolate, fantasy & YA books, pilates and sarcasm.