Jayne Sparks, a potty-mouthed, rebellious seventeen-year-old and her best friend, shy and bookish Tony Green, have a pretty typical high school existence, until several seemingly unrelated incidents converge, causing a cascade of events that change their lives forever. Jayne and Tony, together with a group of runaway teens, are hijacked and sent into a forest, where nothing and no one are as they seem. Who will emerge triumphant? And what will they be when they do?
The premise of this book really got me interested in where the story would go. When Jayne, her best friend Tony and an array of misfit teens are thrown into the forest and told to survive they could never have been prepared for what they would have to endure. The teens are first taken to a secret location for a "test" and before long things start looking stranger and stranger, especially after they are given weapons and told "there are no rules here, there are no laws".
Jayne is a fantastic main character. Just being in her head makes the book a great read. She is kick ass, sarcastic and hilarious. With the things she says and her snarky attitude the other characters either take a quick liking to her, like Tony, Spike and even Chase, or they hate her guts, like Samantha. Tony, also known as Tones Tones is her best friend. I really liked the way they became friends. There wasn't a perfect connection but it somehow worked out and we get the best of friends. Tony would do anything for Jayne and this is constantly shown throughout the book. The reader can definitely tell that Jayne is the person Tony cares for the most. The other teens all have their own personalities and they are all very different from each other. One of the other teens, Spike quickly turned into one of my favorite secondary characters. He is charming and charismatic and in Jayne's words, "has a great smile". But I feel like Chase had this charming, quite personality that just made me love him.
Most of the adults are unnerving and even a bit disturbing. Jayne's family is split and a mess and Tony's isn't much better. Then the adults running the tests are a bit like mad scientists. There is no real regard for the human life. The reader can pick up the real lack of adult supervision but in the end everything is suddenly revealed and it was something I was not expecting.
The story itself was a bit strange at the start but quickly picked up and turned into an action packed book. There was so much going on, from fantastical creatures, to amazing fighting scenes, to intense topics and somehow a bit of romance too all weaved together to create this great read. It will definitely be a book you will want to pick up soon.