MY NOVEL THOUGHTS:
When I had first heard of Cargo I was scrolling through my Instagram and the first thing that caught my attention was a picture of the cover… It was absolutely gorgeous. So naturally, I went on Goodreads to read the blurb and I was intrigued but a bit skeptical (as I have been toward all dystopian novels as of late). I decided I really wanted to review this book on my blog and contacted the author. I’m glad I did.
Cargo begins with a kinda long prologue, which I’ll be honest I’m not a fan of prologues but I didn’t let this deter me. I read this novel in two sittings (would've been one but I got sick) and was into it the whole time. This novel is fast paced and keeps you wondering the whole time. So, let’s get down to it haha.
What I liked: I think the first thing about this noel that struck a chord for me was the main protagonist, Cassidy, she was a solid voice. Jen created a funny, clever, sarcastic, shy-ish, sly and most importantly relatable character in Cassidy. I loved that even though Cass knew she had a bit of feelings towards the male MC, Nathan, she didn’t take his crap and that she stood up for herself.
Now Nathan is made out to be this standoff-ish guy and unlikeable with this dry humor but in all honestly… He’s the type of guy I would totally hang out with because he is just is so nonchalant about some things that I’m just like, “yeah, okay, because you know it’s not a life or death situation we’re talking about”. So, I’m cool with Nathan’s character and personality, I like him.
The “romance” of this book is not something that is really brought up in this book till the very ending and even then it’s not outstanding thing… which is good! Okay, because it can’t only be me, who hates when the main characters suddenly falls in this deep love after three days of knowing each other… So, this is great in my book. Cassidy’s and Nathan's relationship is literally the definition of frenemies. I can tell you wholeheartedly that they’re, relationship, friendship is entertaining and is never dull. Their constant banter is seriously hilarious and super sassy.
Although I wasn’t a huge fan of Nars (Cass’s best friend), I did like Adrienne (Cass’s other best friend), she was the typical outgoing best friend every shy or sarcastic girl has, but I liked her anyways. I think my favorite thing about this book was that characters weren't just left behind and forgotten. Cassidy refers to her parents and best friends often. After being tossed into a major life change, I think Jen did good with bringing out understandable reactions and thoughts from Cass. I mean if you went through a big life change wouldn’t you mourn what you once had too?
What I didn’t like: Three things that I didn’t like, one major (at least for me) and two minor problems.
One minor thing was Nars, like I said, I just didn’t like him (but every book has that one person, am I right?). The second minor thing was that Cassidy talks about ETs and hybrids but we never actually bump into them in this novel, as far as we know that is. To me this is a minor thing because I feel like this was done on purpose to lead into the second novel of this series.
Literally my main problem with this book was that the characters said the Lord's name in vain quite a few times. To me that’s a big no no, to other people this might not be a problem but to me it is.
MY OVERALL RATING:
After I sat back and reflected on this novel properly, I felt like a 3.5 was a more honest rating on my behalf... Technically. But, I really enjoyed this novel and was content reading it the whole time so I'm giving this novel 4 stars.
Jen has written this book in a simplistic way, in that it’s easy to understand but then you have some metaphors thrown at you that you can’t help but commend Castleberry on her clever writing style. I really liked this book, I totally recommend y'all get a copy of this skillfully written, action packed novel.
Cargo BLURB || source: Goodreads
The earth has been reduced to a singular continent, governed by extra-terrestrials, collapsed by nuclear weapons residue and wracked with radiation sickness. Only one viable territory remains, and access there is restricted by a mysterious selection process. Everyone hopes to be chosen for transport. Everyone but Cass.
Seventeen year old Cassidy Hartinger has spent the past eleven years living in a government-maintained bunker. She should be thrilled when a handsome transporter arrives to take her to the Reservation. So why does she feel like he's dragging her, kicking and screaming, straight into the anti-paradise?
Faced with gun-wielding survivalists and elemental catastrophes, will Cass make it more than two steps out of the bunker? Will her journey to peace and safety in the Reservation turn out to be the most perilous thing she's encountered so far?
Fast-paced action and a tumultuous teenage romance will keep readers begging for more installments of The Reservation Trilogy!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jen Castleberry
Jen Castleberry is a North Carolina native currently based in Virginia Beach, VA. She is a Communications graduate and proud ECU alum.
When she's not writing, Castleberry works as a Veterinary Assistant at a local animal shelter.
Her affection for all critters, large and small, comes home with her at the end of each day. She frequently lends her house and heart to homeless animals in need of foster.
Her own clan of silly creatures include an Akita, a Basset Hound, a Maine Coon, and of course, her active-duty husband.
At twenty-seven, Castleberry hopes to soon realize a life-long dream of writing professionally.
The first installment of her YA debut series premiered in January of 2016.
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