ACID by Emma Pass

ACIDACID by Emma Pass
Published by: Corgi Children's Books on April 25, 2013
Genre: Action, Dystopian, Science Fiction
Pages: 431
Source: Purchased
Buy on AmazonBook Details
Rating: ★★½

2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal, controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or muttered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a bloody crime she struggles to remember.

The only female inmate in a violent high-security prison, Jenna has learned to survive by any means necessary. And when a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID—and to uncover the truth about what really happened on that dark night two years ago.

Oh, ACID. You could have been amazing. You could have been wonderful. With a cover like that and a badass main character, you could have been the love of my bookish life. But, alas. After a glorious start, you kind of crashed and burned.

I have a handy dandy enjoyment graph to illustrate my thoughts:

ACID by Emma Pass - Enjoyment Graph

ACID starts out strong—with a 17 year old badass who can take on fully grown, perverted men, and an epic prison break. I LOVED how Jenna kicked some serious ass and wasn’t afraid to stand up for herself. Then things immediately get moving with a prison break and Jenna is whisked away by mysterious “good samaritans”. The author feeds us some sneak peaks of what is to come, and promises us information and background story! ….which we don’t get until about 250 pages later.

The problem with ACID is that the questions just kept building and building, until we finally got answers 150 pages from the end, but at that point I had already guessed all the answers anyway. I hate it when you don’t have that moment of clarity and understanding along with the main character. I hate it when the main character has to catch up to you. I knew the answers (or at least strongly suspected), but then she found out hundreds of pages later and was like OH MY GOD! And I was like “Way ahead of you, girlie.”

So, in the beginning we get fed our questions, but before we get the answers we are treated to: a long “prisoners on the run” sequence, a half-developed love interest, and an entirely useless 75 pages of “My memory has been wiped” before the grand finale. View Spoiler »

There were a lot of interesting ideas in ACID but they don’t get as fleshed out as I would have liked. Overall we’re left with a pretty vague sense of the future and what London is like, and we have ZERO sense of what the rest of the world is like (what’s going on with the US or the rest of Europe?). However, there are a few cool snippets in the book that I did really like, including news articles, transcripts between ACID agents, and letters. They were an interesting and different way of presenting information, even if they did feel a bit random at times.

But so many of the events in ACID just felt random and strung together, rather than seamlessly intertwined. View Spoiler »

If I had to compare ACID to another book, I would pick Delirium by Lauren Oliver or Matched by Ally Condie. ACID has a very similar vibe, with a futuristic world, a corrupt government, government-sponsored matchmaking, and completely controlled lives (you get told when you can have a baby, what job you will have, etc.). And then we have the rebellion aspect.

Ultimately, ACID ended up being only okay. So many parts of it felt half developed, unnecessary, or just waned entirely (like Jenna’s badassness). Other than the beginning—which I thought was awesome—I didn’t particularly love any part of this book… although I didn’t particularly hate any parts either. It was just.. ‘meh’.

The Verdict


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  1. Yikes. I wasn’t really looking forward to it but now I know to stay away from Acid. And what a waste of time with the useless 75 pages! Plus, I don’t like when I have figured out the suspense waaaayyy before the character does >.< Come one, use your brain and speed up! Thanks for the honest review, Ashley! This book is definitely marked off from my list 🙂

  2. i had a lot of trouble with this book – ultimately rated it a one star, you were kinder than me to it. LOL. I just could NOT get past the fact that a 15 year old girl was sent to an all-male adult prison…did they not have prisons for women in this futuristic time? Or did women just not commit crimes?? There are no juvenile prisons?? And it was NEVER explained just why a 15 year old GIRL was sent to an ADULT MALE prison!!!! If there’d been a good explanation of that, I could have got past it. But there wasn’t. And even tho she obviously picked up some serious fighting skills while she was there (where?? out of a BOOK??), she certainly didn’t have them when she went in…so no way would she have been completely unharmed at the beginning. Meh. Way too full of implausibilities for me to enjoy it.

    Jaki recently posted: The 5th Wave – Rick Yancey
    1. That’s a good point! I didn’t really think about that for some reason, but now that you mention it, it seems so obvious! LOL!

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