Author: Zach Hines
Genre: YA, Sci-Fi,
Length: 320 pages
Publication Date: August 7th, 2018
Source: ARC - Edelweiss+
Purchase: Amazon, Book Depository
In an alternate world startlingly close to our own, humans have nine lives—and they can’t wait to burn straight through them.
As you shed lives, you shed your awkward phases: one death is equal to one physical and mental upgrade. Julian’s friends are obsessed with the idea of burning lives, but Julian is determined to stay on his first for as long as he can. His mother, the ultimate cautionary tale, burned through her first eight in just a few years, and Julian has no intention of succumbing to the debilitating rebirth sickness that she inflicted on herself.
But the regime has death incentives aimed at controlling overpopulation, and Julian realizes that he’s going to have to burn at some point—especially when he becomes a target for Nicholas, the manipulative leader of the Burners, the school’s suicide club. And when Julian eventually succumbs, he uncovers suspicious gaps in the rebirth system that may explain exactly why his mother went so far down the rabbit hole years ago. Along with a group of student dissenters, Julian sets out to find answers and is soon on the verge of exposing the greatest conspiracy ever unleashed on the world.
He has just eight more lives to uncover the brutal truth.
I enjoyed this book tremendously. At first I thought this was so strange but, in a good way. The idea is that you have nine lives to burn in this alternate world. Usually, you die in a controlled environment like a clinic. But, there is a group of kids at the high school that call themselves the Burners that "die" via anyway they want i.e. by fire, drowning, shooting etc. They get a number tattooed to their neck with the number of the life they are on. But, it changes after each life you "burn".
Our hero of the story, Julian, is on his first life and doesn't want to "burn". The problem with that is, you are required to do this, and it gives you special bonuses to "burn". Meanwhile, his mother burned her lives, and as she did so, she changed for the worse, where she didn't recognize her family anymore and went a little crazy from "dying". Something was happening to her each time she burned a life and she passed away. Julian knows that something very bad happened and he wants that information so he hooks up with the leader of the "Burners" to get that it. They are elitist group that in the beginning Julian doesn't want any part of. It's the popular kids and Julian is just not interested in that or is he?
Without giving the book away (which I probably said to much already). He has to go through his journey of what burning lives means and of what happened to his mother. That is a need that consumes him. It was well written and after I got over the horror of them having to "burn" their lives. You are supposed to have "burned" so many lives by a certain age. Well, I really got into this book. I was rooting for Julian the whole book because he didn't want to conform to do it. He was scared and I don't blame him. I got that the book is all about peer pressure - pressure to from friends - burn a life. Peer-pressure in the form of going to college, peer pressure to get a job - his dad. I get it. It just took me a while to understand it. I get that it has suicide written all over this book "burning" but, it's a great book and I recommend it because it's not a normal book, in the sense that you have to think about the reading, and what the author is trying to get across. For me that is the best kind of book. It had action, thrills and humor in it! I would say this is for New Adult teens and not younger teens tho. I would recommend for 16+. Overall, this was a well written and executed book!
I give this book a 4.5 of 5 stars!
About the Author:
Zach Hines is a novelist and screenwriter. Originally from West Virginia, he was based in Hong Kong, where for over ten years he worked as a journalist. He now lives in Los Angeles. Nine is his debut novel.
Connect with the Author
Disclaimer: I received this ARC from Edelweiss+ with no expectations of a review. No one sponsored or endorsed this post. All opinions are honest and my own. All information on the book or author can be found at the publishers website. Thank you to Edelweiss+ & HarperTeen Publishing for giving me a chance to read this novel.