Review: Branded (Kindle Edition)


Publisher: Month9Books

Author: Abi Ketner and Missy Kalicicki

Series: Sinners; Book One

Genre: Young Adult/YA, Romance, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Read: 28th June 2015


A teenage girl is accused of a crime she didn’t commit, and is forced to live in the Hole, a place where all criminals are forced to endure inhuman horrors and all hope seems lost, until she falls in love with her captor, a crime punishable by death.


I’m going to start with an unpopular opinion – I didn’t enjoy this book all that much. I was really annoyed with Lexi at times and Jesus did Cole make me want to stop reading.
Lexi suffered a trauma and it shows through how she acts but it confuses me why she would fall in love with Cole so quickly. Her abuser was her stepfather, a male authority figure, which is what Cole is. I have no experience with trauma or abuse but I would guess it would stand to that a person who has been abused would shy away from someone who’s in the same position their abuser had been in?
I thought, personally, that Cole was portrayed unrealistically. I haven’t met a guy who would act like that, and my boyfriend is very sappy/lovey-dovey and all that (while retaining some of his masculinity because he would hate me if he ever saw this and I didn’t defend it) type.
I did love Zeus though. And Bruno! I found those two to be portrayed really well, how Zeus is cuddling up to Lexi and licking her the way dogs do and Bruno is like, yeah, bro, I’m your guard but you’re a scrawny little thing so I’ll show you how to defend yourself.
Sutton… I feel like he was just there for a plot device a lot of the time, especially at the end for when we find out who the commander is (now that was a shock! I did not see that one coming!) rather than being the good doctor who’s there to help.
I don’t have any brothers so I can’t really comment on the way Keegan acts, but from what I can tell it was in typical big brother fashion and I enjoyed his character a lot.
The settings and the revolution for a free justice system are what got me through this story. Cole and Lexi really irritated me and my boyfriend even asked me why I was continuing to read it when I was so frustrated at it.
I will admit that for a while, Lexi does redeem herself for me but then after the whole plot twist shebang and when she’s back with Cole I was like omg pls stop.
I also found that when they action was happening, it was going too fast. Some parts were so slow and I was wishing it would hurry up and get to the point and then others were like whoa, wait, what actually just happened?
Another thing that I didn’t like about this story is how quick these two are to fall in love. I felt like the story took place over a very short period of time and it was like BAM! We’re in love.
I just generally didn’t like this book, I found very little enjoyment out of reading it compared to all the hype around it, it really just flopped for me. The only redeeming qualities were what was going on in the Hole, outside of Lexi and Cole’s little world, because at the beginning I did feel like this book had a lot of potential, but then it all just went downhill for me.


A lot of people were comparing this to the Hunger Games and Divergent, but I find that it falls very below these series. I would more put this on par with Twilight, just without the vampires and werewolves. I can understand why it would be compared to these books, there’s a rising against the ones in control, but the Hunger Games and Divergent were more about the revolutions and freeing the people whereas Branded was about how Lexi and Cole want to be able to love each other freely.


I have given this book a 3/5🌟
(Purely for what is happening outside of Lexi and Cole. That stuff seemed interesting. The way it focused on Lexi and Cole dragged it down for me)

You can find and buy it here


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