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Book Review: The Girl Who Dared to Think by Bella Forrest

Hello Readers & Friends,

Let's talk about Bella Forrest, first of all.
She is the biggest Kindle author on Amazon, and nobody knows who the hell she is. No photos, no interviews, no nothing. I suspect it's actually a group of YA writers. Why do I think this? She is churning out, sometimes, several books per month. It's not possible to write that much, plus editing and marketing for reach title. Her Shade of Vampire series has over 60 books in it!
Another reason is that I've read many of her smaller series (vampires aren't my jam) and have very varying results. I tried one series and found it terrible, stopping after Book 1. I read The Gender Games and loved it, then read The Girl Who Dared series and loved it, and at the end noticed a Gender Games crossover, with characters from one world being mentioned. So it's extremely likely the same person who wrote The Gender Games wrote The Girl Who Dared, whilst whoever wrote the other series I tried was just not as good.
Anyway, this is all speculation.

I wanted to talk about The Girl Who Dared to Think, which is a totally under-acknowledged book. This is a re-read, I read this series a while ago and have been feeling really low recently, struggling to find the motivation to do anything, even read. I knew I needed something I loved to get me back into things, so I pulled this one out of my old Kindle. I'm so glad. Still 5 stars from me!

The story is set in a tower. World-building is incredible, but basically it's the future and the planet has become too toxic to survive. People are now living inside this huge tower, divided into subsections of society to help maintain the tower. This tower is ran by Scipio, an AI who controls pretty much everything and keeps all in order.
Liana Castel is our protagonist, a 'knight' in the policing section of the tower. But she has a problem - her number has dropped to a four. Every person in the tower has their number visible on their wrists for all to see - the higher the number, the more they are of service to the tower. The more negative their thoughts, the lower their number drops, until they are considered dissidents.
Liana is treading dangerous ground. When her number hits 3, she will be forced to the Medica unit to undergo treatment against her will. If she hits two, she will be isolated. Nobody knows what happens to Ones.
Liana must find a way to get her number up, fast. And when a criminal offers her a strange opportunity, she finds herself entangled in a fight against Skipio.

This book is, obviously, sharing a lot of underlying messages and metaphors about mental health and the treatment of depression. The tower is so well described and all the factions built with such rich history and back stories that it's so easy to lose yourself in this new world.

There's a great mix of characters and personalities in the group, and I like the slow-burn romance between Lianna and Grey.The book ends on a cliffhanger, obviously, because there are five books in the series. I honestly can't recommend this enough for anyone who loved The Hunger Games, Divergent or anything of that ilk.

C x


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