Friday, 5 July 2013

Book Review: Stung by Bethany Wiggins

In a world in crisis, children are the future. Part of the cure. Not now. Children are deadly. Marked one to ten. Fiona is a TEN. She just doesn't know it yet . . . She doesn't know her true strength.

Fiona doesn't remember going to sleep. But she has woken to find her entire world has changed - her house is abandoned and broken, and her neighbourhood is barren and dead. Even stranger is the tattoo on her right wrist that she doesn't remember getting but somehow knows she must cover at any cost. And she's right. When the honeybee population collapsed, a worldwide pandemic occurred and the government tried to bio-engineer a cure. But instead the vaccination turned people into ferocious, deadly beasts. They have been branded as a warning to unvaccinated survivors. Key people needed to rebuild society are protected inside a fortress-like wall. Fiona has awakened branded, alone and on the wrong side of the wall.

I am pretty sure this book should have been amazing; on paper it had all the elements needed to be a great book. I was so intrigued and was almost certain that I was going to love this. But I didn’t, I didn’t love this book at all.

The first issue was that from the start this book was confusing and not everything added up. There was little explanation as to what was going on, and I had to re-read the blurb in order to get some idea of what was happening. This is not just a problem at the beginning of the book but all the way through. There is a lot of telling not showing and a general lack of world building, detail and structure which adds to the confusion.

The other big issue is Fiona the MC who is just silly. She is constantly doing ridiculous

things which made me want to bang my head against a brick wall. She wakes up in a desolate world being chased by her mutated and violent brother, she thinks she is 13, she has no idea where her parents are and despite coming across people often she never once asks what has happened, where her family is, what the tattoo on the back of her hand means, why the world has ended. She is captured by soldiers and she just sits there in a daze and doesn’t utter a word or try and find out what is going on, or protest her innocence. Instead she spends all her time thinking about how dreamy her captor is. I could talk about ways in which Fiona is ridiculous all day but it would ruin the book for those who want to read it so I will refrain. She is also a complete Mary Sue she is perfect, beautiful, saviour to the world etc, etc.

The romance was no better; there was no real reason why Fiona and Bowen are together. I get that he has always had a crush on her but that was not really explored and I think this book would have been a bit better and the romance more believable had it been. Fiona appears to fall in love with him almost instantaneously and they suddenly can’t live without each other. It was boring, it was unbelievable and together they lacked chemistry. They made no sense together at all and I got the feeling that Fiona would have fallen in love with whoever was available such was the extent of her neediness.

There was also a lot of cheesiness and I mean A LOT of cheesiness. Gosh, it was never ending.

“I kiss him like I am the blood transfusion he needs to stay alive”

That is a prime example of the cheesiness, this line was also used twice which was just not needed, once was plenty. There is a reason that she is a blood transfusion he needs and that reason is cheesy to. 

The more this book went on the odder and more confusing things became. Stuff was just randomly happening and there were people and I honestly just did not get it.

2 stars

Published July 4th 2013 by Bloomsbury Childrens Books in the UK & April 2nd 2013 by Walker Childrens.  A free copy was provided for review.  Images courtesy of Goodreads.

Review by Kate Phillips


  1. I thought about picking this one up awhile back because I liked the whole Bee/Dystopian concept, and thought how different and intriguing it would be. Great review and thanks for sharing. :)

  2. It's a pity that it was so disappointing. At least the cover is awesome.

  3. Oh wow this sounds awful which is just so disappointing because that is a sexy cover. I love that cover and the synopsis makes it sound intense but yeah I'll be skipping this one.


Thank you for commenting!