Delilah S. Dawson
Release: April 14, 2015
NO ONE READS THE FINE PRINT.Review: Did you ever wonder what the first day in a dystopia was like? Before everyone was divided into Houses or Districts? Before most people are even aware that their world has changed? That's the world of Hit. Patsy Klein is one of very few people who know that Valor National Bank has bought up the national debt and now they own the nation.
The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.
Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?
Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.
Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.
Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.
Patsy has a loaded gun with Valor National stamped on the side, a postal service uniform, an old mail truck and a list of ten names. She has five days to visit everyone on the list, read them each a prepared speech and give them a choice - pay off their debt, become an indentured bounty hunter like her, or die.
She only recognizes one name on the list, but it seems to have been compiled just for her. Each hit means something personal to Patsy - a chance to avenge a wrong, a look into her future or an opportunity to learn about her past and her absentee father (if she didn't have to kill the people who could teach her.) It's horrifying to think that a bank could have such personal information, especially when she doesn't have it herself. As if the name of your second grade best friend is in your credit report somewhere.
Patsy starts to put together information not only about her past, but about Valor National, and begins to question what they told her. I found the conspiracy theory story line intriguing and I'm curious about how it will develop in the rest of the series. And I found it frightening that a corporation could exert so much influence so quietly that no one noticed it was happening.
Even though the dystopian government's just getting started, Patsy's world already feels post-apocalyptic in some ways. I was often struck by how bleak her town has become with even the wealthy neighborhoods hit hard by the recession and falling into disrepair.
I think that's why I enjoyed her relationship with Wyatt, even though his reasons for staying with her weren't really clear. They are attracted to each other, but they often felt like partners in a twisted cop show. He's the veteran who lets the young hot shot take the lead, but he bails her out when she gets in over her head. Patsy calls him her shield but he's also her anchor, keeping her grounded when everything around her is changing.
Hit is powerful and emotional and not for the faint of heart. This is not one of those YAs that I'd be okay with my twelve year-old niece reading. The violence is probably R rated, but seeing it through the eyes of the person committing it and dealing with the emotional consequences is what really requires a more mature audience. It broke my heart at times, but it kept me riveted with its action and intrigue. I loved this book and I can't wait for Strike!
Recommended for fans of: Strong, quirky heroines, semi-reformed bad boys, YA dystopian thrillers
ARC provided by the publisher