Alone. Abandoned. Threatened. Natalie has lost all hope for a better future. Everything she’s known and everyone she’s ever loved is gone, and it’s up to her to get her old life back. In Michael Evans’s first novel, Control Freakz, Natalie’s journey toward a better life begins.
When Protocol 00 is enacted, Natalie’s family is taken by the government, along with the families of her two best friends, Ethan and Hunter. With nothing to lose, and the threat of government hitmen kidnapping them at any moment, the three must battle to survive in a horrid, post-apocalyptic world run by President Ash and his invasive government. They want answers. And they’re willing to jeopardize everything in desperate pursuit.
Risking ruthless leaders, attempted mind control, and her very existence on the planet, Natalie, along with Hunter and Ethan, will stop at nothing in their quest to regain everything they’ve ever known. Her spirits crushed and her will to live destroyed, Natalie knows everything is dead and gone, and soon she will be, too.
Memories connect us to the past, and can often cause us to long for a better future, but they can drive our minds into a state of hell if a better future is unattainable. Nevertheless, Natalie’s hope for a better a future remains.
I was so excited to finally read a YA book written by a teen, and this definitely did not disappoint me!
Natalie is with her friends Ethan and Hunter when their lives are torn apart and then she has to hide with them. They are running away from the government, and encounter others along their journey that they have to decide whether to trust or not.
The world-building of this novel was amazing. I loved reading about the new government and how things had changed in the dystopian world.
One of the main things that I also liked about this book was the character development. Natalie’s small group changes so much in this book as they encounter new people, move away from family, and discover new things about each other. I felt that the teens seemed to really act their age and were relatable in some ways, even in their immaturity in some instances.
I also enjoyed the plot speed. Nothing seemed too slow or too fast, everything just moved along quite smoothly. I especially enjoyed the twists. The book was a perfect length. I didn’t feel like I was dragging through it, but I did feel satisfied after finishing it.
My only real complaint about this novel was the ending. The ending just seemed confusing, and I wasn’t really sure what was going on. Everything else before that had been smooth, but all of a sudden I didn’t understand who the villain really was. Everything smoothed out in the last few pages but it was a bit rocky during the middle of the climax. I think the ending could have been an easier read.
Nevertheless, for a first book written by a teen, this was excellent. I will definitely be reading the rest of Evans’ work, and I suggest that if you are a teen or have a teen that you read it too. This is finally a book that is more relatable than others simply because it is not written by an adult who is trying to either make teens seem like adults or make teens seem like middle schoolers.
I would recommend this novel to lovers of YA fiction, especially teens who want to support an author their own age.
I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.
Overall Rating: 4/5