Last weekend I binged out on Rebecca Belliston‘s series Citizens of Logan Pond and absolutely loved it! It is unlike anything I’ve ever read so I knew I needed to share it with you. The series combines all my favorite elements of dystopians, focuses more on the characters than the actual situation, AND it’s clean!!!! Seriously doesn’t get any better 😀 Oh and y’all should be proud of me….it isn’t young adult. It’s actually written for someone my age ? *Please note sarcasm* But seriously, this series should be at the top of your TBR pile. Book 3, The Pursuit comes out later this year and I really don’t know if I can wait for it!
I received this book via Author. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of this review.Life by Rebecca Belliston
Series: Citizens of Logan Pond,
Published by Gated Publishing on 2014-09-15
Length: 357 pages
Reviewing eARC from Author
Her home. Her parents. Her freedom. Gone.
His dreams. His sister. Himself. Lost.
The economy crashed, the country is floundering, and Carrie Ashworth struggles to keep her siblings alive. She has two jobs in her newly-formed, newly-outlawed clan: grow crops to feed thirty-six people, and maintain contact with Oliver Simmons, their local patrolman. Carrie's life is almost content when Greg Pierce shows up. A man with the ambition to help them survive. A man determined to hate her.
Greg sets to work devising systems to protect the clan from the new regime, but it doesn't take long to realize the true reason behind their safety. Patrolman Simmons has fallen for Carrie. When a government raid nearly wipes out their clan, Greg takes it upon himself to give the socially-awkward patrolman what he wants. Only Carrie doesn't like Greg throwing her in Simmons' path, especially when Greg's brusque exterior melts, and she catches a glimpse of the real man underneath. Neither of them realize that Simmons' coworkers have grown suspicious. A clan the size of Logan Pond can't have 'slipped' past his patrols all this time. When their hidden loot goes missing, they want revenge, and the one thread holding Logan Pond together is about to break.
Carrie is forced to choose: follow her heart or save her clan. Life won't let her choose both.
Life by Rebecca Belliston hooked me immediately! The prologue alone was enough to say I would love the book. It starts with the fall of society as we know it and spirals quickly into work *cough* prison *cough* camps. The economy collapsed, civil society is gone, and Carrie Ashworth now has two siblings to care for. In the clan they live in (illegally I might add), 36 people rely on Carrie to grow the food and keep peace with the local patrolman. Carrie does this just fine until Greg Pierce shows up.
I really, really like Carrie! She was only 17 when the economy collapsed and didn’t understand the choices her parents made to bring her and her siblings back to Logan Pond. Now at 22, she’s a sister and parent to her younger siblings having lost her parents during the first year. She’s quiet, shy, insecure but loyal, determined, and very loving! She’s the backbone of what’s left of her family. She’s also a work horse which just makes me like her more. She isn’t the typical heroine you see in today’s young adult dystopians (in other words, she’s no Katniss!) but her quiet determination endeared her to me.
Greg *sighs in exasperation* how do I even begin to describe him? He is a contradiction. In one instance, he is a family man, kind, caring, would do anything to protect what little family he has left. But the death of his sister and losing everything he ever knew, including having a very sick mother, has harden him. He’s bitter, can be quite harsh, and has no love for Carrie Ashworth, the woman his grandmother keeps thrusting at him. I had a hard time reconciling my feelings for him. At one point he’s just plain rude and callous with Carrie and the next he’s sweet and kind. Don’t get me wrong, I understand his severe mood swings. He’s hurting and has walls that rival Berlin’s but he takes it out on poor Carrie. Not cool!
Perhaps my favorite character is May, Greg’s grandmother. She’s this sweet little lady who was lucky enough to own her house before the collapse, making her a citizen of this new bizarre America. Along with her husband, May opens her home to the neighbors that no longer have theirs. Hiding them, protecting them from the patrolmen, and providing their yard for crops and animals, but most importantly May becomes a surrogate for Carrie. She’s her confidante and friend, her mother in place of the one she’s lost. May reminds me a lot of my own grandmother, spunky and loving. She’s just what Carrie needs when life keeps throwing them down.
The plot of this book is as simple as the title. It’s been 5 years since the collapse and the characters are learning to live life again and IF they can do so safely, under the nose of the government. I really connected with these characters and their plight. It’s one of the most realistic dystopians I’ve ever read. I could easily see an economic collapse in America’s future, a totalitarian dictatorship taking place of democracy, and the socialistic aspects (such as requiring citizens to get cards – yellow for landowners, blue for workers, and green for government) which leaves more than 3/4 quarters of the population now illegal. It was scary how easy I could imagine this fate, making the book even more enjoyable. The characters are simply learning to live off the radar, have two sets of threadbare clothes, and eat what they scavenge. It’s really intense and suspenseful yet also comfortable. How’s that for irony?!
Overall I LOVED this book! And I totally owe the author an apology. She sent me the book at the end of 2014. Somehow this slipped my notice and now that I’ve read it I can’t believe I missed it!!! I immediately bought book two and devoured it just as quickly. If you enjoy a good, character-driven dystopian, I highly recommend you check out Citizens of Logan Pond. You won’t regret it!
Liberty by Rebecca Belliston
Series: Citizens of Logan Pond,
Published by Gated Publishing on 2015-07-04
Length: 445 pages
Reviewing eBook from My Book Shelf
Chicago is burning, a rebellion rises, but that’s the least of Carrie’s concerns. Patrolman Simmons is assigned new partners who threaten the security and secrecy of Carrie's clan. Tensions are high, lines are drawn, and Carrie feels a wedge growing between her and Greg.
Haunted by past mistakes and impending tragedies, Greg knows he should distance himself from Carrie. He knows he should let her love the patrolman who can save her and her siblings, especially with money and resources dwindling. But knowing and doing are different matters. He's busy hatching a plan to salvage things when his citizenship backfires, and he’s asked to do the unthinkable.
In this stunning follow-up to Life, loved ones are lost, allegiances are tested, and old enemies plot revenge. At every turn, the citizens of Logan Pond must ask: What price would you pay for the liberty of those you love?
Please note that if you have not read the first book in this series there are spoilers to the first book in this review!
Liberty by Rebecca Belliston is the second book in Citizens of Logan Pond series and I honestly CANNOT handle it’s ending right now!!! I’m dying over here! When does The Pursuit come out?! So this book picks up a few weeks after Mariah and Richard’s wedding. Carrie knows her choice, Oliver knows her choice, and Greg is in denial! But Carrie knows her heart and refuses to give up on Greg when there are so many other things she’s lost. That wall Greg has around his heart is starting to crumble thanks to Carrie and his grandmother’s insistence. He knows what he wants conflicts with what the clan needs. He’s willing to step back and give it all up, but what will it cost him?
As much as I love Carrie and Greg, Oliver stole my heart this book. Oliver Simmons is the mid-thirties patrolman and protector of the Logan Pond clan. He keeps them safe, warns them about sweeps, and is madly in love with Carrie Ashworth. He knows she doesn’t love him, but he can’t tell his heart that. He’s kind, shy to the extreme, and is starting to question his life as a patrolman. Without him, the Logan Pond clan wouldn’t exist, but what about the others he’s forced to arrest and take in? What would happen to them if he protected them like those at Logan Pond?
Carrie has grown a bit of a backbone thanks to Greg in this book. She’s willing to stand up for herself and is finding her place in this new world. Greg is starting to find himself again, or at least the person he was before he lost his baby sister. But then he’s drafted by the government and suddenly he finds himself wanting to run again. But could he be more help to the clan like Oliver if he was with the government? Couldn’t he send his money back to them? And what about Carrie? He could give her citizenship, fight for her, love her like he wants too.
The plot of this one focuses on the rebellion which was mentioned in passing during the first book. “Live free or die” that’s the motto and it’s being thrown around as rebels attack different government facilities. Greg and even Oliver question what they can do to help the rebellion. The clan wants no part of it. Oliver gives them too much safety. But after Greg’s draft notice, people begin questioning. They thought yellow “carries” were safe, obviously they were wrong. Like the first book, this one is fast-pace and suspenseful and yet not. It’s character-driven but this one is more focused on what is happening outside Logan Pond rather than what is happening inside.
Overall I really enjoyed this one! It’s thought-provoking, stressful at times, and left me wanting more. AND THAT ENDING!!!!! I cannot handle it. That is one of the worst cliffhangers ever!!! If you enjoy dystopians, character-driven plots, and looking for a cleanish read, I highly recommend this one!