Release Date: June 11th, 2013352 pagesPublisher: HarperTeen
When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.
Rush is a thrilling and original novel. I wasn't expecting it to like it so much, so maybe that's why it exceeded my expectations so much; or most probably, the novel just really is this good. The mystery surrounding the plot and the characters was also one thing that captivated me from the beginning, I wasn't sure what to expect and many twists and turns were completely unexpected, therefore this novel was like a small box of surprises.
You die and you get stuck in a game-like reality, in which you fight against aliens to protect the world; plus if you die there, you die in real world too, period. Let's just start by saying that this plot is completely unexpected, original and well, freaking awesome?! Furthermore, the author is a suspense-meister. There are so many secrets and mysterious details surrounding Miki's new reality, which makes the novel more alive and difficult to figure out. There are small problems that come with this territory, since the description of this reality wasn't so full of detail, therefore the world-building was a bit lacking. I do have higher hopes for the sequel, though.
The characters were the best part of the novel. Miki was a great heroine, kick-ass and strong, full of curiosity (even a bit too much) and intelligent, and I loved that she was half-Asian! But the show stealer was Jackson Tate. You don't know anything about this guy, but he just has this allure and you can't help but like him. It's a character full of unexpected secrets, and those are almost always the best to read about. The many other secondary characters were a bit obscured by my (and Miki's) obsession with Jackson, although they were fitting and complemented the story really well.
Rush was the novel that most surprised me in 2013 up until now. I read the whole thing so fast and now I can't get my hands fast enough on the sequel. That's the downside of ARCs, since I have an even longer wait till the next one comes out. But I'm certain that it will be worth it. The ending was a huge cliffhanger and I can't wait to see which direction the author will take regarding the plot and the characters. Hopefully it will also be a small box full of surprises.
A huge, huge thanks to HarperTeen for providing me with a copy of this worderful novel for review!