Series: The Game #1
Published by Katherine Tegen Books on June 11, 2013
So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?
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 was one of my most highly anticipated books in 2013. I first heard about it in May during the very first Tea Time (Hosted by Margot and Aubry of Epic Reads/HarperTeen) I ever watched. I remember because they were discussing three “alien” books that came out/were coming out between April and June of that year. I adored the cover of Rush and I was excited about the premise. I finally got around to reading it and… Well, let’s just say it was the biggest disappointment on my 2013 Most Anticipated list. It took me NINE days to get through it. It felt like two weeks, like I was reading through quicksand. The plot was boring, the pacing was agonizingly slow and I never connected with the characters.
I didn’t connect with Miki, the main character, at all. I didn’t necessarily dislike her, but I never liked her either. She kind of just went along with everything. She was very brave in the beginning and she stepped up at the end, but she was just blah for the majority of the book. I felt like her backstory was something we were supposed to feel sorry about, therefore making us feel sorry for her. But again, I just never connected to her or her story.
I despised Jackson. You know how, sometimes, you’re SUPPOSED to despise the love interest in the beginning? He’s supposed to be a jerk and then you end up falling in love with him in the end? Yeah, that didn’t happen. He was cruel, vague, indifferent. I never felt the chemistry between him and Miki. Their attraction seemed to be superficial and never went much deeper than that. They were basically the most boring YA couple I’ve ever encountered.. There was only one moment when I felt bad for Jackson, but that was it. I never liked him at all, not even at the very end when the “cliffhanger” made most people gasp in shock and sob.
Speaking of, this “cliffhanger” was the reason I held off on reading this book. Everyone told me it was evil and would kill my feels, so they told me to wait until Push (The Game #2) came out, then binge read them. Let’s just say that ending did NOT kill my feels, I’m not left gasping in shock and though I think I will read Push at some point, I’m not desperate for it.
Moving back to the characters.. I didn’t like Luca. His part in the “love triangle” felt unnecessary, like it was a love triangle just for the sake of having a love triangle. There was no point to it, his jealousy of Jackson was obnoxious (and vice versa) and there were no sparks, no chemistry, with him and Miki, either. Plus, it is very, VERY obvious who she will end up with. Don’t tell me this is a spoiler, because if you have read the book, or once you do, you will realize how obvious it is.
I loved Richelle. She was a fun, spunky character and she was kind to Miki. But that didn’t end well… I feel like we didn’t get to know Tyrone that well, so I have nothing to say about him. As far as Miki’s friends go… They were awful, mindless minions. Carly was a bitch (pardon my language) and I wanted to bitch slap her and her little pack of chickens every time we encountered them in the story. There was NO reason for their treatment of Miki. Especially.. As quoted from the book (page 220), “Carly’s the peacemaker. She gives everyone the benefit of the doubt.” But…. she NEVER did that for Miki. She also jumped on Miki for every little thing and never let her explain. She was always quick to get angry and stalk away. HOW IS THAT BEING A PEACEKEEPER?!?!?!?! HOW IS THAT THE MARK OF SOMEONE WHO GIVES EVERYONE THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT?!?!?!?!?
Raging so hard right now.
Anyway.. Another thing that annoyed me was that this book was full of stereotypes, cliches and over-used lines. I won’t point them out here, so you can make your own mind up as you read the book. Maybe they won’t annoy you as much as they annoyed me. Who knows? but a few of them almost caused me to stop reading. Speaking of… Why did I not DNF this book, you ask? Well, everyone said it got better, that it was amazing and epic and the cliffhanger would destroy my feels. As I mentioned, it was one of my top 2013 most anticipated reads. So… *Shrugs* I truly hoped it would get better. The last 50-60 pages actually weren’t bad and I’m definitely glad I pushed through and read them. They were the first part of the book that actually had me excited and they are the only reason I’m planning to read Push – though not for awhile. It’s low on my priority list.
On top of all the cliches and stereotypes, this book was horrifyingly predictable – and not in the fun way. Sometimes, I love being able to guess things early on. But I guessed ALL THE THINGS in this book. Then again, especially with one thing in particular, Silver pretty much shoved it in our faces. She never stopped talking about it. Literally, every few pages it was hinted at/mentioned/discussed. It was like she wasn’t even trying to keep it a secret for a big reveal later on in the book. It was totally anti-climatic when we finally found out.
Another thing was the lack of answers, the non-answers, the skirting around the answers.. I don’t want an info dump, but I don’t want to go 311 pages before finally getting answers, either. So frustrating! And the final frustrating note.. There wsere two things mentioned – one plot point and one character and… WHAT?!? I don’t remember them being mentioned in the beginning AT ALL. That initial mention of either thing is… Blank. It confused the crap out of me because every time they were mentioned, I was like “Who is that character?? When were they mentioned?” And… “What?? When was that plot point mentioned out loud? I don’t remember them saying that at all!” … So confusing!
Okay.. I’m done raging against this book. I probably should have DNF’d but I kept hoping it would get better. The last 50-60 pages were definitely slightly more entertaining, but overall I was immensely disappointed with this book. I seem to be the black sheep, though, so I definitely recommend it. Maybe you’ll like what I did not.