December 24, 2015

Book Review: Five Seven Five (The Boy with Words #1) by C.E. Wilson

Five Seven Five (The Boy with Words #1) by C.E. Wilson
Rating: /5

*I received digital copy of this book from the author in exchange of an honest review*

Genre: YA (Fantasy)
Pub. Date: November 18th, 2015

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Five Seven Five brought us to meet White Frost, a barely nineteen years old girl who lives in a world where colors is limited. She knew white, as in white hair of hers and her cousin’s, Shade. She knew pink, as in pink curtain that divides inside her room to the quarter hallway outside. She knew blue, as in blue curtain on male quarters. But most of all it’s almost always gray and black that she’d seen all her life. Gray-black wall, gray-black ceiling, gray-black road, all practically created a dull gray black world. It’s not helping that the President seemed intent in spreading fearful speeches about the world outside theirs, making everyone to lead a dire life among the boring colors around them. White was no exception.
Only the Chosen Ones got chances to see The Unknown. They would go once a month to collect supplies for the people and had been told to swear an oath not to reveal what they’d seen in The Unknown to the un-chosen. Lucky for White, Shade was one of them that she would often get ‘illegal’ papers of words―which both satisfied and mostly only deepened her hunger of knowledge―from the Unknown; unlucky for White that she had to bear the risk of losing the only family she had every time Shade’s off to one of their trips to the world beyond red Zone Eleven.
But White was tired of theoretical knowledge. Sure the words were amazing, mysteriously so. And Shade had risked so much to collect them all under tight scrutiny of President’s minions. Yet White realized that there should be more to all these, more to the words, more to what scriptures said about the Creators that everyone was oh-so-afraid so much, more to a bunch of ‘terror’ speeches President Copper delivered every single time. She knew Shade knew about the words and the Unknown―being a Chosen One forbid him to tell her anything. So what a girl like White should do in this complicated circumstance? Trying to escape? Go against all the rules she’d listened to all her life?
White’s age might make her not eligible yet to be the Chosen One, but her passion obviously surpassed the other factors. And that’s exactly what the girl would do: chase after her passion even if it would kill her in the end.

A New(-to-me) Fantasy Plot
Well, I originally wanted to just insert Goodreads synopsis here but I would want to give a further insight about the book to others. To be honest, though, the blurb didn’t quite intrigue me at first but strangely the cover did. I am just so tired of pictures of swords or girls in heroic costumes on the cover of fantasy books that this simple cover of Five Seven Five gave me a hope of finding a ‘different’ kind of fantasy plot. It did.
I could not really grasp the story from the beginning since my thought was still trapped among stories of dystopian world. Even the first two chapters reminded me of Red Rising that I had to brave myself to meet yet another full-action dystopian (really, it’s just me who’s not into fantasy books so much, though). But keep reading I did. Then the first twist came which made me feels like I had met the intriguing point. When the scene eventually took place in the Unknown, that’s exactly when I was hooked. I was surprised that this book brought a new-to-me concept of fantasy plot here. I’ve never read this kind before and it surprised me that I actually enjoyed it a lot.

Intriguing Writing
Overall, the writing style is both good and intriguing. I loved the simple poems inserted here and there within the pages. But most importantly I loved how the author seemed to give very little clues from the start that I really could not predict what coming before the (first) mystery was unraveled. I loved how she chose her choice of words carefully, misleading the readers to guess an entirely different plot throughout the way only to be proved wrong in the end.

The Characters
The way she described other characters through their movements or words delineates them very well when the book itself was told in first perspective heroine, White. I could feel the emotions expected in every scene. White herself is not an easily-loved heroine. I, myself, thought sometimes her trait was more annoying than curious. Or maybe it was just a problem with how the dialogues went on between her and other characters, because every time she was arguing with Shade or her friends, Pebble, Pepper or Salt (I know, weird names indeed) she would be so demanding and the convos would always end in frustration. It frustrated me too. But there were also parts when I felt bad for her as well. Shade, in the other hand, was pretty likeable. In fact, he’s my most favorite characters in the book. His protectiveness towards White was really sweet. In a very short introduction of him, I could already feel so much about his character.
There would also be a character named Kestrel who’d bring with him all the important twists in this book. I still could not decide where my personal opinion about him stands, except that he’s kind. But there’s a tiny part of me that wishing so much of him and White to get along tight... *hiding* when there’s another boy that I particularly wanted White to be with as well. *cue (impossible) love-triangle*  

Slightly Comical Dystopian
Despite a little sense of dystopia in the beginning; Five Seven Five actually has a quite light tone. I even laughed so much at some point, such as when White started to ‘think’ about her feeling for Kestrel and when clueless White decided to make a ladybug her pet (goodness…) or asked for Kes to pluck a cloud for her (oh God…).

Mild-Cliffhanger Ending
As the first book of two installment of The Boy with Words series, you could expect a mild cliffhanger in the end. I, myself, was super curious about the continuation of the story! There were still so much unanswered questions and unresolved issues. In fact, this book one is only the beginning that I could bet that the ‘actual’ twists would take place on the next book. But of course you should read this book first to get a full back story.

Final Thought(s)
With an intriguing plot, Five Seven Five delivers a story of deception, undiscovered world, and a girl whose hunger for knowledge both baring all hidden truth and trapping her in between a glimpse of untold conspiracy. Readers who enjoy fantasy books would definitely find this one fit to their tastes. Well, even me who not really into fantasy, enjoyed this a lot!

Love, read, and review,

Cynthia D.


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