CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (2013)
Reviewed by Elizabeth Mallack for Reader Views (11/13)
Christine Manzari’s book “Deviation” is about a Program of Sophisticates, genetically altered to be the best and brightest, far more talented than the average human. Raised under the Programs watchful eye to become leaders of the Country Cleo, a Sophisticate, a well-rounded and intelligent Vanguard, discovers an explosive secret about herself that gets her sent off to become a Mandate, a warrior. Forced to leave all she knows behind, including her sister-like childhood friend, she meets a mysteriously charming boy and a ‘shocking’ young woman named Quinnie who seems to have taken a liking to messing with Cleo in ways that end with trips to the infirmary and destroyed school property. And the games had only just begun. Why did it seem she was electrified whenever Quinnie was around? Why was Ozzy leaving unexpectedly? How was it possible for Cleo’s anger to destroy so much, yet only when she was around certain people?
Cleo makes two misfit friends within her first day and I immediately fell in love with Arabella’s carefree nature and tough exterior and Sterling’s teasing attitude. Cleo struggles though, despite the help of her friends, especially Arabella’s, to fit in. She finds herself playing on a dangerous Roller Derby team with Quinnie, sneaking into forbidden rooms, fighting through bumps and bruises, battling the attraction towards Ozzy, all while trying to find out why explosives seemed to have taken a liking to her.
The story line was well thought out, unique, romantic, descriptive, suspenseful, and unsuspecting, leaving me pondering what was going to happen next and even rooting for Cleo and Ozzy to get together. Within the first day of picking up the book, I had already read 200 or so pages, and only put the book down because I’d gotten drowsy and didn’t want to wake up and forget what I had read the night before.
“Deviation” was all I expected and more. Christine Manzari is one of those authors where in just the first few pages of the book you know she was born to write. It is authors like Mrs. Manzari who give me the craving to read, to become an author. “Deviation” is definitely one of my new favorite books, and Christine Manzari is unquestionably one of my new favorite authors. My only regret was having read “Deviation” so soon, because now that I’ve fallen in love I can barely wait for book number 2 of the Sophisticates to come out!