Monday, 31 March 2014

Review: Disruption by Jessica Shirvington

Photos don't do this cover justice!
Title: Disruption
Author: Jessica Shirvington
Pages: 416
Published: 1/4/2014 by HarperCollinsPublishers Australia
Source: Publisher

Synopsis (from publisher):

What if a microchip could identify your perfect match? What if it could be used against you and the ones you love?

Eight years ago, Mercer Corporation's M-Bands became mandatory. An evolution of the smartphone, the bracelets promised an easier life. Instead, they have come to control it.

Two years ago, Maggie Stevens watched helplessly as one of the people she loved most was taken from her, shattering her world as she knew it. Now, Maggie is ready. And Quentin Mercer - heir to the M-Corp empire - has become key to Maggie's plan. But as the pieces of her dangerous design fall into place, could Quentin's involvement destroy everything she's fought for? In a world full of broken promises, the ones Maggie must keep could be the most heartbreaking.


Jessica Shirvington is my kind of writer. She has the uncanny ability of knowing what her readers want and delivers it with a punch. She packs her books full of interesting characters, brilliant and thought-provoking premises, heart stopping action and swoon worthy romance. She's a master of YA, perfecting voice and authentic teen characters, and is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.

I first heard about Disruption at last year’s Australian Writers’ Centre meet-up where Jessica Shirvington was the guest speaker. As a fellow graduate of the Australian Writers’ Centre, I’ve followed Jessica’s prolific career (she’s written seven books in four years!) with interest. I had read 2013’s Between the Lives in two evenings so my expectations for Disruption were very high. 

The premise of Disruption is brilliant. Whilst it takes some time to comprehend the ins-and-outs of the M-Band technology and the laws surrounding its use, once protagonist Maggie puts her plan into action, there's no stopping the excitement, suspense and drama. Disruption reads like an out-of-control train, although it's clear that Shirvington has masterfully crafted the destination well before the train started moving. It's a breathless ride and you won't be disappointed with where you end up. 

Whilst the premise is exciting and unique it is Disruption's small cast of characters and their interactions and relationships that keep your eyes glued to the page. They are the most interesting bunch I’ve read in a long time. In the beginning of the book, Maggie is a resourceful and unflinching teen action hero, like a young Sarah Connor. Due to a troubled past and loss of her father, she's hardened and cynical, ready to take on anyone who will stand in her way.

Which brings us to Quentin, who is not only Maggie's major obstacle but the key to rescuing her father from M-Corp. Quentin is likeable and well-rounded with his own journey of self-discovery to take. Often the male characters in YA novels are there to serve only as the love interest, however, Quentin has his own role to play.

The romantic relationships are the heart of Jessica Shirvington's novels, which is taken a step further in Disruption where romance is also the foundation of the plot, driving the pace and emotional impact, which contrasts Maggie’s often callous drive for revenge. 

Jessica Shirvington is a cinematic writer: every moment is impactful and visual, the scenes and characters leaping off the page with action, tension, romance and emotion. Despite the serious and tense plot, Disruption is also surprisingly funny, thanks to Maggie's hilarious sidekick Gus. I loved the repartee between Maggie and Gus and hope the sequel Corruption includes more Gus “screen time”.

Disruption is easily the best book I’ve read so far in 2014. I simply adored reading about Maggie, Quentin, Gus and their world, and I can’t wait to return for Corruption.

Many thanks to HarperCollinsPublishers Australia for providing the advanced reader copy, it’s simply stunning!

I give Disruption 4.5 out of 5 stars.

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