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Monday, March 21, 2016

REVIEW: Tracked by Jenny Martin .

Tracked is the debut from Martin, blending Fast and the Furious into an action packed, futurist twist that is a little bit Death Race 2000 mixed with some Hunger Games.

Planet Castra is corporately controlled, namely by Charles Benroyal.  Rally racing is a high stakes game, something that female protagonist, Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well considering her father's rise to glory and his mysterious disappearance.  Phee has made quite a name for herself on the illegal circuit, but when her recklessness lands both her and her best friend, Bear, in trouble, she has no choice but to race for the Benroyal Group, lest her loved ones pay the price. Phee detests everything Benroyal stands for, more so after she learns he's truly up to no good. It's up to her to take him down but that just might be too big of a task for a street smart orphan.

This novel has a good formula to peak readers' interests:

  • Sassy female heroine!
  • Love triangle with two equally hunky guys! (I <3 Bear and am pulling for him!)
  • Action!
  • Conspiracy!
  • Secrets!
  • Car racing!
That being said, my age is showing. I did like Tracked but elements didn't appeal to me as much as they might a teen reader. Phee is another one of those heroines who means well but is too impulsive for her own good.  I remain interested in seeing her character progression. One pet peeve of mine is the overuse of figurative language.  I wasn't a big fan of Phee's 'isms' (i.e. all up in my exhaust). I'll admit that such language does help establish world building but I felt like these were overused and exaserbated by the audiobook performance.

My favorite parts of the book were less about Phee and more about Bear and Cash.  I'm pretty intrigued to see where it all goes for Marked, the upcoming second book.

Overall, there is good general appeal to a wide YA audience.  I'd recommend Tracked for those wanting an exciting, fast paced story and especially for a reluctant reader. The book is probably best for grades 8 and up.

Final rating: 3.75/5

Follow the author on Twitter: @readjennymartin

Look for my upcoming review of Marked in Voya in June 2016.

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