Book Review: Hit

By: Delilah S. Dawson 
Published by: Simon Pulse
Release date: April 14, 2015
Genre: YA dystopian
336 pages
Source: ARC kindly provided by publisher

I was drawn to this book because I loved this author’s Servants of the Storm from last summer, and was hoping to get another fabulous Delilah S. Dawson story. Though I prefer SotS to this one, I’m glad that I read Hit, and will be looking for its sequel next year.
Hit’s heroine is Patsy, a girl accustomed to living on the fringe. Patsy and her mom have financially barely gotten by for years; even with Patsy’s contribution to the family budget via her job at a local pizza place, they are struggling to say the least. When Patsy learns that her mother is gravely ill, then the bank comes calling to demand that they settle their debts, Patsy knows that she faces two choices: step up to comply with the bank’s demands, or face her future completely alone, mourning the loss of her mother. For Patsy, there really isn’t a choice.

This book is set in a dystopian future where the bank has bailed out the USA’s enormous national debt, and as a result, the nation is now a corporate entity. It is very common, both in reality and in the book’s plot, for people to rack up ridiculous amounts of debt, knowing that it would take years to repay it. Once the bank has taken over control of the government, they start culling the freeloaders via a simple yet efficient system: those who owe large sums can pay up, kill, or be killed. Whatever their choice, they stop contributing to the problem and begin helping to solve it.

One plot point was a major hurdle for me: the reason Patsy meets Wyatt, her love interest. Explaining more fully would constitute spoilers, but I’ll say that I struggled through most of the book with Wyatt’s willingness to forgive Patsy for hurt she’s caused him and fall for her. If it weren’t for this detail- if they would have met in some other fashion- I would have rated the book higher. I suspect that if I were in the age range that YA is generally targeting, it might not have bothered me so much.

The thing is, one of my favorite traits of Dawson’s writing is that she takes chances; she does stuff like the plot point mentioned above, and is unapologetic about offending. She doesn’t crank out a carbon copy of whatever is the latest YA hot seller; she is wholly original, and is willing to put potential sales of the line for the sake of the purity of the story. This is why I’ll be willing to get past the thing that bugs me, and come back to this series when the sequel hits shelves is 2016. Dawson’s words breathe new life into YA, with characters who could seemingly step off the page and into my living room. I don’t mind the bumps- I love the ride that much. 



The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy's list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own.

Since yarn bombing is the only rebellion in Patsy's past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren't strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy's list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Delilah S. Dawson offers an absorbing, frightening glimpse at a reality just steps away from ours—a taut, suspenseful thriller that absolutely mesmerizes from start to finish.


  1. I've not read anything by this author, but am drawn into the dystopian story. I've been reading that genre a lot lately. This one sounds exciting!
    Great review!


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