Book Review: Out of Control

Out of Control
By: Sarah Alderson
Published By: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: May 12, 2015
Page Count: 320
Source: ARC Kindly Provided By Publisher
Audience/Genre: YA Fiction
 Buy it at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Indiebound.

I read 40% of this book in a single sitting, which is RARE for me, and I didn't even notice the time passing because I was completely engrossed in the story and the characters. With super quick pacing, a smart and independent female lead, and a romantic interest who is just dangerous enough to be a true bad boy, Out of Control by Sarah Alderson proves to be a solid YA thriller, romance, and mystery all rolled into one great book.

Liva comes to live with her father in NYC to escape her past, a past that Alderson develops and drops hints to as the story progresses. Her troubled past and knack for being in the wrong place at the wrong time (or maybe it's the reverse) seems to have followed her, because the novel opens with her inadvertently witnessing a brutal murder from the roof of her father's building. She's soon taken into protective police custody, only to realize she may have been the intended target and that the police aren't actually trying to protect her. Unsure who to trust, she bands together with a stranger to flee the police station during an intense, execution-style shoot out.

Liva and the mysterious (and hot) Jay go on the run from the police, the murders, and because they're not sure who can be trusted, virtually everyone else in their lives. Depending on themselves for everything creates a rapid bond between the two, and Alderson develops the romance unbelievably well. Liva is smart and observant, and she doesn't turn into a dumb girl once Jay saves her from the police station, in fact, she rescues him right back time and time again. She's a great female lead, thinking things through, taking charge, etc. With good chemistry, an engrossing plot, no explicit sex but lots of intense chemsitry, mild violence (for the subject matter), Out of Control is a great YA thriller and an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

Summary via Goodreads

A girl looking to escape her past in New York City ends up on the run from a dangerous conspiracy in this sizzling, high-stakes novel.

When seventeen-year-old Liva came to New York City, all she wanted was to escape the painful memories of her past and finally find a fresh start. Her hopes for a new future were dashed the moment she became the sole witness to a brutal murder. When she's taken into police custody - supposedly for her own protection - she realizes something isn't right, but it's too late. Soon, bullets start flying, and Liva realizes that she is not just a witness, but the target - and she needs to escape before it's too late.

With the help of a sexy car thief that she met at the station, Liva manages to get away from the massacre unharmed, but now the two of them are alone in New York, trying to outrun and outwit the two killers who will stop at nothing to find them. Liva and Jay are living on the edge, but when you're on the edge, there's a long way to fall.