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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Unique Novel with a GREAT Main Character
FULL REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED ON WHAT A NERD GIRL SAYS:

I had the ARC for this book, sitting on my Nook, for AGES. I had heard really great things about it but honestly just hadn’t had the time to sit down and read it. I was in the middle of reading another book and I just wasn’t feeling it, so I decided to read this one. I had just seen Catherine...
Published 8 months ago by What A Nerd Girl Says

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange book
The basis of this story is an untested hormone being used on beef cattle killing almost all the fertile women. Therefore it was necessary for the Paternalist Movement to takeover and protect the lives of young women. Evidently there are not enough women to go around and so the protection prevents sexual attacks, but this protection also involves control of young women...
Published 6 months ago by crazyoaks


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fresh Unique Novel with a GREAT Main Character, May 20, 2014
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This review is from: A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) (Hardcover)
FULL REVIEW ORIGINALLY POSTED ON WHAT A NERD GIRL SAYS:

I had the ARC for this book, sitting on my Nook, for AGES. I had heard really great things about it but honestly just hadn’t had the time to sit down and read it. I was in the middle of reading another book and I just wasn’t feeling it, so I decided to read this one. I had just seen Catherine at the Pasadena Teen Book Fest and she was SO incredibly sweet and I knew that I had to read her book before I saw her again at the Ontario Teen Book Fest (which is next week!).

I was immediately hooked from page one. I’m not even kidding. I don’t know how I could have put off this book for so long. I ripped through this book so fast and I started to have a panic attack when the battery on my Nook started to run down toward the end. I stayed up until about 2 am to finish it and just…wow. It was amazing.

What really catches me about this book is that it brings forward a sort of futuristic, dystopian feel but in the world we know. So much about Avie’s world is so incredibly familiar. She has iPods and cell phones and text messaging and normal things like that. It’s almost what makes the book, and what’s happening in the book, that much scarier. This sort of thing can go on in the world that we know, and its extremely frightening.

I think that part of the book really got to me. Avie’s every move is controlled, because she is female. Her schooling is controlled and instead of getting a real education, she is learning about how to be a wife and mother (backtracking, much?). She probably will not have the chance to attend college. Her future husband could be chosen for her, and is chosen for her, and he has the right to complete control over her (Hawkins makes me shudder. Agh, just thinking about it him makes me so sick). In the kind of culture that we live in, the horrific rape culture, the huge population that wants control over a woman’s body, etc, its not hard to imagine backtracking this much, and assuming this much control over the female population. Its a scary prospect and that left me with chills the entire novel.

But, of course, there is more to the book than that. I love the character of Avie, and her drive and determination. She doesn’t always believe in herself, or that she has even an ounce of bravery and that feels familiar and relatable. She breaks out of that though, and does a lot of things that are incredibly brave. She’s a very strong character and I love that. I think we sometimes forget that a female character doesn’t always have to be physically strong to be a great character and I think Avie proves that. She does some physical things to get where she needs to go but in the end, she’s incredibly smart and incredibly capable and this is what makes her a great character. She doesn’t need to wield a gun or be able to punch someone in the face to do so. I say this with mad respect with characters who are physically strong, including my own MC. I just love finding those characters that are strong mentally and emotionally.

I could literally go on and on and on about this book and what I loved about it but I’m tired of talking your ear off. This book just hit shelves this previous Tuesday which means you need to get off your computer or phone or tablet or whatever, just GET off the internet and hit a bookstore and pick up a copy of this wonderful book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great dystopian novel with many strong female characters, February 28, 2014
By 
S. Power (Austin, Texas, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) (Hardcover)
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A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka follows Avie, a girl living in a world where women are scarse after a hormone caused women of childbaring age to get cancer and die. The paternalist movement has slowly taken over and girls are kept under lock and key with their every move controlled by the men in their lives and they then are put on contracts and sold into marriages they have no choice about. When Avie's father signs her contract into marriage with a controling paternalist politician Avie has to decide if she's going to run.

I really enjoyed this book and I didn't expect to. The dystopian premise is believeable and well crafted (and for once we've got a heroine who remembers what it was like when things were normal). The reader could believe that under similar circumstances powerful men would do everything they could to control women and keep them in the home under the guise of protection. The romance worked well (with no insta love and no triangle) and I really felt the love between Avie and Yates. There were also several fantastic side characters (mostly women) who I cared about and all had believable intentions in the way they reacted to the world. I sped through the book, finishing it quickly and remained interested throughout.

Appropriateness: Sex and purity is a big theme in the book, there is no sex but the characters virginity is talked about a lot along with the character being checked to confirm that she's still a virgin. I would reccomend this book to readers 14+ and it would be a great one to talk about with girls (and boys) with why equality for all is so important.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Great Idea, But Did Not Love It, July 25, 2014
2.5 stars

My first thoughts when I picked up A Girl Called Fearless were that this sounded a lot like The Registry by Shannon Stoker. Also, I wondered why the men didn’t just go outside the U.S. to find women to marry? Were the borders of the U.S. closed so that the disease did not spread across the world?

I wish that this would have been set in the future instead of the present. It’s harder to suspend my belief if this is an alternate reality rather than a possible one, for some reason. While I think that there are some logical fallacies in the story, some of it is at least a little believable. If there was something that decimated the U.S.’s female population, I think some of the story would be believable. Women have only had the right to vote after all in this country for less than 100 years. And there are still politicians (male and female) in this country who believe that they have the right to determine what a woman does with her body (birth control and abortion are still two hot topics). Less than 50 years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional for the U.S. government to prohibit married couples from using birth control. So, while I believe that this scenario is entirely possible, I don’t think that the execution in the novel was believable.

I’m disappointed because the book had so much potential. There are some really awesome things in the book like Sparrow and Maggie, but these are overwhelmed by Avie’s lackluster personality and a plot full of holes. Avie annoyed me. She whines about how she doesn’t want to be entered into a Contract. Yet, when given a chance to run, she doesn’t immediately take it. I would have taken the first chance on freedom and ran as hard as I could, consequences be damned. For someone with a nickname of Fearless, she surely didn’t act very fearless. Avie does eventually grow up and realize how selfish she is. She realized that she had it good as a rich-girl, and that the women and children who were poor had it a lot worse than being sold to a controlling millionaire. I liked Avie a lot better once she’s actually on the run, but she never really gets over being timid and afraid.

Now Sparrow, she’s my kind of girl. Ballsy and brilliant. She never wanted to be anyone’s property, she was smart and capable, and she wanted to help other girls. I also really liked Maggie. She was willing to sacrifice a lot to help the country and she was determined to make a difference. (I definitely do not like how either of these stories turns out).

Even with all the flaws, I was invested in the story. I really wanted Avie to escape and then I wanted her to help the girls in the country. Then the ending happened, and I’m just really confused about the ending. There is no resolution at all. I could understand if there was some sort of set up for a second book, but Goodreads is showing that this is a standalone. There is just so much that could have been done for the ending...and it really felt like that the story ended in the middle of the author writing it.

Overall, this was a good idea and concept, but didn’t have the best execution. If the main character would have been more likeable and actually fearless, maybe I could have overlooked the plot flaws. Or even if it would have had a resolution at the ending.

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received an advance copy of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Review originally appeared on Bibliophilia, Please at: http://www.bibliophiliaplease.com/2014/05/review-girl-called-fearless-by.html
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A strange book, July 23, 2014
This review is from: A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) (Hardcover)
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The basis of this story is an untested hormone being used on beef cattle killing almost all the fertile women. Therefore it was necessary for the Paternalist Movement to takeover and protect the lives of young women. Evidently there are not enough women to go around and so the protection prevents sexual attacks, but this protection also involves control of young women. So fathers of the young girls are selling them to the highest bidders.

Avie Reveare has just been contracted to a powerful politician in the Paternalist Movement for a large amount of money so that her father can keep his company running. Her father tells her she is a hero; she has kept many people in a job. Avie has a decision to make, either stay, get married and live a life completely controlled, watched, monitored, and constantly listened to by her husband or try to escape with her childhood friend, Yates who gave her the name Fearless.

This was a strange book. I have a real problem with the people who feel that this book shows a strong female character. I don’t see her that way. She finds listening devices left by her body guard then she is not smart enough to even think that the politician might have tracking and listening devices. When she finds out her father has sold her because he needed the money for his business, she has to decide if she really wants to run away. When she finds out that the politician is grooming her to look like his mother she has to decide if she really wants to run away. Then when she does finally get away even knowing that she is the highest contract ever and sold to one of the most important men in the government, one of the men that those who are hiding her are fighting against, they take her to the party and put her on the roof where everyone who might be hunting for her can see her.

My second problem with this book is the relationship between the fathers and daughters. In my family my husband would never do anything that put his daughter in danger. It just isn’t believable that all these men lost their wives and then began to sell their daughters to the highest bidders.

So if you can suspend belief in some common sense things then it is an okay book. I do like the political conspiracy undertone. I think that some YA readers will like the love story and ignore the other things. However, I think some YA readers will think that Avie does some pretty dumb things considering her situation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Futuristic Read..., May 11, 2014
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Taking place years from now in the future in Los Angeles, Avie Reveare finds herself living in world where the voice of women, and their ability to make their own choices in life have been harshly taken away. It almost felt like the women were living in the 1950’s. Learning how to needle-point in high school, baking, and all the fun stuff that is supposed to make sure that when your father sells you off to your potential husband at the highest price they can, you will be an excellent mindless doormat wife. That seems like what these men are looking for, young women who will do whatever they are told and who can produce children for them.

Why would the world be okay with stripping women of their choices and making them objects instead of equals to men? I think if something like this were to really happen, an event this huge killing millions and millions of women, people would want to take drastic action in order to try and correct the problem. And this is pretty drastic. It doesn’t make complete sense, but in the world that Avie lives in, it’s her way of life.

Avie didn’t strike me as the strong heroine type during the beginning of the story. I wasn’t even sure if she had the guts to do anything. But once her father sells her two someone in his 30’s when she isn’t even 18 yet, Avie really starts to contemplate her life and wonder if there is something she can do to escape. This is where the book began to take off for me. When Avie started to stand up for herself and take matters into her own hands. There was more to this story than it appeared to be. There are secret politics brewing, lies, hidden truths, action, and even a little romance. I enjoyed it much more once the story picked up.

A Girl Called Fearless is one of those stories that pretty much never lets up. There is always some plot twist…something happening to keep the momentum of the story going. I wasn’t sold on everything that happened in the book, but I enjoyed enough of it to keep reading, and I am happy that I did.

**I received this book on behalf of the Publisher in exchange for nothing but my honest opinion.**
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Women's rights being squelched, May 20, 2014
By 
Cathe (curled up with a book) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) (Hardcover)
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After a synthetic hormone in beef wipes out all women of childbearing years (except vegetarians!), the Paternalistic Movement emerges supposedly to protect girls as they grow into women, but ends up denying them freedom and education and forcing them into marriage to the highest bidder. When Avie's father sells her to a rich, older man in hopes of saving his company, she has to decide whether she will obey or fight.

This dystopian teen novel is a cross between the Hunger Games/Uglies/Divergent type (a teen girl inadvertently becoming the catalyst for a rebellion), The Handmaids Tale , and Stepford Wives with men trying to keep their women as housewives. Linka's writing is perfect for teens and the story compelling and fast-moving. Judging by the open ending, a sequel should be following.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WISH I COULD GIVE IT 6 STARS!!!, May 19, 2014
By 
CJ the Good Aunt "The Good Aunt" (Crown Point, IN United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) (Hardcover)
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This is an excellent novel. Due to hormones in food, nearly all of the women in the US have died from ovarian cancer. Now Avie (Fearless) is one of the young girls put under "Contract" to marry an older rich man - who is also part of the conspiracy to restrict women - for their own good of course. The book follows her from her privileged life and details how she becomes a rebel fighting for the freedom of all women. Her growth from Avie to Fearless is an excellent journey and makes for a great read. I think this book should be read by every mother of daughters - and then read by and to their daughters! It is a cautionary tale of patriarchy, and contamination of our food supply, how one person can grow and make a difference. It is about what inspires us and what scares us - and dealing with both. And it is a great read!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the most realistic dystopian world., May 18, 2014
A Girl Called Fearless is one of the more disturbing dystopian novels that I’ve read. As with any dystopia, while reading it, I ask myself, “Could this actually happen?” I had a hard time accepting the reality of the society in this story, and while it disturbed me, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I might have otherwise.

Ten years ago, a synthetic hormone in the U.S. food supply wiped out the vast majority of women of child-bearing age. As a result, the Paternalist Movement was born, with the goal of rebuilding the population. In this society, young girls are a valuable commodity, and getting them to an age where they can begin popping out babies is the highest priority. I can actually understand this, but I had a harder time understanding the means by which the Paternalist Movement would achieve this. Girls cannot go to college. They’re expected to stay home to cook and clean and tend to their husbands, leaving the best jobs available to men. High school math and science classes are replaced with lessons in baking cupcakes. Fathers fiercely protect their daughters’ virginity in order to sell them to the highest bidder.

That’s where the story started to lose me. I suppose that stifling a girl’s desire for an education and a career MAY make her more likely to submit to this kind of treatment. But it’s probably equally as likely that a girl would rebel against these rules, and then what happens? Should she be imprisoned? Should her husband be allowed to rape her in order to impregnate her?

A Girl Called Fearless doesn’t really get into these details. Instead, we have to accept that the U.S. government and the general population is O.K. with treating girls and young women like baby-making factories. There are people who resist this idea, including Avie, the sixteen-year-old main character, but enough are on board to make this the law of the land. I had a hard time believing this, especially since this major societal transformation occurs only ten years after the epidemic.

Avie’s father is part of this transformation when he signs a contract to sell his daughter to the highest bidder for $50 million. And he’s not the only one, as this is standard practice for fathers. Would this actually happen? COULD this actually happen? Would a father who has spent more than a decade being a loving parent suddenly decide to sell his young daughter to a disgusting older man? Avie encounters people who are opposed to this movement and who offer to help her escape across the border to Canada. A teacher. A gynecologist. A priest. In fact, it seems the only people who are actually in favor of the movement are money-hungry fathers and lecherous old men.

There are some interesting ideas in A Girl Called Fearless, and a disease that wipes out young women would certainly be disastrous. I just wish that the resulting dystopian society was easier to believe.

Note: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The entire novel was a fast-paced, intriguing and thought-provoking story., August 19, 2014
By 
This review is from: A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) (Hardcover)
In an alternate present where the majority of women have been wiped out by a cancer-causing hormone in beef, the surviving population of men and their young daughters have been left to grieve and pick up the pieces of the fractured world. Unfortunately, their sorrow has driven things to extremes. Desperation has forced these men to believe that the only way to protect their daughters is to shield them from any potential danger in the world, even if this calls for stripping their rights away in the process. Safety first, right?

This fascinating plot automatically drew me to A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS, my mind reeling with possibilities of how Catherine Linka would write about such a topic and how well it would actually be executed. I was ecstatic to discover what a page-turner this was! The entire novel was a fast-paced, intriguing and thought-provoking story that I believe will leave all readers on the edge of their seats, craving more.

First off, the world-building in this book is incredible. Just plain beautiful. It’s not very often that a book explains the cause of the tragedy that drives the plot; readers are just expected to go with some inadequate reason and assume it could actually happen. In this story, it is thoroughly explained and makes sense. The events that led up to the antagonists’ --- the Patriarchs --- rise to power are also plausible. I could see how many grieving fathers overcome by emotions would feed into corrupted leaders promising to protect their daughters. After all, isn’t that how leaders like Hitler came into power? I thought it was interesting to see the fathers’ perspective and how they believe turning a blind eye on the blatant injustice surrounding them is acceptable. I really, really enjoyed this world and at times I just sat in my room reading and thinking, “Wow. Could this actually happen?”

Continuing on that note, I thought this book paralleled reality well. In our current society, women are looked down upon as the weaker sex and everyone is taught from a young age to believe that they are to be protected as they can’t defend themselves. Obviously, this stereotype is unhealthy to young girls; however, it is real. In Catherine Linka’s world, this stereotype is blown up and it is as if women are property instead of people, and the lengths men have gone to in order to ensure their safety are outrageous. At one point, a character tells another character that “[she] belongs to him” and then proceeds to argue with her about her freedom. I thought that a lot of the sections about the rights being revoked were powerful and, for some reason, I felt connected to them. Of course, the “war on women” controversies discussed in today’s society do not make females anywhere even close to property, but the effects still lead to making women feel limited to what they can do simply because of gender. These parallels lead readers to wonder how real this alternate universe could be. I personally thought it was obviously exaggerated, but still shone light on the darker parts of reality, which is something I love seeing in fiction.

Another positive aspect of Catherine Linka’s work was the character development. This book is a huge feminist statement and I adored watching Avie grow from a quiet, unsure girl into a completely different person! It was gradual, done beautifully and added to this book’s perfection. The minor characters change just as much; those who you thought would be good show darker colors as the story progresses and it was nice that they weren’t overlooked.

I also liked that all of the action was quick and at times unexpected. There were very, very few slow parts to this story, especially after the real action begins.

I have to say there were a handful of negative things about this book, like the cliffhanger ending. It’s as if all the standalones out this year end on a cliffhanger and leave you to only imagine what will happen next; that wasn’t much fun. Also, an issue I had with the world was that despite half the working population dying, there is practically no economic crash. Everything is the same except there are no rights for girls and all the characters’ mothers and wives are dead. That bit was definitely unrealistic.

Though my bias as a feminist enhanced my enjoyment of this story, I would recommend this to girls, boys, women and men because it makes you think about our current day and age and if patriarchy could rise back to power after years of fighting for equality. Not to mention that it is just a wonderful novel full of interesting characters.

Reviewed by Sydney L., Teen Board Member.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A Girl Called Fearless, July 31, 2014
This review is from: A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) (Hardcover)
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I should have really enjoyed A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS, but I didn’t. It was just an okay book for me. Whenever I put the book down, I had to make myself pick it back up. It just wasn’t holding my interest, even though I liked the ideas behind it.

The concept is great. Ten years ago, 50 million women died due to untested hormones in meat. Now, girls in Avie’s generation are valuable commodities, bought and sold by rich men. Supposedly, these men want to repopulate the world and fix things, but really they just like having female toys that have to do whatever they’re told.

Avie and her friends have guards, limited phone/Internet access, are spied on, kept from boys their own age, etc. They study embroidery and cooking instead of science and math. Avie wants to go to college, but her plans are derailed when her father sells her for fifty million to Jessop Hawkins, a Paternalist who wants to get rid of the few rights women have left. Avie has no choice but to run, but can she actually escape?

Because the book is told through Avie’s eyes, it’s hard to get a bigger picture of the new America. There’s a conspiracy mentioned that might include the Taliban, but the book didn’t go into that at all. I also wanted to know how the Paternalist movement became so big and powerful — I could see the changes they made taking place in maybe 50 years, but not ten. Are they connected to the conspiracy? I don’t know.

I think A GIRL CALLED FEARLESS is a stand-alone instead of the start to a series. Usually I prefer stand-alones because there are *so* many series these days, but this is a book that could have used more pages for answers and a better ending. The first half or so of the book was the best, because it was the most interesting, showing how the world has changed for women. But once Avie ran away, it took a downturn for me, because I was as clueless as Avie as to what was going on.
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A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series)
A Girl Called Fearless: A Novel (The Girl Called Fearless Series) by Catherine Linka (Hardcover - May 6, 2014)
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