It’s our fourth blogging anniversary week, and we’re featuring posts and giveaways every day this week, so stay tuned. Today we’re reviewing a book we read as a group over the summer — TRACKED by Jenny Martin. The book has been frequently compared to both STAR WARS and SPEED RACER, so obviously this is a racing story full of high-stakes action. Our resident teen reader Meghan loved the book the most, giving it an “A,” saying: “I couldn’t take my eyes off the page, and I read the book in one sitting.” That’s high praise indeed from a busy high schooler! Scroll down below for the Giveaway!
On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high-stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn’t stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her charming new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It’s up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?
Reader Average: B+
Meghan graded the book an A:
In Tracked by Jenny Martin, Phee begins as an illegal street racer with a lot of questions about her family. She and her foster brother are plucked off the streets and placed into the Corporate Cup (like NASCAR) by the owner of a rich company that helped to develop her planet.
There are so many interesting things about this book, like the way the three habitable planets were established in space, and how gas for cars shares the same base as the main society wrecking drug. Both of which have importance to the overall plotline.
Initially the book was challenging to read because the sentence structures seemed choppy. However, the author eventually settled into a better flow making it easier to read. The only other negative is how the antagonist is responsible for every problem Phee has. As always, there’s the unnecessary and predictable love triangle, but the author does a decent job not making that the only thing going on in the story.
“Tracked” was hard to pay attention to at the start, but when the plot picked up I couldn’t take my eyes off the page and I read the book in one sitting.
Amanda graded the book a B+
If you like dystopian society plots, then you will like the premise of this book. This book has a different take on this genre, all based on corporate take-overs and race car driving with a strong female protagonist, Phee. Jenny Martin, the author, writes smoothly and the book kept my interest throughout. Phee risks losing her best friend, grapples with falling in-love and has questions about who she is, what she believes in and what really is right from wrong. Can an underdog help destroy corporate domination and who really is on her side? This book is semi-fast paced and was a pleasure to read. If you like good banter and conspiracy, then you’ll like this book.
Keely graded the book a B:
Go speed racer! Jenny Martin introduces us to the world of high stake rally racing in a sci-fi dystopian world through our heroine Phoebe Van Zant. Phoebe is a relatively strong well-fleshed out female heroine and I appreciated that Martin gave us a female character who is interested and successful in a traditionally male heavy sport.
High on appeal for both genders thanks to the storyline and the characters, this book falls somewhere in the dystopian spectrum with a tinge of the sci-fi. I personally found it be very similar to other dystopian series with common themes, but did enjoy the more adrenaline rush aspect of the racing storyline.
If you’re not a fan of love triangles – this may not be the read for you. Both male characters Bear and Cash are appealing in their own way and are classic fits for the brother-ish friend who falls in with her and the rouge disliked at first new comer. The highlight is that both manage to become larger and more than their stereotyped role which tempers the dreaded love triangle.
I definitely think this will appeal more to young adult readers than adults. I enjoyed it as a vacation read and held a certain appeal as I do enjoy dystopian themes. I’ll definitely be on the look out for subsequent additions to the series, but they won’t be at the top of my must read list.
Cara graded the book a B:
I was very excited to read this book because of its Sci-Fi element. While there are more dystopian, historical and contemporary YA books than you can shake a stick at, the futuristic, sci-fi genre seems to be underrepresented. And that is certainly true when you add in female protagonists. Unfortunately, this didn’t feel very futuristic. The world that Phee lives in was an awful lot like earth, minus the dystopian corporate overlords, and there wasn’t much day to day tech that felt different from what we have here. I’m not saying I need eye lasers and teleportation but give me more than two pages of planet to planet transport, eh? And describe the cars, for crying out loud! This is a book about racing. I should know what every bumper and button looks like. Beyond the science, or lack of it, I generally enjoyed the book. The story moved along at a fast pace, pun intended, and Phee was dynamic and strong and only occasionally did stupid teenage girl stuff. Phee and Cash had some crazy steamy love scenes. I could have done without the love triangle. We spend so little time with Bear in this book, that its hard for me to care about him. But there’s more to this book than just a love story; the intrigue of the rebel fight and their alliances kept me on the edge of my seat. While I was a little miffed to discover this is the first in a series rather than a standalone book, I do look forward to finding out how this story develops.
To enter this giveaway, just look through our previous Book Club Picks and comment or tweet us with the title of the Book Club selection you’d like to own. We will send one lucky reader whichever title they’d like, from TRACKED to our very first pick, UNDER THE MESQUITE. It’s your choice! The only caveat is that you must have a U.S. address and leave a valid email with your comment. We will pick the random winner on Sept. 30th and send out the book by Oct. 15.