Early Review: The Farm (The Farm #1) by Emily McKay

December 3, 2012 Review 5

*This title will be released on December 4, 2012*

The Farm

(The Farm, #1)
by Emily McKay

Genre: Paranormal YA, Dystopian|
Excerpt: YesBook Trailer: No
Reviewed by: Abigail | Source: Publisher

  • Reading level: Ages 18 and up
  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (December 4, 2012)
  • ISBN-10: 0425257800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425257807


Excellent – Loved it! Buy it now & put this author on your watch list.

Sexual Content

Kissing. References to sex.  Attempted sexual assault 


Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race…


THE FARM, the first book in a chilling new paranormal dystopian trilogy, re imagines a stark and terrifying world in which ravenous undead monsters known as Ticks have decimated the population.  Panicked parents turned over their children to supposed safety in the Farms since the Ticks specifically hunt children.  But the Farms are not the havens they claimed to be.  The human monsters within the inescapable walls are just as dangerous as the ones outside.

THE FARM is told primarily from Lily’s point of view, though Carter numerous chapters, and even Lily’s sister Mel has a handful.  Lily’s chapters were by far my favorite.  She has to be constantly thinking about her twin sister and always stay two steps ahead of any situation they might encounter.  At the same time, her own thoughts reveal her perceived weaknesses and longings with such naked emotion that it was impossible to stop turning pages.  Carter’s chapters were also interesting because of the secrets he was forced to keep, even the ones he tried to keep from himself.  The only chapters that didn’t quite work for me were Mel’s.

When seen through Lily’s or Carter’s eyes, Mel was fascinatingly real.  But in her own words, her autism didn’t come across as authentic.  It felt like someone trying to portray a particular stripe of autism.  Sometimes her thoughts were way too practical, and then they’d be followed by a sing song rhyme or random thought.  Having read phenomenal books written from the POV of someone with autism–albeit on a different spectrum– like THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME, Mel’s chapters were just distracting.

Mel’s chapters aside, THE FARM is completely engrossing and a sure-fire fix to your reading slump.  Part cool prison break, part dangerous road trip, and part horror, this book is one of the best dystopians of the year.  I didn’t even need the romance–though it doesn’t detract from the book in any way.  The characters and the anxiety inducing plot were beyond memorable.  I cannot wait for the next book in The Farm series, THE LAIR, to hit shelves in November 2013.

Titles in Series

  1. The Farm
  2. The Lair

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5 Responses to “Early Review: The Farm (The Farm #1) by Emily McKay”

  1. Cheryl

    I read this book a few months ago and I really liked it, too. I liked the different POVs and that Lily seemed very real; she wasn’t some saint who was never bothered or annoyed with some of Mel’s idiosyncracies. I was surprised, but Mel’s chapters didn’t bug me or distract me like I was worried they might; I definitely found them more interesting than you did. The only thing that really bugs me is that I have to wait a year to read the sequel!

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