Let me start by saying that I love dystopian fiction, it's one of my favorite genres. This story is about a virus that hits which effects the fertility of women across the world, making it increasingly rare that they will give birth to a girl. Eventually, the virus somehow mutates (??) and actually kills larges portions of the population. Needless to say, females become quite the commodity and the government rounds them up both to protect them and attempt to find a cure.
Zoey has been isolated and treated as a test subject for most of her life. None of what those in the ARC have been telling Zoey ring true, though. Where do the other women go when they enter the Program? Are they really reunited with their families? What is happening on the 5th floor? This all starts out great! It's like a modern day Handmaid's Tale and I'm in!
But then..... SPOILER ALERT!
Zoey manages to escape from the ARC and here is where the author gets lost, in my opinion. We wind on for pages upon pages of survival and chases. Zoey's wounded, she's bleeding, they're hunting her - ad naseum. This part of the book just DRAGS on forever! I get it. She escaped. Of course they are after here, she's supposedly one of only 6 girls left. Of course her initial experiences in the world outside the ARC aren't all that positive - people are greedy.
And what was with the jumping around in the middle going back to the story of Zipper the Owl? I get that he's a metaphor for Zoey herself, but going back and forth at inappropriate times was just confusing.
The story finally winds it's way back to the ARC and the other women, but for me, it was much too late. I'd stopped caring about what happened to Zoey long ago. Her internal monologue is annoying and whiny. I was so disappointed in this book because I just loved the first part and it fell completely apart. If you like survival books, perhaps you will enjoy this one much more than I did.
2 out of 5 stars and that was only because the beginning was so promising.