Author: Sarah Harian
Published: March 18, 2014
Stars: 1 out of 5
Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice. If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.
Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.
She doesn’t plan on making friends. She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.
The concept of the plot was intriguing and because of this, the author was able to capture the readers attention from the very beginning. Unfortunately the writing style, or more so the grammatical errors took away from the book and it made it difficult for the reader to get lost in the world being created. If you are able to look past some of the odd sayings, grammatical errors, and the constant switch from past to present tense, then you find yourself reading a book that is full of physiological games and somewhat freaky scenes.
This book is about a girl named Evalyn who supposedly was one of eight, who killed 56 people during a college faculty banquet. Because of this, she was sentenced to one month In the compass room. Here she will be subject to different simulations and her reactions will be recorded and judged. If her reactions, either hormonal or emotional, are imbalanced and her “moral compass” is deemed evil, then she will be executed.
Once the inmates wake up in the Compass room, this is when the games begin. Evalyn is the first one to experience this when she “sees” her baby brother running out of her room asking her to chase him. The author did an alright job creating a creepy vibe, especially when it became difficult to tell what is real and what isn’t. Although there were many scenes in the book that were somewhat creepy, they lacked enough detail to truly create a disturbing image.
The story doesn’t really change much with all the characters in the book “seeing” people from there past crimes. This reminds me a lot of the hunger games series in how 12 inmates are in an arena that is manipulated by a creator. Some of the inmates try to kill each other, most try to run a way from there past. But they are all led or guided on a certain path, forced to travel where the creators want them. In one scene, the creator decides to flood them out. This scene in particular reminded me of Catching fire where part of the arena if flooded.
I felt like the book was frustrating in how the chapters jump from the present to the past to further in the past. I found myself wanting to yell, ‘just get on with it’. The book somewhat dragged, as though the author was trying to make a bigger deal or make Evalyn’s story more complicated than it actually is.
I didn’t like Evalyn’s character. She let everyone walk over her and she went along with the idea that she was guilty. Her reasoning behind choosing the campus room was because she wasn’t sure if she was innocent or guilty. Seriously! Did you plan and kill people, no? Then she isn’t guilty of the crime they accused her of. Another thing that irritated me about her character was how immature she is. She is in her 20’s but treats her mom horrible because she doesn’t approve of her major.
Overall I found myself bored with the book. I just couldn’t finish it which is to bad because the book had a lot of promise. I read 3/4th of the book… That was more than enough.