CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Emily McKay's "The Farm" is set in a post-apocalyptic world. The time prior to the apocalypse is known as the Before. In the Before, vampires existed, but they did not eat humans. Then, scientists studying the vampire gene unleashed monsters called Ticks.
With the Ticks unleashed, the U.S. government herds teenagers into places called Farms, surrounded by electric fences and guards called Collabs. They are forced to give blood every day to feed the Ticks.
No one is allowed to enter or exit a Farm. The daring teens who try to escape never make it out alive.
In the Before, twin sisters Lily and Mel attended a private high school. Now, they live on a Farm on a former college campus, where Lily plans an escape. Mel is severely autistic, and she notices things others don't. One thing she notices is that one part of the electric fence is turned off every night.
One day, while Lily is gathering tools for the escape, she runs into an old friend, Carter, who has just arrived at the Farm. Carter has been at military school and knows how to survive on his own.
When Lily and Mel start their escape, it isn't easy. They run into many problems, but eventually escape with Carter, a mysterious boy named Sebastian, their friend Joe and Joe's pregnant girlfriend, McKenna.
Outside the Farm, things are no easier. They have to dodge Ticks and run from the head of the Farm, called the Dean, who just might be more dangerous than the Ticks. They are all in danger -- especially Mel, who is carrying an important secret.
I really like this book because it is action-packed and always keeps you guessing. There is also some romance in it, which I like. In fact, my favorite part of the book is Lily and Carter's relationship.
My favorite character is Mel. She has so many secrets and knows things most people don't; she's very interesting.
The book isn't gory, but some parts will make your skin crawl. It's also scary because it feels like this is something that could really happen in the future. I would recommend it for high school age and older.The sequel, "The Lair," comes out later this year, and I cannot wait to read it! I am really looking forward to seeing how Mel has changed and how the relationship between Carter and Lily is progressing.