Hello, everyone~ How are you?
Let’s be real here before I begin, this is well and truly over due. In my defense, this is a truly tough review to write because of the content it contains. Now, within this review it does contain one or two spoilers, but I have kept it to minimum, AND I have CLEARLY marked where these spoilers are, so you are well and truly warned. I have also done this for the adult content, so if you are are not prepared, you are given all the warnings possible.
Now, I am so excited to share this novel and my thoughts with you, so please go and read~
Title: The Wicked We Have Done
Author: Sarah Harian
Publisher: Penguin/Intermix Books
Published: March 18th 2014
Genre: New Adult; Science Fiction > Dystopian; Romance; Science Fiction; Young Adult; Thriller; Fiction; Fantasy; Mystery; Action
Goodreads Rating: 3.80 / 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.
To be honest, this novel was sitting in my Kindle library for a very long time, and when I first properly began to read I had no idea what the novel was about, as I had already previously read a few pages but had ditched the novel.
So, this novel was an enigma to me, but yet I decided to pursue it because I was initially introduced to a character Evalyn, who was being ripped away from her mother and her little brother after saying goodbye- for what felt like the last time to Evalyn. Thereafter she was marched over to a room with ‘harsh florescent lights’ that illuminated over her, to be inspected and pricked like a lab rat before ‘the beginning of my inevitable execution in the Compass Room’.
Now, clearly, I don’t explain it as lovely as Sarah Harian does, but to be honest, the brutally did spark a cruel string within me somewhere. I don’t know why, or where the string is, but it was deeply fascinating. So, I kept reading.
So, after Evalyn is pricked like a pin cushion, the doctor (I assume) says “This will sting a little.” before piercing the back of Evalyn’s head with a chip- “Think of it as a tiny drill remotely operated. Perfectly safe, I assure you.” Finally, the doctor hands her a tablet, presenting Evalyn with a contract of the terms of the Compass Room and the chip in her head. And with a long hard think, Evalyn Ibarra signs.
Now, I’m not going to spoil anything important from this point forward because I truly do think this novel is worth the read, however, I do believe I need to warn readers that in this novel, there are scenes rated for mature audiences, and there are graphic scenes of shootings, violence, stabbings and more. So, if you do wish do pursue this novel, please do keep in mind that this is not for the faint of heart.
However, with this being said, it is not a non-stop gorefest, it does contain romance, hope, redemption and so many positive adjectives that I want to use but can’t for spoiler’s sake!
Moving on from that and back to the review- during the novel, I did have a few questionable moments. For one, Evalyn DOES fall in love with another character while fighting for her life with, very little hope for her survival- or his. Now, I understand that when you’re faced with death, you want to run from it, and the farthest thing from death is love (I assume? I’ve never faced death- touch wood- and don’t plan on it anytime soon), and when your adrenalin is running, your heart is racing, so does your libido. But in saying that, you’re dirty, you’re starving, you have just met this stranger. At any moment you can be faced with your literal worst nightmare– and you are LITERALLY being monitored by many scientists in a lab room, which are you actively aware of, and yet they still go ahead. Need I say more?
I understand they’re young dumb and broke, AND facing death, but it can’t be this realistic. And I didn’t even mention other factors that would spoil this spoiler-free review. What I can say, is that they are criminals with murderous intent, it’s just highly unrealistic that they’d fall in love. It was a shock they befriend that far. Not that I didn’t enjoy a little romance in the novel.
WARNING- I am going to spoil one part of the plot the needs to be discussed in this section. So please click away, as not only this is a spoiler, but it contains a sensitive topic so if you cannot handle it, click away or scroll past it. You have been warned!
This novel needs to discuss discussed is the factor of Evalyn’s past- the school shooting. Now, I know this is a touchy topic for many people, and it can make people very angry, but please do not send hate onto my blog, these comments will be deleted right away. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel, and I would rate it 4/5 stars if not for fact that Sarah Harian broached a topic that is relatively offensive to a wide range of people.
Now it isn’t offensive to me, and I found this topic quite interesting, as I did with the novel- This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp- however, where I did find it slightly baffling is where her actions were almost… dismissed by all those around her all because she did it for the cause of one person. Almost as if the death of one person made the death of several others acceptable and justified. Now, I know she was still punished but the system to an extent, but it felt like the moral of this story was trying to teach us was that if our actions were for the good of our friends, then we do no wrong. We can hurt no people. That despite all the suffering she had caused, it was justified because it was for a good cause.
I just couldn’t wrap my head around it, because that was the way Sarah Harian had sold the plot to us- I don’t want to spoil anything more, but it was just a bit… disturbing. That’s all I’ve got to say.
Otherwise, it was a relatively very enjoyable novel.
“The only thing I do know about the Compass Room is that this test is supposed to see who you truly are, despite your research. Despite good acting or the lies you tell yourself.”
“She saw something to be passionate about everywhere.”
“Repentance is a privilege,” I say.
“Some people don’t deserve it.”
“The stuff that matters, you fight for.”
Despite the questionable romance and the disturbing and twisted grasp of the moral compass, this novel was really enjoyable. I could not put it down and I flat-out read it every night solidly and was very disappointed when I finished it. I grew attached to these questionable characters. This novel has themes that I love of The Hunger Games, with themes of dystopian survival, with added twisted psychological aspect thrown in.
Overall, the writing was captivating, and the idea of this novel was dark but quite enjoyable. I found it grasping and intriguing and it left me wanting more, exactly how a novel should leave you. This author did a brilliant job, despite the previously mentioned stark flaws, and if improvements are made she could be a very famous author, one alongside Sarah J. Maas.
Thank you all so much for reading, I do hope you all enjoyed.
It has been so much fun writing this, again, I am so sorry it took so long to write this, but as I said before, due to the content it contains, it took quite a bit to figure out how to write it without spoilering it or marking it too inapropriate for my blog. It was a fine line and I treaded it dreadfully.
Alas, I tried! You still got your review, and I did my best.
Anyway, as usual if you have read this book or enjoyed this post- comment down below. If you don’t want to do that, you can go to my Instagram or my Twitter which is also down below.
See you next time, my loves x