Review: Control by Lydia Kang

An un-putdownable thriller for fans of Uglies

When a crash kills their father and leaves them orphaned, Zel knows she needs to protect her sister, Dyl. But before Zel has a plan, Dyl is taken by strangers using bizarre sensory weapons, and Zel finds herself in a safe house for teens who aren’t like any she’s ever seen before—teens who shouldn’t even exist. Using broken-down technology, her new friends’ peculiar gifts, and her own grit, Zel must find a way to get her sister back from the kidnappers who think a powerful secret is encoded in Dyl’s DNA.

A spiraling, intense, romantic story set in 2150—in a world of automatic cars, nightclubs with auditory ecstasy drugs, and guys with four arms—this is about the human genetic “mistakes” that society wants to forget, and the way that outcasts can turn out to be heroes.

Description taken from Goodreads.

Just so anyone reading this knows, this book is nothing like UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld. I repeat, CONTROL is nothing, nothing and nothing like UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld. Please do not believe it is.

If you were interested in this book at any one point in time, I would strongly encourage you to go read the XMen comics. Not a fan of comics? Maybe try Transparent by Natalie Whipple or The Rise of Renegade X by Chelsea Campbell. I would also strongly encourage you to read Uglies, but I would not recommend CONTROL.

Here’s problem one: the hater, who just happens to be the main character. She hates on everyone. Her father, her younger sister, the people who just try to help her, and here’s problem two: the only person she doesn’t hate on is the biggest jerk on the planet. His name is Cy, and his wonderful, super amazing power is that he can regenerate skin fast enough to have a new tattoo every single day. He also seems to be an abusive sadist who fantasizes about gore.

I’m telling you, I can’t make this stuff up. This is actually the guy.

It’s a painting of a dismembered hand, fingers stretching to extremes, but cut off at the wrist, leaning against the wall. The one next to it shows a long bone, still smeared with blood, floating in the same pale blue void the hand is in.

Wonderful. Just wonderful.

Problem number three: no world-building. Whatsoever. Whatever semblance of world-building exists entirely on the concept of suspended disbelief. You think the movies are bad? Read this book. Uniforms exist in every single state, for adults, and the sky isn’t visible because there’s a structure for growing plants because apparently there is now no farmland in Kansas, Iowa or Nebraska.

nebraska farmland

Yup. Definitely no farmland to be found anywhere near here. Guess we gotta build a structure in the sky.


And Alaska is a separate country now.

Problem four: these so-called mutants with amazing powers have no place in society. They aren’t feared, hated, envied, threatened, they simply exist. CONTROL tackles none of the social issues and questions that were brought up in the XMen comics and TRANSPARENT.

I just couldn’t deal with CONTROL. It was an exhausting book to read and I didn’t get anything I wished for. Zel hates on everyone around her as well as herself and there is 0 to no character growth in this story. Would not recommend. 1 star.

pg count for the hardback 393

Series: Control #1


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s