Eighteen months has passed since the Institute was liberated.
For Allira Daniels, she’s still trying to live with the consequences of her actions. The Defective are free, but are their lives truly any better? Attacks on Defectives are on the rise, and Allira has to wonder if she’s directly responsible.
Keeping busy to escape her guilt, Allira is trying to move on, but how can she when her past is always haunting her?
I had bittersweet feelings about starting this book, knowing it was the last in the series. It exceeded my expectations and is easily my favorite. Allira is having a tough time coming to terms with the loss of Chad, and she reluctantly agrees to pose as presidential candidate, Paxton James’s girlfriend. While she cares for Paxton, she’s not in love with him, but acting as his date for political functions helps her focus on something other than her grief and guilt for a short period of time.
When she meets Jayce, a cute boy who stirs something she hasn’t felt since Chad died, her sham relationship is just one obstacle to living her own life. And that’s only the beginning. When someone begins to stalk her, she has more than a handful of suspects, and more questions than answers.
This third installment is action-packed, between Paxton’s campaign, the maybe, sorta, could be romance with Jayce, mysterious packages that raise her suspicions, and a strained relationship with her family. Kayla Howarth throws in more than a few unexpected twists that are expertly foreshadowed and left me screaming, “no way!” at my Kindle. I can’t say much more without spoiling anything, so I’ll just say it was one nail-biting rollercoaster ride.
The primary world is created in the first two books, and further elaborated upon here. With the end of the the Institute’s imprisoning of defectives, the new world Allira inhabits is different than the other books, but it’s familiar enough I never felt untethered from the series.
The new characters introduced are as well developed as I’ve come to expect from Howarth. And Allira’s character arc is deep and emotional, but utterly satisfying. I love how Drew has evolved as well. Ebb, is still Ebb, but she didn’t really have as far to come as the others.
The series wraps up with a satisfying conclusion along with another fun surprise.
Top Five Things I Enjoyed About Defective
1. The twists and turns. Dang, all I can say is that it’s been awhile since I’ve had my jaw slam into my chest like that. It takes a lot to throw me, but yeah, never saw THAT coming.
2. Drew. Still love him. Yeah, I like Jayce, but Drew earned a place in my heart.
3. Nuka. Paxton’s daughter is an adorable bundle of defective fun.
4. The ending. I felt like everything was wrapped up in a satisfying series conclusion, something that seems to be harder to find these days.
5. Jayce. The boy is sweet, patient, and everything Allira needs.
Defective is full of unexpected twists, fascinating characters, and nail-biting action.
I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review.
About the Book
Series: The Institute #3
Author: Kayla Howarth
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Genre: Young Adult/New Adult Dystopian
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars
Links: Goodreads | Amazon
About the Author
Kayla was born and raised on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. She still resides there with her husband and son, working part time for a medical pathology lab while working on her writing.
Her love of reading and movies inspired her to start something she never dreamed possible: Writing her first novel.
When she’s not working, looking after her son, or writing, you’ll most likely find her hosting her own dance party in the kitchen while she does the dishes. (Where her husband will argue that more dancing is achieved than clean plates.)