REVIEW: siege by sarah mussi

21 May 2013

Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Published: March 7th 2013
Pages: 400
Book: For Review*
Format: Hardcover, Finished Copy
Genre: Young Adult (YA), Contemporary, Mystery, Thriller

Spoilers: To view the spoiler just highlight between the two asterisks*
Leah Jackson - in detention. Then armed Year 9s burst in, shooting. She escapes, just. But the new Lock Down system for keeping intruders out is now locking everyone in. She takes to the ceilings and air vents with another student, Anton, and manages to use her mobile to call out to the world. 
First: survive the gang - the so-called 'Eternal Knights'.
Second: rescue other kids taken hostage, and one urgently needing medical help. 
Outside, parents gather, the army want intelligence, television cameras roll, psychologists give opinions, sociologists rationalize, doctors advise - and they all want a piece of Leah. Soon her phone battery is running out; the SAS want her to reconnoiter the hostage area ... But she is guarding a terrifying conviction. Her brother, Connor, is at the center of this horror. Is he with the Eternal Knights or just a pawn?
She remembers. All those times Connor reached out for help ... If she'd listened, voiced her fears about him earlier, would things be different now? Should she give up her brother?
With only Anton for company, surviving by wits alone, Leah wrestles with the terrible choices ...

"If I don't shout maybe I can save myself, save the rest of us. But I don't know how I can just look on and watch a murder. Can you do that? Can you look on and do nothing? It feels like I ought to do something. It feels like all of this was because we all just stood by and did nothing.."

do not, i repeat, do not. read this book before going to bed: it will give you nightmares. 
make sure you have plenty of time to read this in one sitting, because it is impossible to put down.

I did not ''enjoy'' this book. 
At all. I don't think anyone who's read this really enjoyed the book.
It's a book that will leave you numb, and raw, and will take you on a wild, emotional roller-coaster ride but to enjoy it? Firstly, you mustn't have a heart if you take pleasure in reading about 14 year old kids shooting people at random. Secondly, errrm. yeah. you mustn't have a heart.
During this book i sometimes had to stop and just stare into the distance, trying to shake of my feelings of panic, and fear, and total desperation; because i felt inside the story. 
I was Leah Jackson. I was hiding up in the ceiling to get away from the shootings, I was watching havoc reign below me; I was panicking over my brother, Connor, and I was hopelessly trying to convince myself he wasn't in on it, he couldn't be in on it all. And failing.
When a book pulls me into the action and feel the emotions of the main character i automatically give the book a thumbs up, and that's what happened with this book. Although while it made me feel all this pain, and rage, and tension, a few things irked me slightly.
One was the little bits of bad language dotted around. If you read my reviews you'll know even the slightest bit of bad language puts me off: i just feel like it is never necessary, there are other ways to convey feelings than by mouthing off at the situation; however, in this case, it was understandable, yet i still didn't really like it.
Secondly, although it was a main part of the plot, i felt like there was a slight bit of ''politics'' underlying the story-line, i don't know. *just the fact that the government was behind it all maybe me feel slightly uncomfortable, like when reading about how the Capitol is the ''bad place'' in The Hunger Games and that President Snow is so controlling and kills children just to instill fear into the public*..but maybe i'm just reading too much into it...
Overall, Siege was an intense and disturbing read and will snatch you into the story within a matter of seconds. And the end, while, i thought, obvious, was still an emotional, and a powerful way to finish. This story will shock you, scare you and make you live the life of Leah Jackson; a girl in the wrong place at the wrong time.

NOTE: so i don't think people understood me when i said i didn't 'enjoy' the book. I did. Not in the dictionary (''to experience with joy'') definition though. This was no joyful, fluffy, happy, book. It was dark and full of gruesome little details. But i didn't dislike the book.

*thank you to Hodder for sending me this to review. I apologize for the wait and the short-ish review. I am currently in the middle of exams but i felt bad for not reviewing this as soon as i had read it so i took a break from learning about the production of penicillin and wrote this instead!
Good luck to everyone taking exams and please excuse my absence from the blogosphere, i hope to be back very soon with a less disturbing book review of Zenn Scarlett by Christian Schoon!


  1. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this, Hawwa. It sounds quite interesting but I can also see how it might not be everyone's taste. Lovely review, nevertheless! :)

  2. I know you say you didn't "enjoy" this book but you kind of still did in a way. It was intense, dark, and emotional which sounds like it was great read after all. I'm kind of the same with bad language. It can be overdone but most of the time it's okay. I wish everyone could make up their own language like The Maze Runner. Then I would never have a problem! Thanks for putting this on my radar. Good luck with your exams! (if you are still taking them).

  3. I so get what you mean by not 'enjoying' the book. I suppose you can find it a great read but still not want to say you 'enjoyed' it in the way you would a light, fluffy chick-lit.

    Anyways. This book sounds really something I would- I don't want to say 'enjoy' but I'm sure you know what I mean. ;) Lately I've read so many books where I feel such a big part in it and I also have the panic attacks just like the characters! It's creepy but definitely gets your adrenaline pumping!

    Great review - thanks for bringing this book to my attention! :D

  4. I haven't read this but I know what you mean about enjoying it but not enjoying - I think I would feel the same way. Great review, and I do want to read this now ;)

  5. I do understand what you mean when you say you didn't enjoy this book. It's partly why I'm not sure if I want to subject myself to something like this, but it does sounds like a powerful read. Lovely review!

  6. Hey! So you left a comment asking me what BEA was and I was going to email you but I couldn't find an email so I just decided to leave a comment here! :) BEA stands for Book Expo America and it basically is like a convention in New York City where book bloggers can go and get ARCs and get those ARCs signed by authors. All the major publishers go there, too and it's really fun! :)

    But for the review, I'm glad that you were really immersed in the character, but I agree, disturbing books are really hard to enjoy, especially when they're about shooting each other. I can see where it might get so many polar reviews!


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