Book Review: HIT (by Delilah S. Dawson)

My short review for this one is simple: Five stars, highly recommended* (my highest rating). If you like fast paced thrillers with well-drawn, realistic characters, a unique twist on the dystopian concept, and a sardonic edge, this should be at the top of your list. 

15D21 HIT Cover

Longer review follows this jacket copy:


The good news is that the USA is finally out of debt. The bad news is that we were bought out by Valor National Bank, and debtors are the new big game, thanks to a tricky little clause hidden deep in the fine print of a credit card application. Now, after a swift and silent takeover that leaves 9-1-1 calls going through to Valor voicemail, they’re unleashing a wave of anarchy across the country.

Patsy didn’t have much of a choice. When the suits showed up at her house threatening to kill her mother then and there for outstanding debt unless Patsy agreed to be an indentured assassin, what was she supposed to do? Let her own mother die?

Patsy is forced to take on a five-day mission to complete a hit list of ten names. Each name on Patsy’s list has only three choices: pay the debt on the spot, agree to work as a bounty hunter, or die. And Patsy has to kill them personally, or else her mom takes a bullet of her own. Since yarn bombing is the only anarchy in Patsy’s past, she’s horrified and overwhelmed, especially as she realizes that most of the ten people on her list aren’t strangers. Things get even more complicated when a moment of mercy lands her with a sidekick: a hot rich kid named Wyatt whose brother is the last name on Patsy’s list. The two share an intense chemistry even as every tick of the clock draws them closer to an impossible choice.

Longer Review:

I read this book in two nights, and would have finished it in one except that I had a client deadline the following morning which required me getting some sleep. HIT is a superbly-written page-turner of the first order. Patsy’s voice is funny and moving in all the right places, and her reactions to her predicament are realistic and on-point. Delilah Dawson’s writing is smooth and vivid–never once did the words pull me out of the story with awkward phrasing or out-of-character speech. 

The post-Valor Savings world is sharp and clever; Dawson thought through the world-building issues in great detail. The characters are diverse and realistic, and the plot flies along with the speed of the bullets from Patsy’s Valor Savings-issue pistol.

Best of all, I thought I had the major plot twist figured out in advance…and I was wrong. That doesn’t happen very often, and I was delighted to discover that not only had I guessed incorrectly, but the real answer was even more clever, and better executed, than I anticipated.

Five stars. Highly recommended.* If you enjoy thrillers, dystopian novels, YA, or simply a well-written read, this should be next on your list. (Note: even if you’re not usually a fan of YA, you still might want to give this a try – it’s a strong contender for the adult thriller shelf, just told from the POV of a teenage protagonist.) 

*Note: some readers don’t like books that use “all the words” – specifically, those of the four-letter variety. Teenagers use expletives (shocking, I know) and the characters in this book are teens. Teens dealing with major-league difficult issues. Ergo, they cuss on occasion. I didn’t find the language either gratuitous or distracting, and I doubt most others will either, but if you’re absolutely, positively, against reading books with other than squeaky-clean verbiage, you’re missing out here but this one probably isn’t for you. 

Purchase Links: Publisher / Barnes & Noble / IndieBound / Amazon

Disclaimer: I know Delilah Dawson through Facebook and Twitter. I consider her a friend. However, that fact did not influence this review. I bought this book myself and did not receive a free copy, or anything else, in return for this review. I review only books that I like, do not take review requests, and recommend only books that I truly find worth reviewing. Even then, I don’t review all of the books I like. This one simply made the cut, and then some.