WANT (Want #1)
Author: Cindy Pon
Publisher: Simon Pulse
To be Published: June 13th 2017
(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)
From critically acclaimed author Cindy Pon comes an edge-of-your-seat sci-fi thriller, set in a near-future Taipei plagued by pollution, about a group of teens who risk everything to save their city.
Jason Zhou survives in a divided society where the elite use their wealth to buy longer lives. The rich wear special suits, protecting them from the pollution and viruses that plague the city, while those without suffer illness and early deaths. Frustrated by his city’s corruption and still grieving the loss of his mother who died as a result of it, Zhou is determined to change things, no matter the cost.
With the help of his friends, Zhou infiltrates the lives of the wealthy in hopes of destroying the international Jin Corporation from within. Jin Corp not only manufactures the special suits the rich rely on, but they may also be manufacturing the pollution that makes them necessary.
Yet the deeper Zhou delves into this new world of excess and wealth, the more muddled his plans become. And against his better judgment, Zhou finds himself falling for Daiyu, the daughter of Jin Corp’s CEO. Can Zhou save his city without compromising who he is, or destroying his own heart?
This novel immediately made it to my all-time favorite list. It is, no doubt, one of the best Sci-Fi novels I’ve ever read. The world-building, the characters and the overall plot was so well-done, It felt like a movie. It needs to be a movie.
Want is set in near-futuristic Taipei where the world is heavily polluted. The sky is no longer blue, the air so infested you could barely see the sky at all. Taking this into advantage, Jin Corp manufactures protective suits and sells them at extreme prices, making it one of the most powerful companies in the world. Because of these suits, the society is divided into classes: Mei – the poor who can barely afford food let alone suits and the You– sickeningly rich people who live lavish lives and own suits, sometimes several.
Jason Zhou is a Mei and so is his found family — the silent but deadly Iris, her girlfriend, hacker and boss-extraordinaire Lingyi, the incredibly smart Arun and smartly-dressed hustler, Victor. This band of misfits conspires to take down Jin Corp. To do that, Zhou must infiltrate the people he despises the most- the You– and even worse, he’d have to befriend Daiyu, the CEO’s own daughter.
From the very first few pages you’ll fall for Jason Zhou. He just has this confidence and intensity and it’s incredibly sexy. Swoon level 150, trust me!
Cindy Pon’s writing is just amazing, especially when it comes to world-building! I was so immersed in it and I could just picture everything so perfectly. This is where I’ll repeat: it needs to be a damn movie!!
Did I mention how incredibly diverse it is?? It’s #OwnVoices. Zhou is Taiwanese-American, there are also Indian, Chinese, and Filipino characters. The characters stole my heart, especially Daiyu who is confident af and badass. The relationships between Zhou and his friends…squad goals. I’m getting emotional just thinking about it. And I adored the established F/F romance in this book so much I might cry.
There are heists, kidnapping, hacking, corruption, and murder…overall an action-packed and emotional ride. It takes on important topics like prejudice, pollution, corruption and exploitation as well as social divides and extreme economic differences. I LOVED this book so much and now that Book 2 is a thing, I’ll be sitting in a corner crying and rocking back & forth until its release.
Cindy Pon is the author of Silver Phoenix (Greenwillow, 2009), which was named one of the Top Ten Fantasy and Science Fiction Books for Youth by the American Library Association’s Booklist, and one of 2009′s best Fantasy, Science Fiction and Horror by VOYA. The sequel to Silver Phoenix, titled Fury of the Phoenix, was released in April 2011. Serpentine and Sacrifice, her second duology are out (Month9books). WANT, a near-future thriller set in Taipei releases June 13th, 2017 (Simon Pulse). She is the co-founder of Diversity in YA with Malinda Lo and on the advisory board of We Need Diverse Books. Cindy is also a Chinese brush painting student of over a decade.