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Riser (The Riser Saga, #1) - Becca C. Smith Review Originally Posted at Bibliophilia, Please*

Riser is a science fiction novel by Becca C. Smith that is aimed at a young adult audience. It tells the story of Chelsan Derée, a young girl who lives in the United States in the year 2320. Although aging has been cured, people (and other animate creatures) still die of other causes – and Chelsan can raise the dead. While she tries to discover herself and the source of her powers, she has to overcome betrayal, heartache, and figure out why someone wants her dead.

I’m not going to review this book under my new “guidelines” because I did not finish it. Before you skim off, I want you to know that Riser started strongly for me. I am a huge fan of science fiction, and this was a very fun read. Chelsan, who narrates the story, has a very bubbly voice and personality, and Becca C. Smith's writing is fantastic. I enjoyed learning about the world that Smith created in this futuristic America where over-population is a huge problem because of the age cure, trees are one of the most important resources, and immortality is government-sponsored. It had all of the right ingredients.

Like many young adult books centered around high school kids, there is this “mean girl” who makes the protagonist’s life a living Hell. In Riser, it was a super rich chick named Jill. She was a horrible little bitch, but most teenage girls are. (Sorry, I was one. I wasn’t a bully, but I was still awful. It’s the hormones.) I liked to dislike her. I couldn’t wait for her to get what was coming to her. (Aren’t nasty villains fun?) Unfortunately, for me, she got what was coming to her by getting punched in the face. By a guy. And not just any guy, but a guy Chelsan liked. I know violence happens in books, but none of the characters in the book saw a problem with this. Chelsan thought it was sweet that he would do that for her.

He. Punched. A. Girl. In. The. Face.

I kept reading a few chapters further in, but I just couldn’t stomach that character hanging around or Chelsan’s fascination with him. Yes, Jill was a full-fledged Missus Nasty-Pants, but she was still a girl. And guys shouldn’t punch girls in the face. Period.

Why do I care so much? I had a guy – my boyfriend – punch me in the face when I was a young adult. He knocked me out. I justified his behavior and stayed – not long, but longer than I should have. This is why I could not with a clear conscience recommend this book to anyone. I would hate to think that a girl may read this book and think it’s okay that a guy hit her because she was being a bitch. You know, some guys will tell you that’s why they did it. It. Is. Never. Okay. Got it? However, that’s not to say I will discourage anyone from reading Riser – it has all the makings of a great book. I just can’t bring myself to finish it or put it in someone else’s hand. But I’ll still read Becca C. Smith’s next novel. In fact, I’m looking forward to it.

To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received the book for free from the author through Innovative Online Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.

*After my review was posted on my blog, the author (Becca C. Smith) stated that she would be changing the problematic scene due to continued complaints, as it was unnecessary to the novel. This review is based on Riser as it was in July 2012.