Review: The Farm

the farm

The Farm (The Farm #1) by Emily McKay

Book description (from Goodreads) –

For Lily and her twin sister, Mel, there is only the Farm . . .

It’s a prison, a blood bank, a death camp – where fear and paranoia rule. But it’s also home, of sorts. Because beyond the electric fence awaits a fate much, much worse.

But Lily has a plan.

She and Mel are going to escape – into the ravaged land outside, a place of freedom and chaos and horrors. Except Lily hasn’t reckoned on two things: first, her sister’s ability to control the horrors; and, secondly, on those out there who desperately want to find and control Mel.

Mel’s growing power might save the world, or utterly end it. But only Lily can protect Mel from what is to come . . .

The Farm takes you into a terrifying future where civilization has ended, and leaves you there – fearful, gasping and begging to escape.


I loved this novel.  I could not put it down; I became addicted to it.  The Farm by Emily McKay is full of suspense, action, and horror, and I could not stop reading.  It was one of those novels where I wanted to know what happened, yet at the same time I didn’t want it to end because I was enjoying it so much.

In Emily McKay’s The Farm, the United States of America has changed; it has become overrun with Ticks.  Ticks are grotesque creatures, and the best way for me to describe them is that they are mutant humans who act like mutant vampires.  Everyone was lead to believe that Farms would be safe places for teenagers; a way to protect them from Ticks – who prefer the blood of teenagers.  The government told parents it would be safe.

However life on the Farm is not easy – you donate blood, which is given to the Ticks, you keep your head down and your contact with others to a minimum. You just don’t know who you can trust.  For main character Lily, she takes every precaution to avoid trouble.  If you get in to trouble on the Farm…you die.  Lily’s main reason for avoiding trouble is not just to protect herself, but also to protect her twin sister, Mel, who has autism.  Lily would do anything to protect Mel, and that means leaving the Farm – because once a teenager turns 18, they disappear from the Farm – never to be seen again.

Lily doesn’t know what happens to teenagers once they turn 18, but she suspects that they are thrown to the Ticks – and with Lily and Mel’s 18th birthday just around the corner, Lily is taking no chances.  She doesn’t know what life is like outside the walls of the Farm – how life has changed, if people are fighting back, who is still alive – but she can’t risk staying there any longer.  All she can think about is keeping Mel safe.

I loved Lily.  She is protective, loyal, stubborn, quick witted, and very self-less when it comes to Mel.  Lily does feel a huge responsibility to look after Mel and sometimes she resents it, but at the same time she would not have it any other way.  She loves her sister and is extremely protective of her.

While Lily is the main character and the story is told mostly in her point of view, there are also chapters in Mel’s point of view and that of another character – Carter.  I adored Mel; she has such a beautiful soul.  She is kind, caring, brave, and she deeply loves her sister, Lily.  I loved the chapters from her perspective.

As mentioned earlier, there are also chapters from Carter’s point of view.  Carter has arrived at the Farm with a mission: to rescue Lily and Mel.  He knew Lily in the Before (before the Ticks), when they went to school together.  Carter has his reasons for wanting to get Lily and Mel off the Farm, but he can’t tell Lily why – at least not straight away.  He is desperate for Lily to trust him, but she is hesitant.  She wants to, she would love to trust him, but she hasn’t kept herself and Mel safe on the Farm for the past 6 months by trusting people.  Lily needs Carter to prove that he is trustworthy.

Carter is one of those gorgeous male characters that you keep turning the pages for.  You want to read more about him.  He is strong, kind, loyal, and honourable.  He occasionally says the wrong things to Lily but he has the best of intentions.  He is keeping secrets from Lily but he does have his reasons.  He wants to keep Lily and Mel safe.  I do believe that Carter’s feelings for Lily are his own and not what he feels is being projected onto him.  I know that doesn’t make much sense, but it will after you have read the novel.  I don’t want to say too much, because I don’t want to spoil the story for anyone.

The Farm is an action packed dystopian novel but at its core it is a story of love.  The love Lily has for her sister, Mel; the love Mel has for Lily.  The love Carter feels for Lily; the feelings Lily has for Carter.  There are also two other characters that love each other (but again, no spoilers).

I experienced so many emotions while reading this novel, and I was left in shock by an event that occurred towards the end of the story.  I can’t wait to read the sequel.

The Farm by Emily McKay is absolute brilliance.  A must read.


*Thank you to Penguin Australia for providing me with a copy of The Farm to review.


Published by: Penguin Australia
Release date: 21st November 2012

3 thoughts on “Review: The Farm

  1. Pingback: “Waiting on” Wednesday: The Lair | Treasured Tales for Young Adults

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