Book Jacket

 

rank 1814
word count 17751
date submitted 22.06.2012
date updated 15.01.2013
genres: Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adu...
classification: moderate
incomplete

Borrowed

Jillian L. Romanowski

A fast-paced and riveting story about one girl's defiance in a dystopian society that leads her into a journey of self discovery.

 

Having lost her memories from an unknown childhood illness, Irissa, now views life differently. Her rude remarks, sarcasm, and the cold shoulder attitude has made her into a wallflower. But she's okay with that, since the Borrowed Law has been created, she thinks it's pointless to become close with anyone, including her own family.

Irissa's seventeenth birthday looms near, the age when life as she knows it will change forever. But after meeting a quirky, outgoing girl, Bianca, a friendly soldier named Finn, and an old schoolmate, Kyler, she gradually allows her impenetrable walls down. However, as time starts to run out, she begins to fight back and forth with her feelings.

What does a teenage girl do when forced into becoming one of the Borrowed, a surrogate to a 'child of science' that she will never claim as her own? Will she dwell on her past or fight for her future?

Find out in this enthralling story full of twists and turns where each chapter leaves you begging for more!

 
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tags

dystopian, girl, life, love, pregnancy, scared, society

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19 comments

 

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Debbie Coope wrote 442 days ago

YARG

I'm enjoying this story. I want to know what PURE is all about.

Ch4- Doe(s) he ... typo also the sentence, 'before I can even say a words edge wise...' doesn't read right to me. did you mean, before I can get a word in edge ways?

Ch5- ...at least it('s) shaved ...

I read chapters 4-6. What an emotional three chapters for a girl who doesn't feel. Disappointment, death, joy, betrayal. Great stuff. Now she's off to meet 'him.'

Debbie.
The Junk Room.

LCF Quartet wrote 450 days ago

Hi Jillian,
I have to say that your prologue is very comprehensive and you don't intimidate your reader with a heavy entrance. I'm impressed with the way you dance with words, and enjoyed every single line that I read, except the one word sentence 'Wow', somewhere in the middle-part of your first chapter.

The dialogue parts are good and believable for the genre and the premise you're transforming us in, is very interesting. The literary aspect of your work, aside from your remarkable imagination, is simply a pleasant journey I'd recommend to everyone on the site for a quality reading experience.

Your writing style drew me in to the plot very quickly, and made me more interested in the dystopian-fiction genre now. I guess, this is one of the marvels of reading new books and being open to everything that has a transforming effect.

6 well-deserved stars and in my Watch List for further comments as I read on,
Best wishes,
Lucette- Ten Deep Footprints

JMF wrote 452 days ago

YARG
Interesting opening chapters with a few threads that will intrigue the reader. I'm a fan of Dystopian fiction so I was keen to get into this.
Prologue
I'm not sure it's needed to be honest. I wonder if the start would be stronger going straight into the story. Perhaps leave a bit more to the imagination of the reader? Prologues seem to be either loved or hated. I personally don't have a strong feeling either way about them - I had one for ages in my own book and have recently removed it. However, I think there should be sufficient mystery and intrigue in the first chapters to hook the reader without the prologue. Mine is just one opinion and others may not agree.
Chapters One and Two
So we learn all sorts of snippets about the mc - her age is important, she's on some kind of medication and she is emotionally detached. And we learn the first things about the surrogacy. So there's plenty to whet the appetite of the reader. I wonder if a little more detail about her life and personality could be dropped into these two chapters before we get to the ceremony in chapter two. I say this because a reader will want to empathise or like the mc from the word go. I'm not sure as it stands at the moment that this is the case.
A few things I noted as I read:
'approaching outside my bedroom' is the door open or not? It's not clear.
'Inkling' usually we say 'an inkling' but I'm not sure that fits here - maybe a feeling or sensation/
'still very much real' should be 'still very real'
'I'm running even real late now' should be 'I'm running late'
This has potential to be a great story for your YA readership.
All the best with it.
Julia
Shadow Jumper

Debbie Coope wrote 453 days ago

YARG

Borrowed is an interesting idea for a YA book. I think a future world where life slots you into holes is scary.

I liked the short prologue which immediately tells us something is about to change the world. This must be big.

Ch1- Iris is about to turn 17. I like the count down you give us. The reader has a time scale to work with to get to the 'change' I guess. I like this. Iris seems, initially, to be a hypocondriac and sulky, but then she can't connect with her emotions or people. She only feel anxiety. I'm guessing that this will change down the line. There's a hint of the past being important with her seeing familiar faces. This is intriguing if this is the case.

Ch2- Iris doesn't do friends either. She's very closed. The science v. religion is an interesting line to pursue.

I'll be back to read some more chapters. On my watchlist and starred.

Debbie.
The Junk Room.

Seringapatam wrote 456 days ago

I know there are some minor issues below but i thought this to be a fantastic story. You really do have a voice for this genre and tell it well. I am impressed as I would never read anything like this. Smooth flow to it and a pace when required to speed up at will. I loved it well done.
Sean Connolly. British Army on the Rampage. (B.A.O.R). please consider me for a read or watch list wont you? Happy New year. Sean

Littleredriley wrote 458 days ago

CWOG Review
Hey there,

I love dystopian books, especially well written ones- and this is.
It was dark, and leaves the reader teetering on the end of the abyss waiting for more. The characters are interesting and likeable- especially Finn. He has that irritating boyishness about him thats just adorable. I cant wait to see how they interact.

There was one line i couldnt make sense of, 'I sense lost and there is a feeling i mioght drown.' - i've read it a couple of times, but i'm drawing a blank here, sorry.

Also, your pitch left me confused. Some of it was so good, and then other parts not so much. The last paragraph for instance is awful- sorry again. Yet the one just above it is superb. Your SP is also, very long winded. It needs a comma or a period or something. If you say it out loud you'll see what i mean- or not! Could just be me.

Overall i like this, and you have more than enough skill to keep my interest. I predict good things for you ;0)
I look forward to reading more.

High stars

Claire C Riley
Limerence

Lucy Middlemass wrote 461 days ago

This is a YARG review

Borrowed

I’ve read your first couple of chapters. I like the simplicity of the language - there are no unnecessary descriptions to slow down the plot. Irissa has the potential to be difficult to bond with as an MC - her lack of feelings for her family etc risk making her a bit flat. I haven’t read far enough to decide, though, so I’m not sure.

If this were mine, I wouldn’t include words like “riveting” in a short pitch. It’s the sort of thing I’d let a reader decide for themselves.

In the long-pitch, in the same way, I guess I don’t like the last line much. Again, they read like opinions about the book, and I already know you probably think it’s good. Despite that, your pitches are both mostly okay. I think I’d have a slightly different emphasis, that’s all.

Prologue

This is short, and I think describes the creation of the MC. Lots of dystopian books focus on issues around birth/insemination type stuff. I’m hoping to be surprised here with something extra too. Assuming this is the point at which the MC is created, it’s a suitable subject for a prologue, that’s for sure. Nice starting point.

Does the voice echo? How so? Isn’t it just transmitted? If it’s an echo, where is the sound really coming from? For a first line, things like this ought to be super-clear.

“white lab coats” could lose “white”. They’re always white, aren’t they?

Chapter One

This is another chapter starting with the idea of a sound echoing. If every chapter starts with it, I like it. It would become a thing. If not, it jars a bit.

“approaching the outside of my bedroom door.” It’s bound to be the “outside.” The footsteps are in the hallway.

The idea that your MC has trouble connecting with people is where this is original. I like it but it concerns me that Iris won’t be sufficiently likeable as a consequence.

“Inkling” needs “an” or “the” in front of it - an article. It’s not a verb, despite the “ing” ending.

This first part hints at things but doesn’t give them away. The opening is a little like Jacob’s Divide (another yarg). There’s a similar scene where the character is preparing to undergo a change based on his/her selection for something special. There’s also a conversation with a close family member. It works in both books, I think.

The thoughts in italics are a nice touch. It could be hard to make the reader feel sympathy for a character who feels nothing. Giving us her thoughts so directly gives it more of a chance.

The idea that childlessness leads to an inevitably unfulfilled life is probably not one all your readers will agree with. I don’t know if it matters - is it important that we all agree with her? She feels something about this, but she doesn’t feel much about anything else. That seems like a possible contradiction.

“seraphim” is a great choice.

“the Borrowers” make me think of tiny people who sit on cotton reels and live in skirting boards.

Chapter Two

I’m not clear why either of them are late. What happened?

“young girl’s faces” ought to be “young girls’ faces”. Stuff like this doesn’t matter much, but you could correct it in your next edit.

I think Irissa is not feeling deliberately. Is that right? I can understand her choosing this as a way of coping with the situation. Not sure whether she needs to not feel anything for her family, too.

It’s an interesting opening, with the kind of darkness that I think a YA audience would enjoy.

Good luck with it.

Lucy

Chris Bostic wrote 461 days ago

Jillian,

A YARG review. Welcome to the group. I hope you get all kinds of helpful reviews, and I hope this is one of them. I read the Prologue and the first two chapters closely. Here goes with my comments:

Prologue:
-I have no really useful comments here. You get straight to the action and describe everything very well. The only thing curious was the large, toothy grin. I was picturing more of sterile environment, where the lab worker might be wearing a germ mask over his mouth and nose. Or maybe he would have a full helmet on , which would allow them to see the grin. Just a thought. No big deal.

Chapter 1:
-It’s always nice when I can tell from the first few lines that the author can really write. And you can. Well. I’m thinking everything to follow is going to be some really minor, nitpicky stuff.
-C1, P8, I would maybe revise the last sentence to something simpler like: “…I take a few deep breaths, and try to relax.”
-C1, P10, do you mean she senses “loss” not “lost”, or maybe you need more words to describe that she feels lost?
-C1, P19, I believe you should capitalize “mom” in the line “What is wrong with me, [M]om?” If you said ‘my mom’ then lowercase is fine, but Mom is being used like a proper name.
-Below the break, I think it might be more natural for Kyler to say ‘be’ rather than ‘become’ in: “I forgot that you might be(come) selected.”
-I couldn’t really find anything else to comment on. The story develops quickly. The introduction of the pregnant girls all around and then the bus encounter with Finn really let you get out a lot of information without overloading. I liked it.

Chapter 2:
-I really enjoyed the scene where they are late and they are told to get food while everyone watched. How uncomfortable, then worse yet when the egg roll falls and rolls to the speaker. I wasn’t sure what reaction that would get, I was kinda nervous, but the man was perfectly polite and accommodating. Well done!
-After the break, you say the man on stage is the man from earlier. When? Did I miss something? The man was already on stage behind the podium when the egg roll fell. Was this him or someone else?
-It’s the president. So wouldn’t she have recognized his voice when he talked to her about getting food? Well I guess Irissa did, but…
-Great twist when they find out that everyone has been chosen. And I really like the way Bianca is becoming a close friend.

This was terrific! I would definitely like to read more. You get a place on my watchlist and a boat load of stars.

If you would like to return the favor of a read sometime, I would appreciate it.
Thanks, and Best Wishes,
-Chris
Game Changer

Jilleigh wrote 464 days ago

CWOG/YARG review

ha, your first - excellent.

I like that Iris is short for Irissa - this seems a silly thing for someone to like, but before reading "Iris" i was reading "Irissa" and saying it like "Marissa" without the "M" - now I know I should be giving it a long "I" when i read it... cool.

I dislike that she refers to her Mother as "Mother" all the time... "Mother's face turns a shade of pink" - reading this and other sentences like it, kind of put me off, i'd rather her say "My mother" or "Mom" or "Mum" depending on where you're from...
"Mother" just sounds too posh and a bit disconnected... though i do see your reasons for wanting Iris to be disconnected... so this is really a moot point

I think "hand holding" should be hyphenated... but don't quote me
"should make my heart flutter, but it doesn't" - ok the 'it' here is referring to your heart, and i think this is correct - but i believe it would read better if it was "but they don't" as you're referring to his eyes...

"Who would want an irresponsible girl carrying inside her a precious designer baby?" - i think this should be "Who would want an irresponsible girl to carry inside her a precious, designer baby"
- i'm not sure if that reads better but the comma at the end is for sure necessary.

"The male species tends to remain arrogant" - haha love it

interesting notion about Sylas Lowdry - my prediction? Like Hitler, Sylas is attempting to create a world against the thing of which he is - deformed. Hence the hiding of his face. Betcha that bastard is deformed in more ways than one.

I love the introduction to Finn - he's annoying but then immediately likeable... I wonder how this will play out with him, Kyler, and Irissa... interesting interesting

will be back for more, high stars for now
Jaclyn x
It Never Happened



Thank you, I wasn't expecting a comment/review so soon! Yeah, I can see your point with Iris calling her mom "Mother". I think I did this because I've seen it done many times in novels I've read. I'm currently on my second draft of this novel, which is being rewritten, and the chapters have acquired more depth to them) I will see about changing to "mom". Then again, her detachment, like you said, does fit "Mother". Tough call!

Hand-holding does look better. Thanks for pointing that out!

"His eyes should make my heart flutter, but they don't." Yep, that does sound better!

Finn will win you over if you read onward as the story unfolds, I have no doubt!

There are hints of a "love triangle", though I don't believe it is a main plot theme in this novel. It will arise from time to time.

Again, thank you! I can't wait to return the favor. :)

Jaclyn Aurore wrote 464 days ago

CWOG/YARG review

ha, your first - excellent.

I like that Iris is short for Irissa - this seems a silly thing for someone to like, but before reading "Iris" i was reading "Irissa" and saying it like "Marissa" without the "M" - now I know I should be giving it a long "I" when i read it... cool.

I dislike that she refers to her Mother as "Mother" all the time... "Mother's face turns a shade of pink" - reading this and other sentences like it, kind of put me off, i'd rather her say "My mother" or "Mom" or "Mum" depending on where you're from...
"Mother" just sounds too posh and a bit disconnected... though i do see your reasons for wanting Iris to be disconnected... so this is really a moot point

I think "hand holding" should be hyphenated... but don't quote me
"should make my heart flutter, but it doesn't" - ok the 'it' here is referring to your heart, and i think this is correct - but i believe it would read better if it was "but they don't" as you're referring to his eyes...

"Who would want an irresponsible girl carrying inside her a precious designer baby?" - i think this should be "Who would want an irresponsible girl to carry inside her a precious, designer baby"
- i'm not sure if that reads better but the comma at the end is for sure necessary.

"The male species tends to remain arrogant" - haha love it

interesting notion about Sylas Lowdry - my prediction? Like Hitler, Sylas is attempting to create a world against the thing of which he is - deformed. Hence the hiding of his face. Betcha that bastard is deformed in more ways than one.

I love the introduction to Finn - he's annoying but then immediately likeable... I wonder how this will play out with him, Kyler, and Irissa... interesting interesting

will be back for more, high stars for now
Jaclyn x
It Never Happened

Phoenix Grey wrote 666 days ago

Just read the first few chapters. I am interested by the storyline and Irissa's emotional detachment. It is easy enough to read, but I am not sure about the present tense narration - I haven't read much like that so I'm not sure whether it's just me being unused to it. I think that you could insert more drama, bring the reader closer to the action. I like the thoughts in italics, it emphasises the idea of detachment.

In chapter four, in the line that says: 'Before I can even say a word edge wise, she stands . . .' I don't think that 'edge wise' needs to be there, it makes sense without it.

I think that maybe the memory part at the end of chapter four would be better done in italics, or something, so that it stand out a bit more from the main narrative - but this is just my opinion, others (and yourself) may disagree.

Feel free to take anything I say with a pinch of salt, and good luck! This has promise.

Phoenix
Shadow of the Moon

PenInHand wrote 667 days ago

I’m not sure how I feel about your first chapter; your book overall sounds (from the pitch) like an amazing story. However, the opening scene fell a bit flat for me. It was just too cliché- every other scifi movie starts out exactly like this one. You didn’t do anything to make the scene yours; from the white lab coats to the bit about changing the world, I’ve seen this too many times. An agent probably wouldn’t get past that beginning, no matter how wonderful the story is.
When we actually do meet your main character, her first person narration is very monotone and dry. There wasn’t any strong imagery, and the dialog itself felt stilted and artificial. I don’t really like Iris as a character; not because of her characteristics, but the execution of her is very melodramatic. Also, you should show more and tell less. I feel like outright stating the mother’s opinion on the borrowed law came across as jarring and unnatural. Honestly, you may want to switch to third person when you revise this; your style I think is much more suited to that. When you write first person, you need to write what the person I thinking, how they’d think it. I stopped reading after chapter 2.
All in all, this is a good idea that could use some polishing. But hey, can’t every story? I’m sure that with a few revisions, this will be amazing :)

Jilleigh wrote 667 days ago

Jillian Leigh Borrowed
Irissa certainly has to be a strong character - having to deal with mysterious illnesses, loss of memory. I'm most fascinated by your first chapter and based on your style of writing and general plot development, I have to give you six stars and put your book on my watch list to continue this story which begs the reader to continue.
All the best further ahead on authonomy
Maretha/African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends



Thank you for taking time to read and comment on 'Borrowed', it's much appreciated.

maretha wrote 667 days ago

Jillian Leigh Borrowed
Irissa certainly has to be a strong character - having to deal with mysterious illnesses, loss of memory. I'm most fascinated by your first chapter and based on your style of writing and general plot development, I have to give you six stars and put your book on my watch list to continue this story which begs the reader to continue.
All the best further ahead on authonomy
Maretha/African Adventures of Flame, Family, Furry and Feathered Friends

Jilleigh wrote 668 days ago

Exciting Prologue; good storyline. I like it already....



Thank you so much for reading and commenting. I'm heading over to yours shortly. Meant to last night, but my sleep deprived self wouldn't allow so. :)

Jilleigh wrote 668 days ago

This is very, very good. Irissa is a very strong point of view character. She has so many dimensions, mysterious illness and family background, lack of emotion making her almost Asperger's but the on and off relationships with Kyler, Finn and Bianca beautifully written and subtle. She will clearly need to be a survivor in the world she has to live in, eugenics gone mad. I found this really involving and it flowed beautifully. It has stronger characterisation than most dystopean books which is great.
I didn't notice any typos or anything that stopped me in my tracks while reading except that I wasn't sure what a 'vanity' is. Also 'The passing with Kyler near my loft' is that a typo or did I misread it? After chapter 1 I didn't see any little niggles.
6 stars from me.



Thank you for reading and commenting, it means a lot! I'm so happy you enjoyed the chapters you read. I did some editing before posting on authonomy hoping I wouldn't have as many errors. I'm still in the editing/revising stage. I'm not a great proofreader, so hopefully I manage. I'm glad that Irissa's "stand-offish' personality shines through. I had to revise a lot of the first few chapters because of that, completely changing her character development to which it would make more sense. Oh, also, a 'vanity' is usually meant for a bedroom. It's a small table with drawers and can have a mirror attached to it. Girls tend to use it for putting on makeup, brushing hair, or storing jewerly. There's is a stool or bench seat to sit on. You pointed out the awkward sounding sentence that I will take note on. "The passing Kyler by my loft." What I mean is her "run-in" with Kyler. I bet there is a better way of phrasing that, so thanks for noticing! Again, I appreciate the feedback. :)

DWBrown wrote 668 days ago

Exciting Prologue; good storyline. I like it already....

rikasworld wrote 668 days ago

This is very, very good. Irissa is a very strong point of view character. She has so many dimensions, mysterious illness and family background, lack of emotion making her almost Asperger's but the on and off relationships with Kyler, Finn and Bianca beautifully written and subtle. She will clearly need to be a survivor in the world she has to live in, eugenics gone mad. I found this really involving and it flowed beautifully. It has stronger characterisation than most dystopean books which is great.
I didn't notice any typos or anything that stopped me in my tracks while reading except that I wasn't sure what a 'vanity' is. Also 'The passing with Kyler near my loft' is that a typo or did I misread it? After chapter 1 I didn't see any little niggles.
6 stars from me.

Ghosty wrote 669 days ago

Hi Jill,

Back to comment! I definitely think this is a book the YA audience will like. Your first person narrative, combined with the feelings of disillusionment with the world would be identifiable to teens. All the angst, confusion and trying to discover who you are and what you want to become, but having no control over it, would resonate. Being on the cusp of adulthood, but still not being free to do as you please - its' a disturbing thought... But I really enjoyed this; as you promised, it is fast-paced and I flew through the six chapters you have posted. There were a couple of typos, but nothing too major, like all of us, it comes with the editing! I hope you do well, it definitely deserves a spot on my shelf.
Gill

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