download (9)Reviewed by Sarah Lelonek

Sometimes it takes me a while to fully get into a book. I read a few pages, put the book down, read a few more, forget about the book. This is how my reading adventure with The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian began. I’m glad to say about half way through the book, I couldn’t put it down. I found myself enthralled with the story, but more so, I wanted to know the past of each of the characters.

The premise of this book is that in the near future, the government has created a new way of deciding if an alleged criminal is guilty or not. It’s called the Compass Room. Basically, these alleged criminals are put into this arena of sorts, kind of like a Hunger Games situation. They spend 30 days inside the arena. During this time, they are tested mentally and physically while their brain waves are being sent to a machine. If the machine sees the person as not guilty, after a month, the person goes free. If found guilty, the person can be killed on the spot.

Evalyn Ibarra finds herself in the Compass Room with a slew of other young adults who may or may not have committed crimes out of hatred. While we don’t know exactly why Evalyn is there, we know that it involves something pretty horrific. The reader spends the rest of the novel learning about Evalyn’s past, as well as learning about the other inmates.

I did generally enjoy this book. There were some parts that really stuck out as memorable. The writing was pretty captivating at times. What I didn’t like about the book was this concept of the Chaos Theory. This theory was brought up a few times, very vaguely, in flash backs to Evalyn’s past. I think that there needed to be more explanation of how this theory affected Evalyn and those around her if the author was going to name the entire series Chaos Theory. And that’s another thing: I really didn’t think this needed to be a series. I don’t like when authors extend a book into a series when she could have summed everything up within one book. I was okay with the ending. I would have liked maybe one more chapter, but other than that, I really don’t know what will happen in the second book.

All-in-all, I enjoyed the concept of the Compass Room. I liked trying to figure out if the inmates were guilty or not. I thought sometimes that the execution of the story and the background could have been a little more detailed. I think this is a fun, if not twisted, read. It was pretty good, but not the best.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Sarah Emily Lelonek has a BA in English Literature from Kent State University. She is planning on attending Graduate School for English Rhetoric and Composition. She enjoys traveling and gaming while on breaks from working on her novel.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Penguin Group. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.