3.81 (7,573 ratings by Goodreads)
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Fifty years ago, the Commander came into power and murdered all who opposed him. In his warped mind, the seven deadly sins were the downfall of society. To punish the guilty, he created the Hole, a place where sinners are branded according to their sins. Sinners are forced to live a less than human existence in deplorable conditions, under the watchful eye of guards who are ready to kill anyone who steps out of line. Now, Lust wraps around my neck like thick, blue fingers, threatening to choke the life out of me. I've been accused of a crime I didn't commit, and the Hole is my new home. Constant darkness. Brutal and savage violence. Excruciating pain. Every day is a fight for survival. But I won't let them win. I will not die in the Hole. I am more than my brand. I'm a fighter. My name is Lexi Hamilton, and this is my story.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 359 pages
  • 140 x 216 x 24mm | 399.99g
  • Lexington, KY, United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 0989527417
  • 9780989527415
  • 132,318

About Abi Ketner

Melissa Kalicicki received her bachelor's degree from Millersville University in 2003. Aside from reading and writing, her interests include running and mixed martial arts. Abi Ketner is a registered nurse with a passion for novels, singing, and running. Best friends since college, they turned a month book review into a joint writing adventure. They both live in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
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Rating details

7,573 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 36% (2,762)
4 30% (2,244)
3 19% (1,439)
2 9% (696)
1 6% (432)

Our customer reviews

This book wasn't what I expected. BRANDED is very graphic and full of gore. There is a lot of violence and blood. (just a warning). I don't mind it all that much because I'm kind of desensitized to it all. However, some people may be discomforted by the fact. I think the violence shows an emphasis on the fact that these people in the Hole are "sinners" and the depravity the people are reduced to because of the conditions that the Commander puts them in. It took me by surprise with just how dark this book is. I thought this would be just another dystopian book that's kind of in the gray area with the darkness level. This book isn't quite as dark as BZRK or UNWIND, but it's nearly there. I really enjoyed Lexi's character growth and how she became kind of kickass in the end. She's no Celaena Sardothien though. She's very "woe-is-me" in the beginning. I wouldn't blame her though, as I would probably act in the same way if I was branded for a sin I didn't commit. Cole is also an interesting character to me, because although it seemed he didn't develop all that much in this book, I feel as if he's still hiding something. I would very much like to know what it is. Something happened to Lexi in her past involving her step father and though they talk about it some in the book, I still don't really know what it is? Maybe they explained it well and I was the one who didn't read carefully enough. I did find myself skimming some parts. All in all, I enjoyed this book though I didn't fall in love with it per se. It's a great dystopian read though I don't reccomend it for those who can't handle gore very more
by Sabrina Tam
My thoughts are so jambled with this book. On one hand, I loved it soooo much. Abi and Missy writes AMZINGLY together, Branded is.... Oy., Lexi Hamilton is wrongly accused of a sin, without a trial, without the chance to defend her innocence, she is taken to the Hole, branded, everything removed from her and tossed into The Hole. IF she's lucky, she'll survive... for a while. But apparently Luck does favor Lexi - to a degree, for she's being guarded by Cole. He's part of the Guards that keep things somewhat... uhmmm,"civilized" in the Hole... If that's what you want to call it. The affection between Cole and Lexi grows, but they have to keep it hidden, because the rules might be few in The Hole, but one of them is clear; Guards are NOT allowed to have relationships with Sinners. The penalty is...death. So what to do when your True Love stares you right into the face, demanding to be heard, meanwhile everything around you is crumbling to dust? And the ONE thing that will keep you sane is ripped away from you, not by a complete stranger, but by someone you once loved and trusted? I stated above that my thoughts, my feelings are mixed about this book. The good: It's amazingly written. I couldn't put it down. The love story between Cole and Lexi is.. heartbreaking, demanding, beautiful and brought tears to my eyes more than once. The story building was really well thought through. You don't feel left behind, you understand what the characters are going through, you want to put your arms around Lexi and Cole (and Zeus),to give them comfort, to say it's alright, things will work out in the end. I could feel Lexi's pain, it was that well written. I could understand the conflict between them jarring with the mutual attraction, and fear if anyone ever found out. The less good: This is a Dystopian, and I get that. Truly, I do. It's after the world ends (in one way or another), but this one... It chilled me to the bone. As amazing as Abi and Missy writes, some of the things that happen in this book... They're gruesome. I hurt when reading it, because deep down I know that some of these things not only happened in the past - they will happen again. Because this is what we're good at. Alienate people who are different than us, hurt them, to... (closes eyes) If you like Dystopian, this will most likely be right up your alley, you want a forbidden love story? Take the leap and read this. Abi and Missy have created something amazing with their book Branded. But I'm warning you... not only is it addictive, the twist and turns alone will keep you awake for hours, but the cruelty, the roughness... it will get to you. That said, I still couldn't put down the book. Despite the gory, the blood, loss of life, hope and the despair.. that small flicker of hope.. Beautiful Ladies. Very Well more
by Sabina
I HAD to read this book. The first time I had heard of it were from fellow bloggers when they were promoting the release of the first chapter of Branded. The synopsis of the book got me intrigued, but the moment I read the very first line of chapter one... I was instantly HOOKED "I'm buried six feet under, and no one hears my screams." That line ^ started my obsession, but it was the rest of the chapter that solidified my obsession in getting an early ARC copy, not because I wouldn't buy the book, I totally would. It's because I don't think I could wait for the release, it was sooo far away, I would surely go mad and attack someone! (only half-kidding here), so I started majorly stalking the authors (Hi Abi & Missy!), that how I got signed up for the blog tour! I got my ARC and totally died of happiness! Then got revived so I could read the book. Oh my, what an amazing book it is. The writing style of both the authors ( which is hard to differentiate), the story line, the characters, Oh God the characters! This book will make you make you it's prison bitch! I'm not saying that lightly, I have talked to bloggers who usually don't like dystopian and they loved the book as much as I did! It will literally own you. It will stay with you, days after you've read it. This story is about Lexi, a young girl who have been accused of one of the deadly sins. Lust, now she has been branded the colour of her crime around her neck, not only that she has been assigned a guard, Cole. Let the drama begin! :D Cole and Lexi, instantly have this connection and Oh My God chemistry. The way their relationship grows, despite their hellish surroundings, the other cruel guards, and prison mates. The chances of them being together without anyone finding out is slim to none and the consequences that can follow if they get caught, the question is when you're in hell, is love worth fighting for? "I love you.. I don't want you to ever question it. I'd give up my life for yours. That's how much I love you. Don't you dare ever doubt that." This book is action packed, it's filled with everything you could ever want in a book, in my mind this book actually played out like a movie, with the fights, bombs and deaths. Cole had a hard time protecting Lexi from not only being molested by her fellow prison inmates, but also being abused by the guards. Then on top of that, the attraction they were both fighting to keep themselves safe. Oh god, this book will surely own you, body, mind and soul. It will keep you awake until you have reached the very last page, then wished you had not, because you don't want the story to end. Don't get me wrong, it doesn't end in a cliffhanger! but the story is so far from being finished, this story is not over. There is so much more we need closure on. I, for one cannot wait to the next book, I am eagerly waiting the news of a release day! I have never read a writing style like this, to me authors are like ice cream flavours. I'm used to different variants of chocolate and then BAM! I get a taste of lemon sorbet. It does not mean it's bad, it just means how the hell have I not gotten it until now??!! Ladies trust me, Branded (lemon sorbet) is a taste you definitely DON'T want to miss. This is recommended for EVERYONE, even people who do not like Dystopian, trust me oh ye skeptics, you will love this too :) "Just leaave me". I whisper in his ear. "Never." This story has one of those epic forbidden love stories, that will make awww, sigh, and cry yourself silly. This is a books who has it all. BIG 5 STARS!show more
by Nadia Hassan
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