Book Review

The Delivery Co. – Book Review

Book Rating: ★★★★★ (5 / 5 stars)

Rejects are wrong. Replacements are good. This message has been woven into Ahna’s thoughts for as long as she could remember. But, after taking a fall for her friend over a seemingly minor offense, Ahna finds herself rejected and left in a junkyard. When Sticks finds her, Ahna’s life is thrust into the world of the rejected…and discovers the secrets The Delivery Co. has been hiding from everyone.

In a story with elements of The Giver, The Hunger Games, and Mortal Engines, this debut young adult novel by Lane Northcutt teaches us above acceptance, and above all else, how imperfections define humanity. With Ahna’s naivety and Sticks’s perseverance, we are shown these elements of humanity. Ahna just wants to be accepted; Sticks wants to fight. Ahna was raised as a ‘perfect child’; Sticks is considered imperfect and wrong. Yet, are they really that different? No. They’re one in the same, and understanding this will help bring and end to the horrible practices at the Delivery Co.

I’ve been looking forward to Northcutt’s debut novel since I interviewed him back in June. Personally I’ve always been a fan of dystopian novels that feature this sort of dichotomy; perhaps it is because it is a mirror of our own society, and a vivid reminder of what we need to stand up for injustices – such as mistreatment of the disabled, of the LGBTQ+ community, of different races – that leave anyone feeling inferior. This theme already drew me into the story. What made me stay was Northcutt’s ability to tell an exciting story with unique, almost humorous characters, that are one thing: adolescents fighting for their future. Ahna and Sticks both get stuck in their head, making snarky comment and producing inner dialogue that help us get to know them while fighting for what they believe. You’ll understand their heartbreak when they lose their friends, and their exuberance as they discover their survival.

Northcutt does a phenomenal job though in the ending the story on a note that makes you want more. If I had to critique anything, it would be that I want more! I would have loved to explore the Tent City more, or the Delivery Co., as well as witness Ahna as she grew stronger and more determined. But, I’m always the type who wants to dwell longer in certain areas of the book. Ultimately glossing over some of this did not detract from the whole story, nor did it stop me from wanting the next book. Questions are still riddling my head as I write this review! Who was going to adopt Ahna? Why did she really get rejected? What is with all of Seemore’s secrets? How will everything that happened affect Sticks? And where are they going now?

The Delivery Co. is phenomenal book that is hard to put down. I read it basically in one sitting this morning…and it’s not a short book! I just could get away from Ahna and Sticks, as well as Scorcher, Rollin, Sarah, and the rest! They are all so unique and endearing!

Audiences of all backgrounds will enjoy this book. So I implore you to check it out…it’s worth it! I promise.

Note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What’s it about?

Rejects are wrong. Replacements are good.

In a world where the government has sought to create the ideal children, The Delivery Co. was born. In a lab, they create the perfect child for families who have lost kids or cannot have them. These children come in different varieties, but are all flawless. They are known as Replacements.

Children born with a disability of any kind are deemed a burden on society and discarded into the wild. These children are known as the Rejected.

Ahna was raised in the world of the Replacements.

Sticks was raised in the clan of the Rejected.

When Ahna finds herself Rejected, she must learn to trust Sticks and the others within the group of the Rejected. Joining forces, Ahna will aid them in dismantling the very system that created them. Together, they hope to gain equality for all and bring an end to The Delivery Co. 

Insights

Indie Authors: A Community of Support

As a part of my launch event this past weekend, I interviewed and featured a handful of authors, all of whom represent different factions of the indie author community. One thing is universal among everyone I spoke with: we are a community. It is our job as indie authors to support one and other, because authors are not just authors…they’re readers too.

Indie authors get flack for not publishing traditionally. We all had our reasons though, and very rarely does it come down to our idea was rejected by agents. That’s not the case. We wanted to independently publish for a reason. Whether it was to get the story out there, having control of the process, or something else entirely.

I had the honor to meet a group of wonderful independent authors over the last week. You can meet them all below:

Eme’ Savage

Eme’ is the author of Echoes of the Gidat and Tetarul Parallel. We had a wonderful discussion about her novel and process, as well as self doubt and how that comes into play while writing.

Cody Blake Wilson

Cody is the author of The Awakening, the first in his series. We discussed his first novel as well as LGBTQ+ representation in media.

Rachel Garcia

Rachel is the author of Illthdar: The Guardians of Las, the first book in an anticipated 10 book series! We talked about how she handles her wide array of cast, as well as diversity in writing.

Rachel Shaw

Rachel Shaw is the author of Last Memoria. We spent time discussing her duology, as well as how biology and memory comes into play in her novel. In addition, we also discussed how to produce an audio book.

Lane Northcutt

Lane is the author of the upcoming novel, The Delivery Co. We had a fantastic conversation about his experience as both an actor and writer, as well as his process. Unfortunately, technology got the best of us, crashing post interview and deleting the video.

That being said, you can still read about our discussion HERE.

Lori Yerxa

Lori is the author of the non-fiction book, Pushing Through, which is about Rex Patrick, Paralympic Medalist. We discussed the differences in writing a non-fiction novel, and what she learned about herself along the way.

Sterling Blue

Sterling is the author of This Isn’t the Zombie Apocalypse. We discussed her novel, her creative process, and her current work on a graphic novel.

Kaitlyn Legaspi

Kaitlyn is the author of The Dark Irregular Trilogy. We spent time discuss her trilogy as well as her countless number of projects that she can handle all while in college!

Yet, with all these interviews, I didn’t just stop there. I featured a few other authors throughout my launch.

All of these authors combined gave away 10 books in total, reaching readers whom they might not have due to indie authors supporting one and other. And I am so glad to have spoken with all of them, since each of their stories sound unique and have made it to my “to-read” list.

Speaking with each of these authors has helped me find a new sense of community among indie authors. It’s why I am trying to start up a book club, and will continue to read and review books written by my peers.

So I implore you, please check out all these authors! They’re amazing!

And I will continue featuring and supporting them, and I hope you will as well!

E.S. Barrison

Featured Author

Surprise Feature: Lane Northcutt

Technology is terrible isn’t it?

On June 12th, 2020, I had a wonderful interview with Author Lane Northcutt that I was so excited to share with everyone. Only to have Instagram to crash the moment the interview ended. And for me to lose the entire video.

I didn’t want to lose our conversation though, so let me tell you a bit more about Lane and his upcoming novel, The Delivery Co.

Lane Northcutt lives in New York with his wife, where he dabbles in array of artistic endeavors. He is an actor, a photographer, a screen writer, and now…a novel writer! His experience as an actor has given him a unique perspective on writing. One day while performing, he came up with the idea for The Delivery Co. and proceeded to write the story on the train to and from work each day. With the help of his wife and friends, they have been able to tackle The Deliver Co., hoping to have it published by the end of the year.

So what is The Delivery Co. about?

In a dystopian society, where humans go to a company to receive the “ideal” child (or at least what society deems “ideal”) known as Replacements. Yet, there are children rejected for deformities or not meeting certain criteria. So meet Ahna, a girl who has been trained to be a perfect and ideal replacement, only to be rejected and sent outside into the Junkyard. There, she meets another reject named Sticks, as well as the other rejected children. She’s an anomaly of sorts, since she wasn’t rejected at birth, but rather after the fact.

And like in any other fantastic dystopian novel, cue a series of events that force these kids to dismantle the system.

I mentioned to Lane how it reminded me of elements of Lois Lowry’s The Giver, Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games, as well as elements of the movie Gattaca. So, with it coming out towards the end of the year, it is definitely one to watch.

Lane’s experience in theater, as well as with photography and other art forms, has helped him in his writing process. He can easily visualize scenes and placement when something happens. Although, Lane is the first to admit that sometimes this skill did result in some underwriting issues.

Lane said that while he didn’t outline The Delivery Co., he intends to outline in the future to avoid more rewrites than necessary. He’s started one idea already using note cards, where he can flip through them and make notes as necessary, which is a unique way to outlining that some writers might want to try themselves.

Lane’s piece of advice to new writers is simple though: if you want to write, find time. It’s hard. But whether it’s on a train via your phone, in a cafe on your iPad, or at home on your computer…find time to write. After all, you can’t edit a blank page.

The Delivery Co. is anticipated to come out towards the end of 2020.

Follow Lane Northcutt for updates: