Tuesday 7 April 2015


Integrate by Adele Jones (Rhiza Press)
PB RRP $17.99
ISBN 978-1-925139-09-9
Reviewed by Peta Biggin

Blaine Colton had been handed a genetic death sentence until revolutionary gene therapy changed his life.  Living a relatively normal existence, he is called to an unscheduled post-treatment appointment just weeks before his eighteenth birthday.  Informed that his life saving procedure was never approved, he is held against his will.  Subjected to constant testing, refused contact with his parents and deprived of necessary medication, Blaine begins to suspect that something is wrong.  Wanting answers, he escapes the Institute and the ambitious Chief Scientist, Dr Melissa Hartfield.  Now a fugitive with a failing body, Blaine must find Professor Ramer, the developer of his therapy.  But the Professor has vanished and time is running out. Fast

Integrate is the first YA novel for Queensland writer Adele Jones. 
It is a fast-paced adventure set in Brisbane and follows Blaine Colton’s attempts to reclaim his life and freedom.  Well written and easy to read, this is not a book filled with action but it is a tense story that compels the reader forward.

Blaine is a likeable, sympathetic character and it’s easy to be swept up in the trials and challenges that he endures throughout the story.  Despite overcoming many obstacles, it is his internal battles that I found particularly compelling and poignant.  Not only because they present Blaine as a young man beset by self-doubt and a faltering faith in those close to him.  It also provides an insight into the mind of a person who was, before his therapy, living with serious disabilities.  Unable to communicate or control his body, Blaine was nevertheless fully aware of the people, conversations and activities around him.  Through him, the reader is given a glimpse into an existence few of us will ever experience; a subtle reminder of the humanity of those less able than ourselves.  

What I also appreciated was that, despite being largely positive, the reader was not presented with a neat, tied-in-a-bow conclusion.  There are, like everything in life, no certainties; Blaine is not guaranteed a “happily-ever-after”.  There was a particular degree of satisfaction at the outcome, without an unnecessary fairy-tale ending.

Overall, I really enjoyed Integrate.  I found it easy to read and at times hard to put down.  The book would be more appealing for teenage boys as there is plenty of adventure and only a hint of romance.  It is a great first YA novel and hopefully not the last.

Adele Jones is a Queensland author whose writing is inspired by a passion for family, faith, friends, music and science.  She has had a variety of poems, short stories, meditations, devotions, magazine articles and an historical fiction novel published. Integrate, her first YA novel, was awarded the Caleb Prize for unpublished manuscript.   She can be found online at: http://www.adelejonesauthor.com/


  1. Thanks for that review. I really enjoyed it as well. Although it's a YA book, I also think it has broader appeal because it deals with issues many of us face, such as identity and self-worth. I also liked the fast pace, action and relationship issues. Well worth checking out.

  2. Great review, Peta.

    I agree with your conclusions. An enjoyable book, recommended for teenage boys. A likeable protagonist facing strong internal and external challenges. A solid first YA novel from Adele Jones.


Buzz Words Books would love to hear what you think.