Tainted (The ARC #1) by Alexandra Moody


 The ARC: the world’s last chance for survival, but this underground fallout shelter is the last place you want to be.At the tender age of two Elle Winters lost everything, when the day of impact transformed Earth’s surface into an icy, desolate wasteland. Fifteen years later, all she has ever known are the cold, artificial confines of underground fallout shelter, the ARC. Under the Council’s rule, ruthless officials roam the hallways and community comes first. Everyone lives in fear of failing their annual testing and those that do are deemed tainted—taken away without any warning or a word of goodbye.

No one has been taken in over six months and the remaining citizens of the ARC have slowly begun to forget the danger. Elle remains wary, but even she is beginning to wonder if it’s finally safe to succumb to her feelings towards her closest friend, Sebastian.

But, no one is ever truly safe in the ARC. Elle is about to experience her own personal apocalypse and with nothing left to lose, she will finally attempt to uncover the truth about the tainted.

Will she find what she’s looking for or are some secrets better left buried deep underground?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23519286-tainted?ac=1
The year is 2065. Citizens of the world live below ground in a fallout shelter due to an asteroid hitting the planet and making the surface uninhabitable. This is a society where the rich live well and most of the people are poor and living in squalor and the government is lying to them. (Not sure whether to say it sounds perfectly Dystopian, or horribly like modern day.)
Our heroine, Elle, is an orphan. She’s afraid to get close to anyone because everyone she knows gets taken for being  ‘tainted’. What’s tainted? Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. Yearly citizens of the ARC get tested and if they are found tainted, are never seen again. Where do they go? What happens to them? Elle can’t help but wonder, but at the same time, is too terrified to truly find out. Until her friend Sebastian is taken.
The good points: This is a good story, with major dystopian overtones. I was able to grasp that from the beginning.
The bad points: The characters felt flat to me. I couldn’t tell you what Elle looked like. The one character with the most description was Quinn and I’m not sure whether to like or hate her. But the one thing that leapt out at me from every page and sometimes every paragraph was the fact the dialogue was wrong. Dialogue is set between “” not
between ‘’.
So – “This is dialogue,” I say – is correct dialogue
‘This is dialogue,’ I say – is not.
It greatly detracted from the overall story until I wished it was a paperback book so I could pull out a pen and add in marks everywhere they were needed. Yes, correct grammar and punctuation is important in me truly enjoying a book. Without it, I have to struggle to finish the book.
As for the ending of the book – it didn’t surprise me what happened. But it did surprise me how it ended. And, dang it, it made me want the next book in the series Talented to see if Elle finds…[can’t tell you that]. Only, I’ll wait to see if the author has the dialogue correct before I buy it.
It would have been four stars if it weren’t for the flat characters and the dialogue issues.