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Review: The Wicked We Have Done by Sarah Harian


Evalyn Ibarra never expected to be an accused killer and experimental prison test subject. A year ago, she was a normal college student. Now she’s been sentenced to a month in the compass room—an advanced prison obstacle course designed by the government to execute justice.

If she survives, the world will know she’s innocent.

Locked up with nine notorious and potentially psychotic criminals, Evalyn must fight the prison and dismantle her past to stay alive. But the system prized for accuracy appears to be killing at random.

She doesn’t plan on making friends. She doesn’t plan on falling in love, either.

My thoughts

An advanced prison where you have to fight for your life and your survival proves your innocence? Sounds like an action packed story doesn’t it? It is! Not only did I love the idea but was really happy when I noticed how dark and violent this book is. That’s the kind of New Adult book I want to read!

A thrilling and bloody scenario

I hadn’t put any thoughts into what could happen in this prison. Just like Evalyn and her fellow inmates I was completely clueless and when certain things started to happen I was beyond thrilled (unlike the characters of course :D). This new idea on how to execute criminals makes a great story and I sucked up all the details I could get about this prison, how it came to be, how it worked. What made this all the more exciting is that the system is malfunctioning and it gets pretty violent real fast.

Alternating time periods

This book starts off with Evalyn on her way to this new prison which means we don’t get any introduction but get right to the interesting part. That also means that when starting the book we have no idea what Evalyn’s crime actually is besides that it must be something major to deserve this kind of death penalty. To find out more about Evalyn and her crime we get to read about her past, the days that led to the crime in chapters which appear at certain times so that it feels like she remembers those at that point. I liked to read these alternating parts, past and present. Both were always short enough to not loose the thrill from the present while reading about her everyday life before prison. It was also interesting to slowly get to know about her crime instead of all at once.

Predictable but still exciting

The predictable part about the story concerns Evalyn’s crime. There is an aspect about it that I knew way before it was actually revealed. It didn’t take away any of the excitement but had a little impact on how I thought about Evalyn. It sometimes annoyed me some how she thought about herself and how she acted towards others.

Mixed feelings about friendship and a lovestory

You wouldn’t think these too things possible under the given circumstances. In my opinion they were a great addition to the story though. The love story could have been easily left out. On the one hand I sometimes thought that it developed a little too fast but on the other hand those people think they live the last few days of their lives, so why not. What I really liked though is the friendship these characters build. When you must survive to prove your innocence and go free, why not help each other out and start caring for the others while doing that. For this to happen without it becoming too unrealistic, something about most of these people’s crimes was necessary. They have something in common and that little something was a bit unrealistic in itself.


The Wicked We Have Done is a well written debut, that comes with a thrilling and fresh new idea about a prison that’s more deadly than it should be. The characters have some interesting background stories so that you don’t want to see them killed off even though they committed some major crimes. A bloody violent read that made me want to read more by the author and especially exited about the second book in the series.

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  • I have this on my tbr list and it sounds super exciting!!! I love that it’s a new adult dystopian instead of romance…

    • Me too! I usually don’t read new adult but this sounded so much better as the usual ones I had to read it.

  • Das klingt total spannend und wandert gleich mal auf die Wunschliste!

    Ich mag solche Settings ja total, bei denen man überhaupt keine Ahnung hat was genau eigentlich passiert (wie bei Maze Runner) und “bloody violent” klingt sowieso schon mal gut :D

Apr 17, 2014