Author: Laurne DeStefano
Genre: Dystopian Young Adult
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Review Copy (Thank you to Simon and Schuster!)
Why the sudden rash of Young Adult reviews, you may ask? Well, it's been a long time since I've been in the mood to read Young Adult and I've been very lucky in my choices. I just had to share with you all another amazing read geared towards the young adult reader. I do have to say, though, this one is quite adult in my eyes. It was fast paced, intriguing and if I may add the much too used term and somewhat gag worthy, unputdownable.
Imagine this scenario...
"Males only live to age 25.
Females only live to age 20.
To keep the population from dying out,girls are kidnapped and sold into polygamous marriages."
From this description alone, I could sense this was going to be more of an adult read rather than a teen. Though the characters were young, the world in which they were living in was shockingly adult and insane. I guess this in itself is the world of dystopian lit.
There is a girl. Rhine. She is fearless, pissed off but a darn good actress. All she wants is to escape the world in which she has been forced into. And she will do anything and play any role to get that.
There is a boy. Gabriel. He is a servant raised in a world in which he doesn't know anything different. Until he meets Rhine, he never cared much for the outside. But together they want one thing, freedom.
This was a very fast read for me. Once I got going, it was difficult for me to do much else. For a debut novel, I found the writing to be impressive and smart. It didn't roll out a pile of drama, nor did it smack you with cliche characters. It had a good vs. evil feel but it wasn't the main force of the book. Rhine and Gabriel were only small pieces to the puzzle it seemed. All the characters involved were imprisoned in their own way, missing something that they once had or yearning for something they didn't know existed.
The "bad guy", Rhine's father-in-law and overall, mean science man, does crazy experiments on people in the name of "finding an ancedote" for the whole death by age 20 and 25 thing. He is a cool cucumber who is always hovering within the pages and I was kind of hoping he would fall off a cliff somewhere around page 140. Creepy and a control freak, I pictured him like Montgomery Burns from the Simpsons. Cold as ice.
The ending was as expected but still exciting. It made me crave the next book right away, which is unusual for me. You really got to wow me to make me want to continue right away with a series.
Overall, a very strong debut in young adult dystopian lit. It had some doom and gloom, and some serious adult matters that these girls had to deal with, but it was written with maturity and a depth that made it easy to stomach and understand. The "love story" wasn't over the top. It was simple and sweet and made me want to see what comes of Rhine and Gabriel. I wanted to root for their happiness. Book 2 (Fever) will decide it all.
Buy Brick and Mortar: (actual bookstores, people!)
Happy Reading and as always, thanks for stopping by!
red headed book child