Monthly Archives: April 2014

Review: Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch

Deliver Me coverAll their lives, Wynne and Odessa have dreamed of being Carriers, the pampered women chosen to carry children for the Union. All their lives they have planned what they will do when they are Carriers together. And just as they’ve planned, Odessa is chosen to be a Carrier.

Wynne is not.

As Wynne settles in to her new job as a delivery assistant, helping the Carriers deliver their babies, she slowly comes to realize the painful costs  the Carriers pay for their pampered status. But it is only when she is sent to be Odessa’s servant that she understands how horrible the life of a Carrier truly is.

Deliver Me will face inevitable comparisons to Margaret Atwood’s A Handmaid’s Tale, but Birch has created a fully realized, original dystopian world. Although at first it seemed that this was yet another book where “oppression of women for no reason” is shorthand for “the government/other authority is obviously evil” (an excellent blog post on this can be found here), the author created internally consistent reasons for the use of Carriers to bear children.

As a mother, and someone who has recently given birth, there were some scenes that were particularly emotionally wrenching, but teens will probably not have a similar reaction. The only real issue with this book was that there were many things that we just never learned about how the Union worked and the world in which Wynne lived, but that was internally consistent with how sheltered Wynne’s existence was.

Deliver Me will appeal to fans of Lauren DeStefano’s Chemical Garden trilogy and Lois Lowry’s The Giver, as well as those who enjoyed pondering the ethical issues raised by Neal Shusterman’s Unwind.

Recommended for grades 9 and up – references to rape, domestic violence, and torture.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

The Here and Now coverPrenna is an immigrant, living a new life in New York. But not from another country. Prenna and her community are from the future, a time when climate change mosquito-borne plagues have brought tragedy to all of humanity. Now safe in the 21st century, the community follows twelve stringent rules. The rules are to keep them safe, their leaders say.

Especially rule 12

We must never, under any circumstances, develop a physically or emotionally intimate relationship with any person outside the community.

Prenna knows all the rules, but Ethan won’t be kept at arm’s length. He keeps being her friend, no matter the things she can’t talk to him about. And when Prenna’s safe little world threatens to smother her, it is Ethan who helps her search for the truth.

The Here and Now is part dystopian thriller and part science-fiction story, but all of it is a compelling and gripping read. It will appeal to readers looking for a more substantial time travel story, one that explores the ethical implications of trying to change a future.

Recommended for grades 8 and up – some language, kissing, references to sex, references to murder, etc.

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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Review: Adaptation by Malinda Lo

Adaptation CoverIt started with the birds. All over the country, birds dropping dead from the skies. And no one could say why. Or why some flocks flew right into airplanes, crashing them with all passengers

Reese and David were at an airport when it happened, on their way home from a school trip. With all flights grounded, their teacher rents a car for them to drive back to San Francisco. But when their teacher is shot by a would-be hitchhiker, David and Reese escape alone, trying desperately to make it home…until their car crashes on a remote highway in Nevada. When they wake, it’s clear that they were severely injured. What isn’t clear is the purpose of the highly classified government base they are on.

Reese and David just want to go home, to put the past behind them and get on with their lives.  But strange things keep happening to them. Reese’s scars are disappearing, and she is having strange dreams. When the government agents come for them, David and Reese are determined not to be kept in the dark anymore.

Adaptation is a clever science fiction story that will appeal to fans of Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It and other post-disaster stories, as well as readers who enjoy a good conspiracy theory story. It is clearly intended to be the first in a series, as many things are left unresolved at the end.

Recommended for grades 9 and up – language, underage drinking and smoking, sexual references, making out but no on-screen sex

FTC Required Disclaimer: I received the digital ARC of this book from the publisher. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. This review has been posted in compliance with the FTC requirements set forth in the Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising (available at ftc.gov/os/2009/10/091005revisedendorsementguides.pdf)

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