Posts Tagged With: dystopian

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: What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang

What's Left of Me coverEva and Addie were born just like anyone else, two souls in the same body. They took turns learning to walk, to run to dance. But as they got older, neither of them faded. They were both still there. They weren’t settling.

Their parents took them to doctors, specialists, begged for more time. Finally Addie was pronounced normal. Eva was gone. They could start over.

But Eva isn’t gone. Only Addie knows that she’s still there, trapped inside their body, unable to move, unable to speak. Except to Addie.

Only Addie knows that Eva would risk anything to be able to speak. To walk. To dance. Anything.

But when Eva gets her chance, it opens up a whole new world for them…one more dangerous than either girl could imagine.

What’s Left Of Me is a dystopian story exploring ethical issues in a world not our own…yet shockingly similar. It will appeal to fans of Neal Shusterman’s Unwind series, Lois Lowry’s The Giver, and other thought-provoking dystopian literature.

Recommended for grades 6 and up – mild profanity, kissing, some graphic descriptions of medical procedures.

FTC Required Disclaimer: 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: Riot by Sarah Mussi

Riot coverIn a near-future Britain crippled by rising unemployment and overpopulation, the government has a drastic solution.

Anyone who leaves school without education plans or guaranteed employment will be sterilized.

Criminals will be sterilized.

The teens of Britain aren’t having it. They’re taking to the streets. They refuse to have their futures so drastically limited. Tia, the daughter of the Minister pushing the bill, uses her hacking skills and her online persona as EVE, Mother of the Future, to organize demonstrations. Surely the government will have to stop when they see the opposition?

But nothing is what it seems. When troops open fire on a peaceful demonstration, Tia is suddenly on the run. With the help of Cobain, she has to get to the truth behind the No More Children In Need Bill, before it’s too late.

Riot is a chilling, near-future dystopian story about the slippery slope of the loss of personal freedom. Teens who are used to being part of a marginalized population will definitely relate to this story, which will appeal to fans of Neal Shusterman’s Unwind and Cory Doctorow’s Little Brother.

Recommended for grades 9 and up — language, graphic depictions of mob violence, references to underage sex, 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: Contributor (Contributor Trilogy, Book 1) by Nicole Ciacchella

Contributor coverDara has trained since the age of 3 for the day when she can become a Contributor, and give back to Magnum, the Job Creator which owns the dome that shelters her and her parents from the wasteland outside. Now an apprentice, she has been chosen for an elite program and the chance to become the assistant to the Head of Engineering. Her boyfriend is in line for a prestigious position in Logistics. Life is good.

But somehow, her education has not prepared her for the level of cutthroat competition between herself and the other candidates. Dara must become just as ruthless as they are if she is going to survive this process. When her mother is injured, Dara begins to question the system in ways she never has before. And when she and her mentor are involved in an accident that leaves them stranded outside the dome, the things she learns leave her with more questions than answers.

Contributor is a well-crafted dystopian story, more subtle than most. Nothing is outlawed; but many things are disapproved of. This story will appeal to fans of dystopias who are ready for something a little more nuanced than the outright tyranny of stories like The Hunger Games.

Recommended for grades 6 and up – some language, kissing.

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: Divided We Fall by Trent Reedy

Divided We Fall coverDanny Wright joined the Idaho National Guard to follow in his late father’s footsteps by serving his country, and to get access to the training and education he would need to keep his father’s auto repair shop running. Balancing Guard training and finishing high school is tricky, but he’s finished with his training for the summer and ready for a senior year full of football, friends, and time with his girlfriend, JoBell.

But everything changes the night Danny’s unit is called up to help suppress riots in Boise. When a rock thrown by a rioter causes his gun to misfire, chaos ensues. Twelve are dead when the dust clears, and Danny is living in a nightmare he can’t wake up from.

The Boise shootings rapidly become the center of a national controversy. When both the governor and the President are giving Danny conflicting orders, what will he choose?

Trent Reedy takes what could easily have been a book full of cliches and makes it into a gripping page-turner. The characters are realistic, not one-dimensional representations of liberals or conservatives. Anyone who has noticed the political situation in the past few years will readily recognize that the premise of this book is a definite possibility. Divided We Fall is not a far-future dystopian story; it is a chilling look at a near future we could be facing if our political system continues in its current direction.

This book will appeal to fans of stories about the military, as well as fans of dystopian literature.

Highly recommended for grades 9 and up–swearing, underage drinking, violence, and off-camera 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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