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What Happened to Serenity
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What Happened to Serenity

3.25  ·  Rating Details ·  91 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
Katherine lives in a post-apocalyptic community completely cut off from the rest of the world. Her town is austere, run by utopians that have created a paternalistic order. Knowledge and the search for truth are not popular tenets. When her best friend's sister Serenity suddenly disappears, Katherine starts to question what she has been told...and nothing is as she was tol ...more
Paperback, 212 pages
Published May 15th 2011 by Red Deer Press (first published April 29th 2011)
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Apr 21, 2013 ❤Rosa❤ rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: people who want a quick but thought provoking read
Recommended to ❤Rosa❤ by: Myself!
This review may contain slight spoilers, depending on your view of what classifies as a spoiler :)

"What Happened to Serenity?"

If I have to be honest, I decided to read “What Happened to Serenity?” because I wanted to read a thin, quick little book. My reading had come to a sort of stand-still - every time I picked a book up, I found something I had to do or some test to study for, and I wanted something I could read quickly and get into fast. I’m glad I picked this book, and I feel a bit guilt
Oct 10, 2011 Ariel rated it it was ok
Great buildup, but got a little slow towards the end where the main character keeps thinking "Oh, I shouldn't do this, it's so bad, oh how terrible, I wonder what is going on" and then goes and does whatever that bad thing is anyways and we still get no closer to any sort of climax. The climax itself is found in the last sixth of the book, is rushed and confusing - which is true to the first-person-limited narrative style, as the main character would have found it so, but incredibly unsatisfying ...more
Oct 22, 2014 Jen rated it really liked it
*Some spoilers!*

This book reminded me of Haddix's "Running Out of Time", only this takes place in the future in Canada. The MC Katherine lives in basically a Government funded and sanctioned secret experiment where 100 babies, 50 girls and 50 boys, were raised by Father and for a short period of time, Aunts and Uncles, under the premise that they were the lone survivors of a cataclysmic ecological apocalypse. Katherine is the product of a set of the grown up babies. It's roughly 40 years later
Oct 04, 2011 Jeni rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, 2011
This would be a good discussion starter for 5th or 6th graders. The characters are well done and the story is interesting, although this same basic idea is a bit cliche. I much prefer "Running out of Time" for the same introduction to dystopian communities.
Jun 28, 2012 Amy rated it it was ok
Nothing new under the sun, a pretty typical dystopian novel
Sep 22, 2012 Abby rated it liked it
This book was....I don't even know how to describe it. It filled me with conflicted emotions from the moment I started reading. Through a mixture of poetry and prose, PJ Sarah Collins fills every one of the pages in this book with heart-stopping, sometimes even distressing, suspense. The book upset me very much, a few times I had to take a break from reading it because it was too horrible to imagine, my brain couldn't conceptualize the twisted reality of Katherine's world. The book was...heartbr ...more
Hylary Locsin
Jun 10, 2012 Hylary Locsin rated it it was amazing
Originally posted on my blog: ! Check it out for more reviews!

At fifteen, Katherine is too old to be asking questions. Her whole life she has been taught in school that asking questions is for children, something their minds don’t realize is wrong and goes against the Manifesto that governs life in the Community. But Katherine can’t help but be curious about the society she lives in: why is Father the only one who makes decisions? Why isn’t anyone allowed to
Jun 14, 2012 David rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
I was grazing through the YA section of the library and saw this shiny new volume, which turns out to be by another Collins writing dystopian fiction. This time it is Canadian in theme, and I couldn't help but be reminded that Canada was the place where the Dionne Quintuplets were removed from their parents by the Canadian government to become a tourist attraction. In a strange twist on the Dionne story, a second generation of children of other children who are "rescued" to become a utopian comm ...more
Jul 06, 2016 Amanda rated it liked it
I agree with many of these other reviews. An incredible story wrapped into one small book, sometimes the author was too obvious, but sometimes I was thinking "oh my gosh! oh my gosh!" I loved Katherine's character, and how she can't stop thinking in the form of questions. It reminds me of my oldest, he's asking questions non-stop and I can't imagine him having to live in a suppressed society like that. It would kill him.
Katherine, our heroine, keeps making the mistake of being curious. She's ev
Sep 01, 2015 Emma rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Darlene Foster
Oct 08, 2011 Darlene Foster rated it really liked it
This is a good read for the early teen set. It certainly makes you think about the future and contemplate what determines an ideal life? Katherine's life seems almost ideal but some things aren't right. Why is she discouraged from asking questions or thinking for herself? What do her parents know or don't know? And of course, what happened to her friends little sister, Serenity? Katherine's questions are answered by the end of the book but at what cost to Katherine and her community? The author ...more
Dec 13, 2011 Young-adults rated it liked it
Reviewed by teen reviewer Sean

The setting of What Happened to Serenity takes place in the year 2021. It starts out in a farming community lead by a man named Father. The strange thing is that it is isolated from the rest of the world.

The main character's name is Katherine. Her friend Anna's sister Serenity is missing. Katherine tries to figure out why she is missing. She finds out that a plan comes to the community to drop off supplies. So she sneaks onto the plane and ends up in an airport outs
Nov 01, 2015 Shelagh rated it really liked it
I really liked it! Very interesting dystopian fiction spin. Absolutely loved that it was written by a Canadian author and based in Canada. It's a very easy read and perfect for young teens as far as appropriate content goes. I'm glad I chose it for our school book club. Hopefully it will inspire some interesting conversations!
Apr 06, 2013 Curtis rated it it was amazing
This book won the Monica Hughes award for sci-fi and fantasy for 2012, which was presented to the author in Toronto last November at the Canadian Children's Literature Awards. I don't know what more I could say about the quality of the book...a must read for those passionate about children's literature in general.
Rachel Witt
May 09, 2013 Rachel Witt rated it it was amazing
wow, it was a lot better than i expected. at first, i wasn't all that interested in it, but after a bit, i really got into it. i liked it a lot, maybe even loved it, bu thats because it creeped me out. the whole idea of the community, the lies they were being fed, father... ugghh. it makes me shudder.
it was good, but it was too short. i read it in 40 minutes.
Nicole Luiken
Jun 09, 2015 Nicole Luiken rated it really liked it
Excellent dystopia with a society focused on Community at the expense of Individualism. Impossible not to empathize with the young heroine, Katherine, who is punished for the mere act of asking questions, and the villain is similarly well-drawn.
Nov 24, 2011 Jenny rated it liked it
Pretty good, I liked the premise. Should have been a longer book, ends so abruptly. She spends the time setting up the scene and then not enough time in the end, so I'm a bit unsatisfied with the pacing.
Apr 24, 2013 Joyce rated it it was ok
yeah, what Ariel said. and it came so HIGHLY recommended...really seemed like a "The Giver"-clone, and like a first novel--some really good parts, but needs work.
Feb 19, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Not bad. Nothing memorable though, other than the fact that it takes place in Canada, and some of the end is even in Saskatoon.
Feb 29, 2012 Kelle rated it liked it
Interesting to wonder if something like this could ever happen in reality.
Connie K
Feb 12, 2013 Connie K rated it liked it
It was a short easy read but the ending was a but of a bummer. Ended to fast.
May 30, 2013 Karin rated it it was ok
A cross between the Giver and Running Out of Time. It was ok.
Carmelita rated it liked it
Aug 10, 2016
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Janet rated it liked it
Aug 12, 2016
Naomi Osman
Naomi Osman marked it as to-read
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Jun 03, 2016
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