The Limit
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The Limit

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3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,920 ratings  ·  380 reviews
An eighth grade girl was taken today . . . With this first sentence, readers are immediately thrust into a fast-paced thriller that doesn't let up for a moment.

In a world not too far removed from our own, kids are being taken away to special workhouses if their families exceed the monthly debt limit imposed by the government. Thirteen-year-old Matt briefly wonders if he m...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published September 7th 2010 by Aladdin (first published August 13th 2010)
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Books by Utah Authors
108th out of 726 books — 340 voters
The False Princess by Eilis O'NealWonder by R.J. PalacioThe Limit by Kristen Landon
Black-Eyed Susan Books Grades 6-9 2014
3rd out of 3 books — 2 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Peter Derk
I read this for a middle school book club. It's worth noting that they loved it.

For a grown-up...I don't know.

There's a scene towards the end where the main character foils the main bad guy's escape attempt by precision shooting basketballs through the roof of some sort of helicopter. Somehow this keeps the bad guy so off balance that she can't fly a helicopter. Imagine, if you will, that Pop-a-Shot game from Chuck E. Cheese, but set to Michael Bay music and Michael Bay visuals of helicopters ta...more
Katy Jane
Things I liked about the book:
1. It was fast paced. This is the only thing I thought the author excelled at. She left just enough suspense to keep me reading. I wanted to know how they would escape.
BUT this is where the things I didn't like about the book come into play:
1. They don't escape. The dystopia in this book (one would think) would be that they had to work in a workhouse as children. But no, the dystopia was the unfair treatment in the workhouse. Why are they still working in the workh...more
Js
This is a fairly good book, it is fast paced and has very good character developement, how ever I thought the ending could have been a bit better. Even with that it is a good book I would probably read a sequel if there was one.
Kelly Hager
This is set in a society where every family has a set spending limit. If you go over, your oldest child (assuming they’re at least of high school–and then middle school–age) is sent to a workhouse to help your spending get back under the limit.

When Matt is taken to the workhouse, he doesn’t know what to expect. He’s pretty sure it’ll be creepy there, and that he’ll have to do a lot of menial labor.

Instead, it’s sort of like a big party. He’s on the top floor, which means there are really nice ro...more
Jocelyn Koehler
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Leia
A fun "quickie" to read when you're feeling a bit nostalgic for the times when you thought one administrator with delusions of grandeur who will stop at nothing, including exploiting children, was villainous and monstrous instead of... pretty damn ordinary.
Liked:

Fast-paced and action packed.
This is like Dystopian Lite. It's easy and fast to read and its a fantastic concept that so much more could've been done with.
Tight writing with some moments of stunning brilliance.

Disliked:

The plot and c...more
Matthew
This book is anything, but "fast-paced" as the synopsis misleadingly convinces you to buy it. "The Limit" is possibly the worst book I have ever read. Kristen Landon writes as if she has lived in a leaking cardboard box her entire life. Lacking complete structure, this story fails to both entertain or intrigue readers of all reading levels. I only finished this book, to prove to myself that similar to those children in the Special Olympics that, "I can do it!" Where can I submit a request to Ama...more
Devan Iturrian
This is a fast paced action packed book. I loved this book. I just couldn't stop reading it.
Matt is a teenager living his life when his family goes over the limit. He is in a family just to get snatched up and taken to a workhouse. If you want to know more read this exciting novel.
Clarence :P
I was reminded of a few books while reading this, but not in a bad way. (Books like H.I.V.E, The Mysterious Benedict Society, I.Q., and The Hunger Games.) The author didn't copy these books though. It seemed like she was influenced by the genre and wanted to make a contribution to it. I'm glad she did, too.
"The Limit" is set in the future, after technology has become way more influential than it already is, and when the government has created a budget "Limit" for each family. If you exceed this...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
I picked up this book because I thought it was a dystopia. But it's not really. I definitely have some reservations about this society's systems, but they definitely don't qualify as dystopia levels of horror. The only worrying aspect mentioned besides the workhouses for kids (who get younger and younger as the novel progresses) was that old people, when unable to care for themselves anymore, are forced in to homes. When this happens, all of their stuff, except for a few trinkets to serve as mem...more
Carolyn Frank
Matt is a thirteen year old math wiz who lives in a future society where family debt is managed by the government. When families go over their limit, a child is taken from them and put into a work house where that child helps work off the family's debt. Usually they don't take kids as young as Matt, but things are changing. Matt is taken. He discovers the work house is more like a prison and is lied to about many things, including his ability to contact his parents.

The book was classified as dys...more
Donna
See, for me, that blurb exerts far more tension than what the story did. Yeah, the threat is there but it's kind of cartoonish and the way it's told kind of waters down the tension that could be there.

To be fair, this is more of a middle grade novel than a young adult. Just the age of the MC and the style it was written in showcases that so I'm not a prime candidate to judge this one. But I think I can still make a few comments on it.

I loved the kids in this story. I just thought each one of the...more
Lorrie
This is a story that gets me to wonder what would happen to us today if we went over our credit limit? This is a story set, what seems, not too far in the future. Could this really happen to us now, could this help us control our spending if we knew the results.
That is what this story is about. Matt's parents are not unlike any other, living from paycheck to paycheck and believing everything is wonderful until....Mom goes to the grocery store and "goes over the limit". Not a problem, money will...more
Jerome Chan
The Limit Book Review
By: Jerome Chan


“The Limit” is a really enjoyable book to read. The author Kristen Landon uses a really good plot, which has many creative ideas and storylines. I haven’t read a book like this before. What I found really interesting about the book was it focused on the protagonist throughout the story. It was like seeing through the character eyes, the surprises, twists and victory. I also like how the book relates to every teenager. The plot of the book is, if your family g...more
Taffy
Interesting look into what could be the future. And as usual, I was really frustrated with the abuse of power some leaders use.

In the future every family has a spending limit, some more than others. If the family goes over the limit, the government takes a child from the family to work off their debt in a workhouse. After the family goes below the limit the child can go home.

Except one place is using the kids to make money.

The story follows Matt as he goes from spoiled kid to becoming a leader...more
Calvin
In the story, “The Limit”, the government puts a debt limits on every family. If they go over the debt limit, the oldest children are taken away to workhouses, to work off their parents’ debt. When Matt (the main character in the novel) is taken away from his home, and taken to the workhouse because his parents exceeded their debt limit. If this ever happened to me and my family, I would be afraid because I would be the one taken away.
Overall, this book is really fun and interesting to read, and...more
Jan
In 13-year-old Matt's world, the government imposes debt limits on families. If they exceed the debt limit, the oldest children are taken away to workhouses, to work off their parents' debt. When Matt is dragged from his home and taken to the workhouse because his parents exceeded their debt limit, he thinks he will just be there a short time -- until he finds out the truth. There is a lot more happening in the workhouse than he thought.

I really liked the premise of this book, and I enjoyed t...more
nicole
I'm on the fence for this one.

The premise is incredibly intriguing, particularly at this moment in economic history. I haven't come across many middle-grade titles, other than Gary Paulsen's Lawn Boy, that talk about money in a real and honest way. Landon's description of clueless parents, who care for their children, but not their finances, who fall for get-rich-quick-schemes and have difficulty pulling themselves out of debt is woefully honest. The scene in which Matt's mom learns her limit ha...more
Sab
Another corporate oligarchy/money equals life kind of dystopian future, so you'd think I'd be really into it, but this book is pretty ridiculous.

Basically every family has a budget limit and if you go over it, even a dime, one of your kids is whisked off and thrown into a work camp until you get back under your limit.

The book is REMARKABLY preachy when it comes to people going over their limit -- even the main character, Matt, can't imagine why his parents would spend more than they have. In thi...more
Annie
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christie
I finished this in roughly 24 hours, which says a lot since I hardly had any free time at all last week. It was fast-paced and very interesting. I definitely recommend it. It was really hard to put down, although there were some major issues to overlook.

1 - Really, the government is going to take your teenagers and pre-teens and put them in workhouses? You have to go with the premise, otherwise there's no book.
2 - The teenage boy main character has some mad hacking skillz so he can hack into gov...more
Lynn Ess
For a good chunk of the story, I was fairly interested. In the later chapters though, 25% onwards toward the end of the book, this whole thing turns into a two-bit Scooby-Doo adventure, and the undertones against Big Credit are thick and hard to ignore in various places, including the ending. It's sort of like an old Saturday Morning Cartoon show where they still had to try and impress a moral on you while still making it entertaining, except the entertainment value gets sucked away the minute y...more
Luis Davila
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Annie
YA thriller novel. This was mildly entertaining and an easy read. I really like the premise of the book but I felt that it moved too slowly and the "unexpected twist" at the end was all that unexpected and I felt unsatisfied at the end of this book. I must say though that I like that this book's message is that there are consequences for going over you limit. That's a message that lots of parents should hear (if it's not too late already!).
Maximiliano
The book "The Limit" by Kristen Landon is an excellent novel in my opinion, about a boy fighting for his freedom against a woman that has the sweetest voice anybody could hear, but behind that an unstoppable scam. I read this book for an assignment but would have read it for fun if I just picked it up from nowhere.
This rebellious act starts when Matt's family goes over their limit and he is sent to a facility to work and pay off the debt. Matt starts off good, following the rules, working hard...more
Collin
When families go over their debt limit the oldest child is taken to a government workhouse. Matt's family had done so with him. Going to this work house, Matt had feared it was a horrible slave shop, but in fact it was the exact opposite. Their had been pools, gyms and loads of more activities for children. One day when Matt gets a little home sick he hacks into the work house data base only to find out that his little sister had gone to another work house. Will Matt ever get out of there? Will...more
Tara King
The Limit, by Kristen Landon, creates a dystopian image of a future; if a family surpasses their government-set monthly debit allowance, their children will be taken to mysterious workhouses. 13-year old Matthew Dunston believes his family is completely safe - until his parents unexpectedly go over. Matthew (and later one of his younger sisters) is thrust into a workhouse that has far more issues than his family’s monetary problems.

While the story was gripping and difficult to put down, the cha...more
Ann
I thought this was a very enjoyable little teen thriller. Probably best for the 10+ crowd, it had a very interesting and timely plot . . . when parents go over their "Debt Limit", their children are taken to a work house to pay off the debt. Not only is the story pretty good, but it's an interesting message for teens about money and spending.
Blake Jurkowski
The limit was a thrilling book and I would definitely recommend this book to any one who has an interest in dystopian fiction! I rated this book five out of five stars because the excitement never stopped it was all out fantastic.
Kristin
Matt's family goes over their spending limit and he has to work off their debt in a detention center of sorts. A lot of good action. The ending is a little simplistic but the premise does provoke some thought about our future.
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Kristen Landon always thought it would be nice to live in a place where winter never gets too cold. Besides one lovely winter in California, she has spent her life bouncing back and forth between Michigan and Utah – both great places in the spring, summer, and fall. She now lives with her husband and four children in a home with fabulous views of Utah’s beautiful mountains out every window.

More about Kristen Landon...
Life in the Pit Untitled Book #2 Untitled Book #2

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