Dystopian literature is all the rage these days in the young adult arena, and this trilogy by a debut author (Who just happens to be about my age :))Dystopian literature is all the rage these days in the young adult arena, and this trilogy by a debut author (Who just happens to be about my age :)) is poised to take its place among some of the greats of the last couple years.
DeStefano creates a world that, in the way that Brave New World is frightening, is eerily prescient in its possibilities. The human race, in an effort to create "perfect" people, engineered an entire generation of perfectly healthy, long-living people. The one thing they didn't foresee, however, was that their experiments caused the life spans of all future generations to become devastatingly shortened. Humanity currently has much of the technology that could pull of this scenario, if given enough time, and the way that designer babies and life-prolonging measures are headed, it's highly probable that something similar could occur in the future. This is one of those dystopian novels that makes you fear for humanity and, in a way, wish that many of the things we know now had never been discovered. I often found myself chilled by the thought that this could happen in the future, and this could be the way humanity exists. Scary.
Rhine is one of those teen characters that I like best. She's got an innocence about her when she's seduced by the glitter that surrounds her at Linden's mansion, and she wants to trust people, but she's still worldly enough to know that all that glitters is not gold. There's a good, solid head on her shoulders, and she's constantly looking for ways out of the life into which she was forced. Sure, she laments the life she once led, but she doesn't get too whiny and mopey (As many teen characters, regardless of whether they're in dystopian novels, have a tendency to be) and pull the "poor me" card. She's always thinking and always observing and always figuring out ways to play her advantages.
The ending of this installment leaves the whole rest of the series wide open with possibilities. What will happen to Rhine? What will happen to all the other characters (I'm not going to say anything because that would give too much away)? Will anyone find a cure for the mysterious virus that strikes at the fatal birthday?
I would highly recommend this book to any fan of science fiction, fantasy or dystopian literature. It doesn't even read as a young adult novel many times; it's perfect for adults and teens alike. ...more
I love it when young adult novels are funny and engaging without having all the profanity, sex and illicit behavior that seems to make them so "in" riI love it when young adult novels are funny and engaging without having all the profanity, sex and illicit behavior that seems to make them so "in" right now. Wilhite writes a great book with believable characters, but those characters don't have to act the way everyone thinks teenagers act -- with foul mouths and sex on the brain -- for them to capture your interest.
Sarah is a college freshman trying not only to adjust to living on her own, but also figuring out why the cute guy in her art history class, Ben, seems interested in her. Sarah is one of those friends I know I had in high school -- She's smart, and she's confident about some things, but her own perceptions of herself stop her from seeing herself for what she really is. She's your typical rather insecure teenager who has her shining moments of belief in herself, but she was far from stereotypical. I loved her as a narrator. The only problem I had with her was that she seemed to need to be reassured of her own worth a little too often, but that's also how a lot of teenagers think.
Wilhite's writing is to-the-point and clear. This was a super-easy read; I think I finished it in a couple of hours' time. She's also very funny. I found myself laughing out loud at a lot of points. On the same token, though, she has a knack for writing awkward teenage situations, and those moments had me cringing.
If you're looking for a good, clean, funny young adult read, this is the book for you....more