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320 pages, Hardcover
First published January 7, 2014
His head lolls back. His braids drag on the ground. I wait for Obidiah to sit up. He doesn’t. I look for the rise and fall of his chest, but there is nothing.There are NOT a whole lot of fucking people left in the United Commonwealth. It makes NO fucking sense to kill off the youngest, the most intelligent, the ones with the most to contribute to society. This book tries to sell the fact that it's hard to govern a nation that's too large.
He is gone. Redirected. Dead. If I am not careful, I will be too.
"You figured out the purpose of the final test faster than anyone expected. Professor Holt and Dr. Barnes were disturbed by how quickly you recognized the insolvability of the task. Dr. Barnes said The Testing demonstrated that one of your greatest strengths is your willingness to trust your intuition."Cia is a genius, awe-inspiringly flawless in every conceivable way. Her intelligence is legendary. The students at the University take pre-emptive tests to see how many classes they can handle. The more classes, the better, the more intelligent the student. Everyone has but a few classes. Cia has nine.
"Your scores were quite impressive.” She takes a sheet of gray recycled paper off the table next to her. “Because of your high examination marks, your class list is more challenging than the others."She not only has nine classes, she excels at every single one.
During our Early Studies semester, every student was assigned five courses. This schedule has me attending nine.
At the end of that lesson, my teacher mentioned an antiquated law that said any citizen may request a hearing on the Debate Chamber floor.Due to that tremendously obscure law that NOBODY ELSE BUT CIA KNOWS, she is able to singlehandedly pass that challenge.
“We’re not going to beat it.” I nod at the cluster of observers across the way. “They don’t expect us to, so there’s no point in giving them the satisfaction of seeing us try and come up short.”And of course, she's right! Failing is the right way to do things because Cia just so fucking magical and perfect. She is praised for knowing when to fail.
“This task was designed to be insurmountable.” Professor Holt takes the markers and gives me a small smile. “Ian was told to engage the bridge when we deduced that Cia had figured out that solution.”And then SHE DOES IT AGAIN. Like what the actual FUCK?
And I understand. This wasn’t a test I was supposed to pass. Just like the final task during the Induction, this was an assignment designed for failure. The president wants me to learn that just because something is created by people in power doesn’t mean it is to be trusted.It's one thing to be perfect, it's another thing to be so fucking perfect that even your failures are designed to highlight how fucking awesome you are for fucking figuring every single little itty bitty detail out. Spare me.
"After discussing your Testing results and academic achievements with Dr. Barnes and Professor Holt, I asked that you be assigned to intern in my office." The president’s smile widens. “My office has never been included in the University internship program."Just fucking awesome. The President has never had an intern before, and has never had interest in an intern before...until Cia.
Her laugh makes me flinch. It’s cold and practical. Hard. Determined. Stacia is smart, but I’ve often wondered if it’s these other traits that helped her survive The Testing.She sees competition in other girls, Cia always see something underlying in a common gesture of courtesy.
Himani’s smile is bright, but something about the narrowing of her eyes reminds me of a cat stalking a field mouse.A girl is "sharp," even when compared to a friendly, smiling boy.
Rawson’s trio is completed by a sweet-faced boy named Enzo and a girl with sharp features called Juliet.Cia seems to think so much better of the guys than she does her fellow female students. Boys are always described with so much more kindness than other females.
His face is thin and narrow. His smile warm and angelic. Trustworthy.Boys remind her of her brothers, girls are conniving bitches.
In his fitted black pants, shiny black boots, and deep purple shirt, Ian is more than a little imposing. Until he grins. The sternness disappears, replaced by an exuberance that makes me think of my brother Win.Red lips. Evil. Scary. The marks of an evil witch that is noted quite pointedly. Even a respected professor is not immune to thecharge.
Her hair is slicked off her face. Her scarlet-painted lips curl into an expression of geniality as she addresses those of us assembled here who are in her charge.Terrifying.
Dressed in deep crimson, Professor Holt stands near the fireplace. Lips that match the color of her jumpsuit are curved into a smile.Other girls are giggly, pampered, spoiled. Why paint the University as the penultimate institute of education if you're going to put in dumb female character to be insidiously noted by Cia?Not even the President of the United Commonwealth, the most powerful woman in the country, is immune to being painted in a bad light. She is cold, unmaternal, inhuman in her iciness.
Her face is long and angular. Not what most would call beautiful. But the almond-shaped brown eyes and strong jaw would draw attention anywhere. Almost all the United Commonwealth presidents have been female. It has been argued that women are less aggressive, more maternal, and thus more focused on the well-being of the country’s people. Less focused on politics or power. Perhaps this is true, but there is nothing maternal about President Collindar’s appearance or voice. Both carry a shimmer of absolute authority.There are many men whom Cia trusts in this book. The same cannot be said about the women.