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3.86  ·  Rating details ·  122 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Sub-City One: 2000 years from now. A young woman, Andra, has had a brain-graft operation and has been given the brain of a boy who died in 1987.

Through the boy's mind, she comes to realise that her world is restrictive. The laws are rigid, the rulers suppress individuality. Andra turns against such totalitarian authority and inspires the young people of Sub-City One to reb
Paperback, 189 pages
Published 1971
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3.86  · 
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 ·  122 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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Feb 23, 2011 rated it liked it
"Andra" was originally published in 1971, and adapted as an 8 part TV series in Australia in 1976. The book was apparently intended as mainstream SF, not YA SF, though I suspect for today's readers its ideal audience would be early teens.

The voice of the story is almost naive, and the science shaky, with several side-trips into what might be classed as magic realism. I read the book several times when I was a teen, and remembered it as a bittersweet tale, engrossing without being a book that one
Pam Baddeley
Originally read this as a teen and the ending and the cover stuck with me, as an unusually bleak ending for a YA book of the time (though it was issued when the YA category didn't even exist in publishing and was just shelved in the children's library at my local library). Saw a secondhand copy of this original first edition hardbook a while back - with the abstract painting of Andra with her long hair shown here, totally unlike the paperback cover. Re-read it in one sitting, it is an easy read, ...more
I encountered this book in an Australian library, and haven't seen it since.

I remember finding the idea of inheriting a dead person's memory through a graft more than a little implausible. But assuming it is a possible outcome, why didn't the medical and scientific establishment of the time realize the risk, and take it into account, and present the risk to the protagonist in the process of obtaining consent?

The growth of a rebellion from the introduction of 'dangerous' ideas (accidentally, in t
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favourite books of all time. When ever I read it, it makes me question the way things are, and how much individuality really matters.
Sep 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I read this book as a teenager, at a time when I never reread a book. Somehow this book had a huge impact and I read it over and over again over the next few years until eventually, about twenty years later, I managed to buy my own copy. I still take it out to read every now and again, but I know much of it off by heart now.

I think what impressed me most was Andra's rebellion, because I had always been a rebel. Then there was the ruined world, back when we were living through the Cold War. It ma
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi

An example of Cold War Sci-Fi, unusual by having a female main character. (Who loves the Brontes!!) The rest - distant future, underground bunkers, nuclear war killed the surface, two groups still fighting - is typical. Hell of a downer ending - possible influence on the Matrix triology.
Kristine Schmidt
Jul 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is such an intricately woven story and so many emotions are attached to each character.
Jan 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ian Anderson
I think I heard part of a radio adaptation of this book many years ago.

Andra is a teenage girl who gets a graft of the visual cortex of a boy who died 2000 years earlier to replace damaged brain tissue. Andra lives in a totalitarian underground city on a post apocalyptic Earth. Her ground breaking operation has an unexpected side effects: she can remember what the Earth looked like in 1987, unlike everyone else she has a desire for personal freedom and self expression and she has also lost the f
Charity Bradford
Oct 14, 2007 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-sci-fi
Not Quite What I Remembered I just re-read this book after 18 years. The storyline still fascinates me, but as one of Lawrences earlier books, there are several technical issues with her writing. The head hopping (point of view changes within a scene) was the most bothersome. Although all her books do that, it seemed especially distracting in this novel.
The idea of a girl knowing all the things Andra does simply because of a brain graft of the optical section is fascinating. Can you really sepa
Irene Reid
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this as a teenager and it is definatly for that age group. I found it amazing and loved the idea of this rebellious spirit from the past resurfacing. The bit that always stuck in my mind was the hair colour change - how dramatic.

I tracked this book down recently, I had to buy it from a dealer. I still enjoyed it but perhaps not as much as an adult. Still its a great read for a teenage girl!

Dec 23, 2009 rated it liked it
I really liked this book , all through it Andra had spunk and made you like her . My only complaint is it ended very badly for me and I don't like books with bad endings . I do see why the author would go this way though .
Nov 08, 2011 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book - but I'm not sure if it's because of sharing the same name or something else. I loved the connection but hated the ending. Felt a little empty. Maybe that was what the author wanted - to leave the reader wanting more.
Victoria Norris-Maclean
Jul 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the first Sci-Fi book I read as a child. I absolutely loved it, so different from anything else at the time, I still remember it now over 40 years later. If I am asked what is my favourite book , I always say this one.
Jul 04, 2010 rated it it was ok
It was so strange to read a book with a main character that shares my name. Generally not a fan of sci-fi, but it was a gift and with that title, it was a book I had to read. Very simple plot (anti-climatic), and lacks character development. Finished it in 2 sittings.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I read this when I was 12, borrowed from my local library, and have been looking for a copy for about twenty years, to see if it stands up to my memories
Brenda Shorten
Feb 24, 2011 rated it liked it
I read this book as a teenager. I was intrigued that no matter what science can do you can not destroy the human soul.
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved this book as a teenager and I still love it now. A product of its time, the Cold War is ever present.
Heather Browning
This doesn't pack quite the emotional punch it did when I was younger, but it's still an interesting look at conformity politics and rebellion.
May 31, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it as a kid but boy it didn't hold up at all! 2.5
Laura Morrigan
I really enjoyed this book, the only thing I can fault about it is the abrupt ending that left me feeling a bit let down.
Stephanie Meats
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Sep 05, 2015
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Nov 05, 2011
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Jan 22, 2014
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Andrew Nette
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Apr 24, 2012
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Nov 13, 2013
J.A. Ironside
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Jan 14, 2014
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Elizabeth Holden, better known by her pen name Louise Lawrence, is an English science fiction author, acclaimed during the 1970s and 1980s.

Lawrence was born in Leatherhead, Surrey, England, in 1943. She became fascinated with Wales at a young age, and has set many of her novels there. She left school early on to become an assistant librarian. She married and had the first of her three children in
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