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268 pages, Paperback
First published December 17, 2013
But the Cleansing didn't stop the struggle for power. The Cleansing didn't end violence. The Cleansing didn't bring peace. When free to find their own way, the women are just as destructive.
If I lived years ago, there would have been billions of men on the earth. I might have seen hundreds of them every day. Now there is one. Now there is Taylor.
The book opens with Mary, a narrator that knows how to paint the scene, then quickly switches to Taylor, who has a secret. We are meant know that Taylor is a boy before he ever speaks.
While I enjoyed the concept, there was something off about the first person present tense. My favorite parts were the characters' memories and flashbacks, as well as quotes the characters read. I realized that was because they were in past tense. If you like present tense, this book is for you! I could see how it was meant to draw you in, see the world from the characters' points of view, but because it switched between characters every few paragraphs, that was difficult.
As the book progressed, because it was interesting enough to keep me reading, there were a lot of parallels between what people think men are, and what is actually just human nature. We are shown through the characters words and actions that men and women are more alike than stereotypically presumed.
The story was a lot of missed cues and missed meetings. The two main characters run the gamut of emotions, including thinking they are both in unrequited love with each other after a couple of kisses. Reminiscent of Romeo and Juilet.
I was annoyed that the girl was constantly trying to be prettier for the boy. Trying makeup and revealing clothes. She also changed her mind every half-day. The plus side of that was that I never knew what she was doing.
When moved to the "Earthers" I found the first truly interesting characters. Characters with depth and back stories that weren't shallow or obvious. I wanted more of them!
The ending of the book was one big climax that was oddly paced. The main characters missed each other a lot, then found each other suddenly, then it was over. The epilogue was meant to confuse until the last page, then ended abruptly.
I enjoyed the idea and the dystopian world, but in the end, the present tense was hard to read. The characters had no depth and seemed to have random development. I kept reading to know if the presumptions I had in the beginning came true, and they did.
A third person past tense narrative would have made this book 3 or even 4 stars. As it is, I rate it a 2.5 out of 5.