Marena struggles to remember the past: a time before the Zero Tolerance Party murdered her mother and put her father under house arrest. A time before they installed listening devices in every home and outlawed writing. A time when she was free. But it feels like the only thing the new, repressive government wants is to have Marena forget. When the Minister of Education, Helmsley Greengritch, cracks down on Marena’s youth training facility, she knows she has to fight back. In the spirit of her revolutionary mother, she forms her own resistance group—the White Rose. With nothing but words and a hunger for freedom, Marena fights for what she knows is right, only to discover the ZT Party's horrifying plans for the country. A thrilling story of resistance and the power of art, The Silenced draws upon the true story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose group's resistance to the Nazi party.
James DeVita, a native of Long Island, NY, is an author and playwright. Along with his novels, The Silenced, A Winsome Murder and Blue, he has also written more than sixteen plays and adaptations of classics for young audiences. He is the resident playwright for First Stage Theater for Youth. His plays have been awarded the Distinguished Play Award by the American Alliance of Theater and Education; the Intellectual Freedom Award by the Council of Teachers of English/Language Arts; and he is a recipient of a Literature Fellowship for Fiction by the National Endowment for the Arts. James lives in Spring Green, Wisconsin with his wife and two children.
Marena, raised by her revolutionary mother, has always believed in speaking your mind and standing up for what you believe in. But her mother is dead now, condemned a traitor executed after the Zero Tolerance party came to power. Her crime? Thinking for herself and speaking out.
Now, as conditions in the government compound where Marena lives get more and more oppressive, Marena has to make a choice. Will she stay silent, keep her head down, and stay safe? Or will she make a stand, even if it means risking her life and the lives of everyone she loves? Marena knows one thing for sure: if she doesn't stand up, no one will.
I love a good dystopian novel as much as the next person--probably more. But this one never came together for me. For one thing, I can't envision the chain of events that led to the Zero Tolerance party coming to power. It's clear that James DeVita doesn't actually care about what led to this turn of events--he just wanted to fictionalize Sophie Scholl's courageous protests, and he wanted to put it in a futuristic setting so that instead of historical fiction, it would read as a "this could happen to you."
But it doesn't work. It's such a thinly veiled retelling of Nazi Germany--with futuristic lingo and technology, of course, and some small differences in technique, and also in extent--but it's impossible not to recognize Nazi Germany in the Zero Tolerance party. But I understand how the Nazi party came to power. There were a whole mess of political issues, not to mention the aftermath of WWI and what that did to the German psyche. As a historian, I've studied the past, and I understand--not how people could do these things, but how this sort of situation could come to pass. James DeVita was not interested in putting in the work to make this a believable dystopia, and so it's not believable. It feels like he cribbed it from the Holocaust--and he did.
Even worse, it's not until towards the very end of the book that I felt a clear sense of danger or feared for Marena's safety or life. Most of the time, when she resisted--it didn't feel immediate. There were a few sections of her memories that were written in first person, and I couldn't help but wonder how much more immediate the book would have felt if it had all been written in first person.
But the plot was flat. I guessed a few of the most important plot twists early on, and much of the book felt like one long slog until they were revealed. And the rest of it--even if I didn't anticipate it, it was because I just didn't care enough to try.
The one redeeming factor in this book is the genuinely interested Helmsley Greengritch, who is the only character in the book who fascinated me and felt like a real person. I believed that Greengritch believed in what he was doing, unlike pretty much everyone else in DeVita's dystopia, and watching him along his journey was interesting.
DeVita very proudly admits this in the author's note at the end, that he wanted to rewrite Sophie's story. I don't think that's something to be proud of. If you want to write Sophie's story, give her the dignity of her name, and if you don't, write your own book--don't crib off of history.
If you want to read a book about the Holocaust, only futurized and with different names, this book is for you. If you want to read Sophie Scholl's courageous story, only without any actual Sophie in it, this book is for you. If you want to read a book where the author thinks he's so damn clever for coming up with terms like "loyalty correction", then this book is for you.
If you don't want any of those things, you probably do not want to read this book.
This is an OUTSTANDING book that resembles the world that would have been created had the Nazis of WWII won. The plot, characters, setting and ideas are so well organized, and the book is very well written. After my third reading in two years, I still am picking up things that I've missed. Marena is sick of going about her daily life under the rule of the ZTs, and she finally uses the inspiration of her mother's legacy to motivate her to make a change. She resists the controlling government and tries to spark a rebellion. I've read thousands and thousands of books, but none with an ending so shocking. This is a book that you need to read, finish and start all over just to see if you can pick up the clues that are invisible on your first read - even if you're looking for them. James DeVita did a spectacular job on this book.
However, it craves a sequel. I go to bed for weeks after finishing this book thinking about what happens next. It has the ultimate cliff-hanger ending, the perfect set up for a sequel or trilogy, but then...nothing. It KILLS me to see such an amazing book without a follow-up to wrap up loose ends. I have no problems with a book that leaves you hanging, but this goes so far beyond that. You don't know what happens to a single character. There are hints of what happens on Mr. Greengritch, but other than that, there is nothing to even infer what would have occurred next. With a book like this, DeVita could have had so many fans sitting on the edge of their seat and waiting for a sequel, but he didn't do anything about it. I have a vivid imagination and like to imagine the ending as I would have written in, basically creating the nonexistent next book. I would still appreciate a sequel, though.
The Silenced is a dystopian novel that James Devita based during the Nazi raids back in the 1940's. Malena is a girl attending a school run by the ZT (Zero Tolerance) party whose laws are based on everyone being equal and no one being different or having different opinions. Her mother was trialed and killed by the party because she joined a resistance group determined to overthrow the unjust government. She has a close friend of hers, Dexter, whom she has deep feelings for, but the party forbids this and any intimacy between young adults. On the way to school one day, a new student, Eric, boards the bus he came because his parents were also opposed to the government. Although he gets into a bit of trouble beginning his first day he Malena befriends him later on during the week. A teacher of Malena's who taught art was not following a book that all teachers were supposed to follow with their teachings and decided to teach her class the way she wanted. She used paper and pencils and all sorts of materials with the students which were forbidden. The part were all the trouble begins is when Mr. Greenwhich a sort of administrator comes into the school inspecting it and then soon taking over when he found many of the laws not being enforced. Malena and Dexter have a location were they meet called the "Place" where they are free to do what they want without having to worry the party watching them and getting caught although getting to their hiding spot is difficult with such tight security. Malena has a younger brother, Daniel and her father whom she lives at home with, but she feels uncomfortable living with her father because during much of the beginning of the story she has flashbacks and one of them was of her father at her mother's trial testifying against her. She also has flashbacks/memories with her mother, but what she can't see is her face. When Malena finds out of her art teacher's trial her, Dexter, and Daniel sneak out and go to the place where the trial is going to be held. After almost getting caught and seeing her father once more testify against another person, Malena gets frustrated and decides it's time to take a stance. Along with Dexter and Eric Malena decides to make some sort of resistance group named the White Rose. Mr. Greenwhich also decides to take a stance against such behavior and so no rebelling against the students will occur he practically makes the school into a military camp where there is extensive workouts and even competing for your lunch. Malena's first rebellious attack was where they held her teacher's trial and on a sign she writes "The White Rose will not be silenced." At first the party wasn't very concerned, but when the attacks start getting braver and bolder Mr. Greenwhich tags up with one of the officials to find the culprits responsible. Malena's father then tells her the real meaning behind why he had to testify against his wife, which makes Malena understand her father's reasoning. Mr. Greenwhich also has a past of his own; his son and wife were killed and due to problems between the resistance groups and the ZT. Mr. Greenwhich has a change of heart when he sees the determination of Malena and decides he wants to help. Malena is caught and so is Eric, but whatever happened to Dexter??? Surprisingly enough Dexter was working along with the ZTs and testifies against Malena at her trial. It's up to Mr. Greenwhich to help Malena and her family escape and go out of the outskirts of the city along with another resistance group. Personally i liked the book because it was really descriptive and it reminded me of Anthem. Malena's strong character and determination make her out to be a true hero and in the end of the story it made me question my beliefs and morals for what I stand for.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Full review: These reviews are always the hardest. There’s very little WRONG with The Silenced, but at the same time, there is very little to get excited about.
This book is inspired by a real girl named Sophie Scholl during WWII who led a resistance against the Nazis in Germany. There are clear parallels between the two and it has that sort of Nazi vibe, but at the same time it is different. There aren’t really concentration camps, and while ethnicity is a factor in this world, it is much less important than following the Protectorate /Hitler.
What I did like was that while this book was a dystopia, it didn’t force the entire rebellion onto the shoulders of one teenage girl. Marena does what she can with the limited support and resources that she has. This book isn’t about the grand scheme of wars or governments. It is about what ordinary people do in the face of totalitarian government.
I also thought that the character development was, overall, good. Marena’s character has a strong motivation and so I felt like I could understand her. Other characters like her father and the Hitler Youth leader-equivalent were also deepened and interesting characters to have in the story.
At the same time, however, there were characters I think could have gotten a little more depth to them, like Marena’s secret boyfriend Dex and friend Eric. And while the characters with more depth to them were interesting, they still didn’t quite excite me or fascinate me. They were servicable for the story, but I didn’t feel connected to their fate.
I think ultimately this is what made me feel very flat while reading it. I didn’t feel the stakes or the danger, even though they lived in a totalitarian government. So while its premise and themes were important, I felt underwhelmed while reading, especially toward the last half which was pretty predictable.
I know a lot of people who loved this book, especially those who dislike where dystopian in YA has turned (this came out in 2007 so it is not a “trendy” dystopian). So maybe if you feel the same you’d like to give it a shot.
When I first started reading this book, I wasn't sure if I would really get into it but I did. I became so enthralled by this world Devita had created and I had to read it to feel like I could understand more of it while trying to make sense of it all. I thought it had a great pace which made it entertaining to read as well. Devita develops a dystopian society that through its own government seeks to alienate people and control huge aspects of their lives. From restricting interactions with the opposite sex to education, from reading and writing to private conversations to even the possibility of their thoughts, it seems, in order to develop perfection for their society and not necessarily for the individual. Marena, a teenage girl, is the main character who aims to remember a life without the Zero Tolerance Party. The ZT's drastically altered her life when they took control and more than anything she doesn't want to forget what she can barely recall. So for this ability to keep a simple memory and for the hope to live a life without feeling controlled, it gives her courage to find a way to show resistance. Marena and her friends form "The White Rose" and vow that they will not be silenced...no matter what. It could be deadly for them, their friends and families, but it is their reality and not a game. But the future promises to be even worse if the ZT's are allowed to remain in power any longer over everything and everyone. This novel is loosely based on the story of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose. Scholl and her friends find a way to defy the atrocities happening around them during the holocaust of WWII. I want to know more about them and their activism. This is a tragically inspiring read but most of all, this novel caused me to think deeply. I look forward to the next book by James Devita.
I can't possibly tell you, just how much I truly enjoyed this novel. I've been a huge dystopian fiction fan, for quite a while. Marena, a pretty normal girl in the world of ZT(the over controlling government), except for one fact. Her mother rebelled against ZT, and then was killed, for disobedience. Marena obviously takes after her mother, and also rebels against ZT, and founds a organization called the "The White Rose". All goes well, till Marena is found out when she tries to spread fliers about. Dex, her closest friend who she was also involved in a relationship with, turns her in. While her other friend, Eric tries to blame the whole thing on himself. In the end they all go to a safe house, and the story ends. I thought this dystopian fiction novel was really unique, because as the ever popular, "Hunger Games" most of them are a series. I think that this book ended appropriately, and really a sequel is not needed.
The Silenced is a book that will leave you thinking. Thinking about who is who and what an identity is. You will wonder what being you really means, how you behave, and if it is the right way to be behaving. You will wonder if judging someone by how well you now them is the right waqy to judge them.
If you like books that will hang you oof the edge and let you lie there for a while, you will like this book. James DeVita can write a book that is easy to understand but will leave you with questions that need answers. I never wanted to put this book down because it is so intense and you are always twisting and turning into different perspectives. This book is very intruging
Based on the real activities of Sophie Scholl during World War Two. It is set in a world where Big Brother has been allowed to run amok. Some teenagers who still remember having the freedom to read, write and think for themselves begin encouraging others to rebel against the "Zero Tolerance" party.
A fictional account based on a true story of German resistance fighters against the Nazi regime, set in the future when government officials punish those who question their authority and surgically remove their brain centers that enable reading, writing, and speaking. A chilling supposition to loss of freedom of expression and the other rights Americans take for granted.
i haven't stayed up later than i really really should because i COULD NOT stop reading in a while .... this one does it. READ IT. one of the best "controlled society" books style sorta like 1984 that i've ever read.
The Silenced by James Devita is a heart wrenching book about a teenage girl and her family after losing there mother in an unnecessary war between the government and the people. The characters are ultimately living in a world where the government is trying to make everybody the same almost like robots following insanely strict rules. Ruling over them with fear making everybody too scared to stand up for their basic human rights. When reading this book it brings you into another dimension, another world. Which keeps you interested at all points throughout the book. I would strongly recommend reading it. The main characters in this book are very dynamic. There thoughts and reasonings are always different from the chapter before. Keeping you wondering and thinking about what move the might make next. Making this book unpredictable. This is what makes this book interesting. Nobody wants to read a book where you know what's going to happen next. Not knowing is a great suspenseful way that forces the reader to not want to put the book down. The characters play a great roll in why I think that this book is so good. The author built them up well telling the readers how their minds are working, bringing the imagery right out of the characters thoughts. Along with the characteristics of each one and how they looked as well as their very different personalities. Helping the reader get to understand the characters better the author gave them background forcing the reader to feel for the characters. I believe that this was one of the greater assets included in this book. Another thing that made The Silenced a good book was its storyline. Creatively thought out realistic fiction. For this could have or maybe even still could possibly happen. Although the chances are slim the author did a good job creating a world that is like the one we live in now, with people living a slightly different life. Almost as if they were living in some sort of future world. I think that this helped its storyline greatly. If this were to take place in a complete fantasy world it would have in my opinion not been as good as it is when set in the modern world. It gives the reader something to relate to. Even something to think about because it is not an unrealistic concept. It leaves the reader wanting to know more about how these people live in this world. Helping everything else come together. The moral of this story creates a theme that goes throughout the whole book. As you keep reading it starts to make more and more sense. When the author uses symbolism making small things represent big concepts. Even though in the beginning of the book the reader can't see what the theme is until closer to the end, they know that the symbol is important because it keeps coming up in almost every chapter or even few pages of the book. Until it gradually gets more and more important than the author come together tying all of the important things back into one concept which is what I loved about this book. I would recommend this book to anybody who enjoys a book with a good storyline, in depth dynamic characters, and an important theme. It is overall a good read for anybody who is looking for an interesting book that you will enjoy reading. I would also recommend other books written by this author if you enjoy reading this one.
Hello!!!! I am back. I read this book way back in January, so I'm sorry if some of these details aren't too accurate. The premise of the novel, is about a 16-year-old girl Marena, who is inspired to become the White Rose in order to provoke change against the current way of living the Zero Tolerance Party has established in this future dystopian world and it is based off the experience of Sophie Scholl and the White Rose's resistance of the Nazis. Honestly, I was only able to get halfway through this book, because it was not interesting. The entire story was ripped off of Sophie Scholl's experience, and while the concept that privileged people should be morally obligated to assist those in needs (in fact, that is what the premise of my English essay is about), using a real historical account and taking its entire soul into the book made it seem insincere, as it wasn't really his story. The author would probably have been better off if he'd just written a biography about Sophie Scholl. All the characters were extremely flat, and the actual proposition of the novel didn't really make sense. (spoiler section) I understand the author wanted to highlight the importance of the written word, but forbidding everyone to read didn't make sense, particularly when it said that they wrote headings on the broadcasts? Or they have to teach the teachers? It was very confusing. Also, apparently having relationships was forbidden, which didn't make sense, as wouldn't the whole human race die off? I understand he wanted to make this whole grunge-y world and have the Zero Tolerance Party come off as extreme, but you can't make contradictory rules and not explain them. Also, I understand the author is a screenwriter, and maybe this book would have been better as a play, as the writing of the book was choppy and kind of dull. I was also really excited to get into the book and feel really inspired, like when I read The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, but for the entire first half of the book, Marena does nothing. She steals pieces of paper with her boyfriend and scribbles memories on them, then hides them away in this underground, demolished library, which is nice and all, but it really isn't very rebellious. This doesn't motivate any other characters to do anything, and her interactions with all the other people in the story were very flat. Even if it was intentional, it didn't make me feel attached to any of the characters and what they were doing. I skimmed ahead as well, and I was very confused that Marena's biggest rebellious act was apparently putting white roses in the girl's bathroom. This was stupid because: 1. roses die 2. everyone would then know it was a girl (like cover your bases, girl!) 3. this doesn't inspire anyone With Sophie Scholl, she actually printed pamphlets and things. She was the real deal. Not to mention, there is no diversity in the story and pretty much very little plot, so if you came for the intriguing summary on the book flap, please just go read a Sophie Scholl biography.
The Silenced is a very interesting book. There are many plot twists that keep the book entertaining. The main characters name is Marena. I would describe Marena as brave, intelligent, and stubborn. The most exciting moment in the book was when Marena snuck out at night and she destroyed the bus tires. She took all the drones and smashed them. The next morning she woke up to the sound of a knock at the door. She looks out the window and sees a big black bus that is picking everyone up instead of the buses.
The most important moment in the book was when Marenas father told Marena a secret he has been hiding from her since she was born. That was the most important part of the book because it shifted everything and it took the book in a new direction. The story had a slower beginning it took a while for the book to take off and become a little more interesting and exciting. The book kept me interested even through the slow start, once it hit the game changing point of the book I wanted to keep reading until the end I didn't want to stop reading.
The relationships between the characters were that they believe in the same sort of stuff and they are rebellious and want to find out what the governments are hiding. Overall this book was very enjoyable and i would give this book a 8 out of 10. I gave it an 8 because of the very slow start of the book. I would recommend this book to teens only. Kids that are 12 and under most likely wouldn't like this book. This book wasn't hard to read it was more of hard to understand. I would recommend this book to people that like thrilling adventure books with a little mystery involved as well.
In the The Silenced, Marena is the main character. She lives with her father, Richard, and her brother, Daniel. In Marena’s world, everyone follows the Zero Tolerance Rule. Marena secretly goes against it for all her life until things get out of hand with the government changes rules on how they look, walk, what they learn, where they live, what they own, pretty much anything. Marena ends up going against the government and creates a group called the White Rose. The story was very interesting. It had a lot of action and “will they make it” energy. I was kinda happy with the ending. It was expected but not at the same time. It happened like I thought it would but some of the things that happened were unexpected. DeVita explain many of the places with such depth it was easy to read. I could imagine every scene and imagine everything that was happening at that moment. The author made the dystopian issue very clear in this first few pages. One question that I have for the author is why? Why the Zero Tolerance society? Why did Greengritch change his mind? What was life like before the war? Was it the same as today’s society? Those are the only questions that linger in my mind after reading this. Everything else was as clear as day. The book was easy to read and really captivating. I would recommend this book to anyone who can catch on quickly and likes a violent government, a quick moving book, and a lot of action. Once I started reading it was difficult to put down. In my opinion, I would rate this book a 5/5.
I COULD NOT put this book down. The Silenced is a book that will keep you interested from beginning to end. Something that made this book so interesting was how the problems in the book really came from problems our world and government has today. The story was very believable which can open our eyes to our everyday problems. The beginning of the book started off slow but it was still very interesting. This made the book very suspenseful in the long-run.
There is constantly a chance for Marena, the main character, to get caught disobeying the strict Government laws. Marena is a character that many teenagers could relate to. She doesn’t believe in the Governments systems and acted out on that, much like teenagers not agreeing with school systems and being disobedient. Marena is a very good character because she was relatable. She is a head-strong, stubborn, and brave woman. If I had to describe the book in a few words, I would describe it as exciting, thought-provoking, and action filled. The ending of the book was very intriguing. It was an ending that made you think and sort of come up with your own ending which I think makes a book very good.
This book was not too hard to read, although I would not recommend it to children under 13. I would definitely recommend it too young adults because teens can relate to it and the books difficulty level is at a good level for teens. I would give this book a 9 out of 10 because the plot could be a little more deep and complex but overall it is a very good thought-provoking book that I think most teens would enjoy.
In the book The Silenced the main characters are teenagers who are under a strict government called the zero tolerance after a world war. The main character Marena and her friends formed a group called the White Rose rebelling the zero tolerance.There are so many plot twists in this book it's crazy! Which for me i loved that there were so many twists and turns because it kept me on my toes throughout the whole book. There were so many times where i stayed up past 12:00 at night to keep reading the book just to see what would happen next, and who would turn on who. The one thing that I didn't like about not the book itself but there was no audiobook, so if you like to listen to the audio your out of luck for this book.
Although the book had many plot twists and was action packed and towards the end , the beginning of the book was kinda slow for me and i just wanted to skip the action. Aside from that I would give the book a nine out of ten. Nine because there was no audio book which kinda sucked becausese i like to listen to someone else read rather than read myself. Also the beginning was slow but after a couple of chapters it started to get interesting. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes action and alot of plot twists.
This book is pretty good. It's about a girl named Marena who lives in a dystopian society. The society is let by the Zero Tolerance Party, or ZTs. They control everyone, and they can arrest anyone of a different religion, color, opinions, etc. The people there can't think for themselves at all, and you can be taken for speaking your mind. The main conflict is between the rebellion and the ZT. I think that the most interesting thing about this is it could really happen, and to some extent it has. I see a lot of parallels between the ZTs and the Nazis. Had the Nazis won WWII, this could be our society right now. If another group comes into power like them, it could change fast. During WWII, there was the struggle between Nazis and the rebellion. James DeVita portrayed the issues with this very well in my opinion. In the book, the rebellion gets to people by extreme secrecy and it's done without knowing who's on that side. During WWII, the rebellion had to be run with secrecy, smuggling things like Marena smuggled roses in her clothes. I think that these details were completely intentional and added to the similarities.
I just finished the book “The Silenced” and Ican say Ididn’t really enjoy it as much at I thought I would. I expected a lot more from this book and I feel like I got left with a lot of questions. I was very confused on most of it and I don’t think I was really ready to read a book like this. this is not my favorite genre to read. considering I don’t read much I just don’t think this was a good one for me. I would recommend this book for a person that is really good at comprehension and good at understanding a lot about books. I would also recommend this book for more advanced readers. if I had to rate this book I would give it a 5 out of 10. even though is was very confusing it wasn’t a bad book in general.
This to the day is still one of the best books I have read. The story line was done so well you can't stop turning the pages. This is a book that really reflect on what life could have been like had the nazi regime succeeded in WWII. But without being a dull headache of a read. DeVita wrote a book that was amazing all while still paying tribute to the white rose society in a way. I recommend this book to everyone that ask about really good books. It's a book you can re-read because you love it that much
Marena was raised by her mom until she died. Her mother is dead, prosecuted by the Zero tolerance party who is now in control. Marenas mother always taught her to speak her mind and believe in what is right.
The government starts to compound where Marena lives. Will she stay quiet and be safe or will she follow in her mom's footsteps and speak for what she believes. But she thinks she has to because no one else will.
I enjoyed the book. Knowing at any point they could execute her made it very intense in some parts.
This is one of my all time favorite books. Good action, corruption, characters, character development, and plot twists!!!! I was really hoping to see the average rating be more than 3.5 stars and to see more positive reviews. I think this is an AMAZING book. Though it is based off a WWII, I read the book without knowing that, and I did NOT get a WWII vibe from it. It is a fact that you would only pick up on if you were TRYING to connect it and relate it to WWII. Also, I found this book similar to the Matched trilogy. 100% recommend and love this book.
This book was so good. One of the crazies plot twist and some of the characters did a full 180. I loved Dex in the beginning but then he had to pull at my heart strings and betray Marena it was so bad. But Eric stayed the same being the same crazy kid. Then Greengritch was always kinda a softy because memories of his son who was killed.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
I thought that the book addressed issues in our own society. I also had one of those moments that I thought to myself, author please don't take this book in this direction, but then it changed directions and was a pretty good ending.
The writing was very choppy and the only character who was really was Mr. Greengritch. Marena just spent the entire the running around being brash and yelling. The storyline was much better than the typical YA dystopian.
I gave this book five out of five stars because it always made me want to keep reading. Also because even when I was close to ending the book I didn't know what was going to happen and it kept me interested.
not gonna lie I read this book years ago, barely remember it, but I'm pretty sure I liked it. Just learning about the real White Rose society in euro and had to search for this book again because I remembered that much about it.