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Last girl Zoë Zindleman, numerical ID 009-99-9999, is starting work at AllMART, where "your smile is the AllMART welcome mat”. Her living arrangements are equally bleak: she can wait for her home to be repossessed now that AnnaMom has left, or move to the Warren, an abandoned shopping centre, to live with the other left-behind children. As Zoë struggles to find her place in a world that has consumed itself beyond redemption, she realizes she isn’t ready to disappear into the AllMART abyss quite yet. Zoë wants to live.

224 pages, Paperback

First published October 13, 2015

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About the author

Blythe Woolston

10 books48 followers
Blythe Woolston’s first novel, The Freak Observer, won the William C. Morris debut fiction award. She lives in Montana.

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5 stars
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231 (36%)
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 177 reviews
Profile Image for Jamie Dacyczyn.
1,614 reviews89 followers
November 9, 2015
2 stars. Will appeal to younger readers who enjoy light dystopian fiction, but may feel a bit undeveloped to more experienced readers. I think that the author was trying to hold up a mirror to readers so that we think about how influenced we are by consumer culture, but beyond that barely-cautionary tale this book didn't have much sustenance.

This book takes place in a near-future world where big corporate box stores (*cough* Walmart *cough*) essentially run every facet of society. Schools are privatized, and focused on raising students to be better consumers and/or better retail workers. Our protagonist, Zoe, lives in a nearly abandoned suburban neighborhood with her mother, their house maintained in pristine condition as they're unsuccessfully attempting to sell it on a flooded real estate market. The book begins with Zoe in school, as an announcement is made that the school is closing, and all of the students have "graduated" early. Some are given job referrals, some are carted off to other fates. Zoe is given two job referrals, and ends up working at AllMART, one of the big box stores that controls everything. Her mother inexplicably announces that she is moving (with no explanation that I recall except to act as a plot device), so Zoe has the house to herself. She soon meets Timmer, another AllMART employee, who encourages her to ditch the suburban house to come live with him and and a couple other drifters in an old shopping mall. So begins Zoe's new life as an AllMART employee, working to sell, sell, sell to consumers.

I can't rate this book very highly because there just didn't seem to be much of a plot beyond the initial set up that I outlined above. Zoe (renamed Zero by the store in order to avoid duplicate name confusion among employees) works at the store, sees some less savory behind-the-scenes grit that seems tossed in there for mild shock value, and that's about it. There are some very minor side plots involving some of the other abandoned-mall-squatters, but they don't really seem to serve a purpose. I understand that the whole book is probably supposed to be a big cautionary tale about the direction that we're moving in as a greedy, retail society.....but there needs to be more than that in a story. There wasn't really a conflict or much character development. No attempts to shake up this retail obsessed society, or overthrow the AllMART dictators, or even any attempts to flee to a more free world. Nothing. We don't really see much beyond Zoe's dull existence, so we don't know what the rest of the world is doing outside of AllMART.

Overall, I'd say that this book may appeal to younger readers who might not have read much for dystopian/sci fi books yet. Unfortunately, there has been a bit of a surge in dystopian books for YA after the popularity of The Hunger Games, so there is an ample selection of more developed stories to choose from. Still, as a quick, stand-alone read, this was alright. Not awful, but not amazing either. It might be fine as a book to use as springboard for interesting discussions our own consumer society.
Profile Image for Tez.
841 reviews218 followers
May 22, 2016
Read it and weep. Blythe Woolston's MARTians hurts to read because though it's labelled dystopian/futuristic, it seems scarily contemporary.

Zoë's mother abandons her, and her school closes down. She finds work in AllMART and shelter in a laundromat. But it's clear she's living day by day, and doesn't really have a future. There's never a chance to "make money" because she'll be forever in debt to AllMART.

But perhaps the most devastating moment is the casualness in which it's possible to purchase a firearm and ammunition from a mega-mart. This may be commonplace to some, but it's far from normal where I live. Yes, the future is terrifying. But knowing that acquiring weapons can be so easy for some RIGHT NOW in real life? That's even worse, and the incident in the novel is chilling enough.

But throughout this terribly bleak AllMART existence is a thread of hope: Always look for the ones who need help. Zoë's one of the lucky people, and now it's on her to spread help around. While the book's ending may seem inconclusive, I get the feeling that as long as she has friends she'll be OK.
Profile Image for Kim B..
300 reviews8 followers
Want to read
April 15, 2015
Woolston writes it, I read it. This is the law of my universe.
Profile Image for Kimber.
283 reviews10 followers
November 27, 2015
This is a trimmed down version of my review, to view the full review visit The Book Ramble.

This book was provided by Random House Canada in exchange for an honest review.

When Zoe Zindleman's school closes she's fast tracked to graduation and gets a job at megacorporation AllMART. What follows is not much of a plot at all and is mostly just a string of random events that don't really amount to much. Woolston sets up what could be a really interesting and meaningful dystopia, but she lets it all build up to nothing.

I didn't enjoy this book at all. The plot was lacking, in that there was basically no plot. There was no character development or depth displayed at any point in the entire novel. There was entirely too much time spent on building a world that is entirely too similar to our own world to necessitate spending the entire book building the world and then doing nothing with it.

We learn about AllMART and see some of their evil practices but we don't ever see Zoe working against this or trying to make any change to her world. She just stays in the same situation, same state, without any change for the whole book. There was no motivation for me to actually read anything in this book except for the mistaken hope that the book would actually start to have a plot.

I can't say much beyond that because there isn't much more to comment on. This was hardly a book, it didn't have a plot at all.
Profile Image for Kat.
250 reviews7 followers
May 22, 2016
Before I comment, I would like to clarify that - yes, I fully understand that this is a dystopian future/very close to the current present, about how giant corporations own our lives. (I've often been told that the reason I might dislike something is because I don't get it, but there's not that much to get.) I understand the society as presented, even Zoe's incredibly annoying Mary Sue behavior as influenced by the drug implant she gets (even though that behavior doesn't change at all after she stops the drug). Unfortunately, this odd and off-putting story asks more questions than it answers. The premise is interesting, but needs some serious editing and revision, and the characters need to have dimensions to them, and not the personality of a rubber band and a dishrag.

What happens is this: Zoe is 17, and is told in school one day that she- and the rest of the students at her school- are graduating a full year and a half earlier than planned, because the building is needed for something else. Not that it was much of a school, anyway- she's being groomed to work retail. She interviews at the two big corporations (Walmart and KMart... Excuse me, that's AllMART and QMart) that own everything, and gets job offers to both (of course), as a trainee/stock boy/salesperson. Her mother decides to leave the home they share, and disappears, never to call or contact her in any way. She ends up leaving her home and moving in with a group of other teens (and one child) at an abandoned strip mall. Her new job leaves her in serious debt (for the training, the uniform, etc), and she starts to slowly question the world she lives in, ripping out a medication implant that keeps her docile and dopey, and helping a woman who kept a baby abandoned at daycare (they abandon it elsewhere). We find out that Raoul, who owned the strip mall, died and Timmer hasn't told anyone (to which my gut reaction was, "why wouldn't he tell anyone? That makes no sense"). Eventually, Zoe and her friends drive off into the sunset, name tags thrown to the wind.

Here are my unanswered questions:
If everyone is an employee of either AllMART or Q-Mart (if there were others, surely our Mary Sue - Zoe - would have been offered them, because she's perfect), and entire communities are wiped out, then who is doing the shopping there? And is this an overpopulated super-consumerist society? If so, why all the vacant buildings? If not, why the dorms for retail workers? And why aren't customers allowed to use the bathrooms? Especially if it just means they poo in the dressing rooms (was that detail necessary?)? Why did AnnaMom leave in the first place? (And what was she "celebrating" that night?) If Zoe owns the house, and the metal and wiring are so valuable, why didn't her scavenger friends scavenge her house before she abandoned it - especially if they're so poor they share cereal or melted ice cream for dinner? She trusts Timmer enough to get a ride home from him, but is wary - so why is she sleeping next to him in the strip mall every night, when she was specifically offered a locked room with a couch to sleep in? When Zoe removed her implanted Prozac, she got violently ill. But if it's such a strong substance, why is it that nobody else mentions the drug or their own interaction with it for the whole book? If there's so much surveillance everywhere, why didn't any of the drones see that Zoe was the one who started a fire that is still raging by the end of the book? Why all the random references to "kawaii"? What was it with the photo hidden in the storage unit? Did that mean that her dad really did want to be in her life but wasn't for some unknown reason? Why would she just leave everything behind without even looking through it, after going to the trouble of breaking in, ESPECIALLY after finding the photo of the dad she thought never wanted her? What was that whole thing with Juliette and the mannequins? I seriously have no idea why that scene was in the book. And why did they mention that some people are sexually attracted to cartoon characters? Why did we keep hearing about a tuna custody battle that went nowhere? Why was anyone shocked about the actions of the newscaster (some reviews called it "chilling" but honestly everything was so bland, it wasn't even that noteworthy)?

And most importantly: Why did I waste time reading this book?

I give this book 1.5 stars. Very disappointed. No character development, no plot excitement, nothing I will probably remember after I finish this review.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Evan.
Author 3 books133 followers
July 26, 2015
When I read Blythe Woolston, I never know what the main character is going to ultimately do. in MARTians, Z is booted out into the world not only by her school (recently closed to help balance the budget) but also by her mom, who takes off and lingers like a specter. This is a novel seemingly about a world gone awry where consumers rule the show and the forgotten class of workers—some young, some mentally ill, some fully indoctrinated, some whisked off to parts unknown because they can’t adjust—suffers endlessly.

But, really, this is a book that’s really about transitional anxiety — how little high school prepares people for a non-college bound path, how little our families prepare us for complex social and professional relationships, how little we actually end up needing to survive, but how much we lack when it comes to being emotionally healthy, mentally healthy.

A great book, brisk and funny, dark and weird, set in a world that’s got so much depth it made me think we might not be far from what Woolston’s arranged here.
Profile Image for Laura.
43 reviews
August 27, 2015
clever - a dystopian society without an enemy.

The plot moves quickly-you realize very quickly that something is VERY wrong with this world. But it doesn't appear to be any sort of apocalypse. Just the continuation of where we might really be headed right now if things don't change. As each day unfolds, it gets creepier and scarier, even though there are no real monsters jumping out of the darkness. I think that's what I liked most - there are just hints of how far down society has been taken, and there is no clear enemy to blame. No president or leader, no boss of the company that appears to be controlling a lot of the people.

Just a nameless, faceless dread. Reminds me of a lot of Hitchcock movies - the scariest ones were the ones where you don't see the enemy, but you know something is out there. Since you can't see what it is, it is even scarier.

The main characters are well rounded and have a lot of depth. The background characters have just what they need - enough detail that you are interested, but not so much that you can't keep up with all of them.

Looking forward to more from this author, and will be sharing this book with my friends!
Profile Image for Michael Earp.
Author 4 books34 followers
December 13, 2015
A brilliant and bleak depiction of consumerism take to its extreme (so not a whole lot further than we currently know it!)
If you like M.T. Anderson's Feed (which you definitely need to read!), then you'll enjoy this too! It also reminded me a bit of Brave New World where at times you feel like you're being given a tour of the world that is only slightly different from the one you know.
A quote from it that sums up the ominous machine that is ALLMART, when Zoe is contemplating making the customer happy:
"Wanting is only human. Humans are only wants. My purpose to see tiny seeds of wanting that I can magnify and satisfy. The, because I am human too, I will want stuff. The cycle is so beautiful. I will belong."

Creeps me out, makes me think.
Profile Image for Kathleen Dixon.
3,628 reviews59 followers
April 2, 2016
Another teen dystopia in a world not so far in the future where the populace are brainwashed into consumerism - hmm, not unlike today! Hopefully our schools aren't that bad yet, and at least the powerful shopping consortiums don't actually control the airwaves (again, I say that hopefully).

This is, in equal parts, bizarre and heart-rending. Our heroine is left on her own - mother takes off somewhere - and the school is closed all at the same time. She 'graduates' and begins work at one of the Marts. She is lucky enough to meet a (silent) dissident and gradually learns about how the world really works and about who she is.

Good teen fiction.
984 reviews13 followers
October 25, 2015
Whaaaaaaaaat. I have no idea what I just read. I mean, I guess this is a vision of what a Walmart-fueled dystopia might look like? And I guess that our current obsession with K-cups means we're already halfway there? Or something?
Profile Image for Bruce Gargoyle.
874 reviews144 followers
March 30, 2016
I received a print copy of this title from Walker Books Australia for review.

A Top Book of 2016 Pick

Ten Second Synopsis:
Zoe has always done things by the book and expected life to turn out as she believes it should. When her school abruptly closes down, her mother leaves town to search for work and Zoe begins her own journey into the working world, Zoe learns that the only skill she'll need is to smile to survive.

First up, I should point out that although I really enjoyed this book, I'm afraid it will be overlooked or seen as lacking by other YA readers due to a few key issues. For a start, it was both short and a standalone. These were both enormous positives from my point of view, but I know how YA readers love their series.

Secondly, there was no romance at all, despite featuring two protagonists of the same age and opposite sex stuck in an inescapable and rather bleak situation. "HOORAY!" I cried, when I got to the end without being alternately bored and irritated by pace-slowing, bland, repetitive teen romance. Again, I thought this was an enormous plus and offer kudos to the author for not getting sucked into the black-hole-like gravitational pull of peer pressure to put romance in every single YA book.

Finally, there were plenty of aspects of the story that COULD have been fleshed out far more deeply - the character of "Belly" and her mysterious fate, the whereabouts of Zoe's mother, what happened to Dolly Lamb and 5er's family - but to do so would have made this a super-long book and resulted, I think, in a shifting of the subtly disturbing and pervasive atmosphere of dystopia.

You see, I think the great strength of this book is that the dystopian aspect isn't all in your face. There isn't a zompocalypse or some major environmental disaster that throws people together in a minute-t0-minute battle for survival. Instead, the society described here is so close to our current consumerist society to be deeply disturbing on a psychological level, but just different enough to assure the reader that this is all fiction. In Zoe's world, you are either a consumer or a worker and there really isn't much scope to be both successfully. Individuals are taken straight from school graduation to prison, if deemed not capable enough to succeed as a worker. Major retailers control the pay packets and lives of their workers. And ordinary families disband, leaving whole suburbs of houses empty, in order to chase work and security, while the dwellings left behind are stripped of useful materials by those struggling to survive.

There is quite a bit of dark humour throughout the book - I only noticed the cheeky nod to literary classic The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie at the end! - and Zoe is a relatable, if naive, narrator. Timmer provides the lightness that is needed to avoid the whole thing descending into a depressive state and overall, I was thoroughly impressed with the way the author handled the story within such a restrained word count.

While this certainly isn't going to be a blockbusting, seat-of-your-pants, thrillride of a read for many people, I am giving it my Top Book of 2016 tick of approval because it really is a standout in a YA market that has a tendency towards churning out books that aren't prepared to take a risk in generating original characters or plots.
Profile Image for Casey Roth.
5 reviews2 followers
January 6, 2016
Too be honest, one of the worst works of literature I have read so far. The main character had little emotion, who was too passive and seemed almost robotic, although she did seem to show when she was "happy" or "sad", but otherwise not detailed. A couple other things that I disliked wasn't just the story, but the inner cover had also been rather lousy. On the inner cover, there is a quote by Ray Bradbury, a successful author. Part of the reason this book caught my attention was because of this. I felt like this quote was only posted on the book just to get people's attention so they could read the book hoping there were similar things Bradbury had done. Instead, there was a small subplot to the story which had practically almost nothing to do with the book, and in my opinion was thrown to the other side as an insignificant detail. The other was a reference which was from a current day game called Portal. This reference was a sentence which was "The cake is a lie" said by the main character. Despite the slight humor in this, how does the main character know there is even a game "Portal" if she doesn't have a computer or internet? She only gets informed one way by the news. In fact, how would this reference survive this many years in the future if the government is this corrupt? A huge mistake on Blythe's part, which might appeal to some readers in this book, but not all know about the reference. Lastly, I felt like the author was trying to be creative by starting every chapter disconnected, and the issue/scene gets introduced, it gets introduced very slowly. Some readers like myself, want to start a chapter off with everything there and in on the action immediately. This is common in most Sci-Fie books I have read. The paragraphs would even sometimes be random, and not what a character would be like if the main character is explaining what's happening with them or herself. In conclusion, this made a lousy story which was most likely just trying to wing it.
Profile Image for KWinks  .
1,204 reviews15 followers
December 3, 2015
Some back story: feel free to skip to the next paragraph for a review. A couple of years ago, I read a book called ScorchScorch (Nauman). Anyway, I've been chasing books like it ever since. They are dystopic: a future with a corporation controlled society. My quest has led to some awful reads (cough *A Highly Unlikely Scenario *cough* Notes From the Internet Apocalypse * cough). MARTians is the opposite of those clunkers.

It's also one of the best books I have read this year. Woolston's writing reminds me of George Saunders (and we all know how much I adore Saunders). Let me just say that this is not a typical YA novel at all. There is no "special snowflake" who can be the "only one" to take down a totalitarian society. There are no love triangles. Zip, nada. It is awesome. Someone from the Printz committee, please pay attention. The crossover appeal here is HIGH.

Zoe, used to being last because of her last name, is living in a world in which people mostly work for Allmart or QMart. Her new existence is pretty much company store (she owes the store more money for her uniform than she can make with a full time paycheck). Life consists of cereal and living with a ragtag "family" in an abandoned strip mall.

There are shades of Feed (Anderson) here. It reminded me of Scorch. I reminded me of Saunders. But it stands on it's own merit. I was truly, emotionally involved. Now I'm off to see what else Woolston has written and check them out.
Profile Image for Aimee✨.
599 reviews45 followers
April 25, 2016
I received a copy of MARTians from Walker Books Australia to review.

When I first read the synopsis of this it did sound like something that might be interesting and different to what I usually read. And it definitely was different. I don’t know if I missed something while I read this but it just wasn’t for me. Some parts were interesting but overall I just wasn’t that into it.

I think some things that happened weren’t completely explained or not at all which was confusing and annoying. I don’t want to ruin the book for anyone by going into what wasn’t explained or just left unresolved. I think the ones that really bothered me was about Zoe’s family. That’s all I’m going to say.

I don’t think MARTians was a bad story, I just didn’t get it. Zoe’s world, or the world she grew up in, is all about shopping and giving customers the best shopping experience. Obviously there are people that shop a lot and spend ridiculous amounts of money on things but it’s their money so why not? I’ve grown up knowing that I can’t have everything I want so I am kind of fussy about what I want to spend my money on now. I don’t want to waste it on things I won’t use or will only wear once. But, that’s me. Probably one reason I didn’t click with this book.

I don’t really have much to say about this book other than it just wasn’t for me. I really don’t want to spoil anything for those that haven’t read it so I can’t really say a lot. Just because I didn’t like MARTians doesn’t mean others haven’t. If we all liked the same things life would be very, very boring.
Profile Image for Pamela Davis.
26 reviews
September 23, 2015
I rec'd a free copy of this book from First Reads/Good Reads. I am a fan of young adult fiction and this book did not disappoint. Caught in a world that has become controlled by "overlords" and monopolistic businesses, the characters struggle to survive in a sort of big brotheresque world. This is a coming of age novel where the characters are forced to live in a adult world with limited options. Hope is dim and eyes are watching, but Zoe and Timmer play the game of survival as best as they can while trying to help others all the while. There is a sadness, snarkiness, and determination about the characters and the premise of the book that makes readers want to continue reading while rooting for the characters. I would love to see the story continue in another book that follows Zoe, Timmer, and 5er as they continue in their quest for survival and individuality.
158 reviews8 followers
September 6, 2015
*I received this book through Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for review.
Imagine a world that revolves around the two biggest box stores that have taken over. There is Allmart on one side (which is like Walmart) and on the other side is a store like Target. They compete for your business, employees etc. The world is a vast retail marketplace from schooling, real estate etc. Not too far fetched! Though also exceedingly strange too think it had evolved like this. An interesting read centered around one girl named Zoe and how she copes with becoming an adult in the retail world as her best laid plans for the future fall apart.
Profile Image for Ryan.
7 reviews
September 21, 2015
I received this book through the Goodreads First Reads program.

If you're a fan of George Orwell's various works, this is a book you might enjoy. I'm not saying that Woolston has literary powers similar to Orwell's, but the style of the story being told is similarly dystopian, and thoroughly enjoyable.

The only thing keeping me from giving this five stars is the obvious sequel bait at the end. All in all, good read, would recommend.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Mercedes.
277 reviews10 followers
December 4, 2015
"Wanting is only human. Humans are only wants. My purpose is to see tiny seeds of wanting that I can magnify and satisfy. Then, because I am human too, I will want stuff. The cycle is so beautiful. I will belong."

I love this quote from the book. It is such an amazing read.
Profile Image for Trisha.
1,939 reviews97 followers
January 5, 2016
I am not what shelves to tick with this book. The MC's narrative voice is clear and consistent. There is some thought-provoking moments, and a powerful piece of realised loss.

But I am not sure. Need to talk about it. Need to ponder it.
Profile Image for Taniplea.
197 reviews2 followers
June 11, 2016
I can't really describe what this book was like. It was weird, but a good weird. I didn't understand some things and I wish it had been longer, with more details, but I think that is one of the points of the story. Some things were only hinted at and never fully talked about.
Profile Image for Lauren.
Author 1 book4 followers
October 21, 2015
Blythe Woolston is the George Saunders of YA. Brilliant.
Profile Image for Rachel.
24 reviews3 followers
January 29, 2016
Had a lot of potential but fizzled out. But that may have been the point.
Profile Image for Molly Dettmann.
1,362 reviews19 followers
May 21, 2016
Yeah, nothing spectacular about this bizarre consumerist dystopian novel. There was little to no character development, the plot seemed random, and the ending was rushed and unfinished imo.
Profile Image for Terri.
922 reviews31 followers
March 15, 2022
"MARTians" by Blythe Woolston (2015) has been on my shelf - with hundreds of other books - for a few years. I picked it up at a conference. I like to randomly pull a book from the shelf once in awhile and dig in. Yeah - this one could have stayed on the shelf.

"MARTians" takes place in a dystopian near future. Zoe Zindleman finds herself, along with her entire school, suddenly graduated early to make room for a company that produces bat excrement to be used for fertilizer. On the same day, her mother (AnnaMom) announces that she is leaving, and leaves Zoe to survive on her own in a deserted neighborhood until her home is foreclosed on. At graduation Zoe is offered two jobs and ends up taking a job at the mega-store, AllMART. She meets Timmer, a former neighbor and AllMART employee who invites her to live in the "Warren" with several other lost teens. This is the story of her time working at AllMART.


1. I will give Woolston credit for choosing a unique topic. I definitely haven't read this story before.

2. This seems more like a proposal for a novel. The book really needs editing and reworking. There are lots of plot holes here. Smoother transitions to tie events together are needed. Several scenes need more development and clarity. What is the deer in the store all about? The mannequin scene? The tuna girl custody case? And the ending of the book seems unfinished. Yikes!

3. Woolston needs to spend a lot more time world-building. Since (if) this meant to be a dystopian novel, the reader needs more in terms of where and when the story takes place, as well as how this world became what it is.

4. The characters also are poorly developed. Who is Timmer anyway? What is his story? Who is Raoul? 5er? Juliette? Jyll? Krall? Most are one-dimensional and, consequently, this reader at least did not invest in them.

5. There are several important themes here. Consumerism and capitalism, marketing and advertising, the power of the media, privacy, homelessness, sexism, parenting, the importance of a well-rounded and liberal education, abandonment, guns, the environment, "feedback runaway," mental health, sexuality, survival, life and death, etc. are all important, relevant themes, but they needed much more exploration and development here. Some of these ideas are simply mentioned and then forgotten.

Ugh! Not recommended.

Profile Image for Sandy.
2 reviews
April 2, 2021
I have never written a review before on Goodreads. But this book has compelled me to do so. I just finished this book, literally a minute ago and I wanted to fling it out of the window. How did this book get published?

The book had an interesting premise and great promise and that's why I stuck with it. I like the idea of a consumer centric world, much like we live in now, but somehow worse where large corporations control the lives of their employees (well they are not really employees but more like slaves or something like that ).

Reading this book is like getting a glimpse into the mind of a sixteen year old for a few months with no context whatsoever. The world she lives in, her situation nothing has been set or explained. Lot of times I didn't understand what was going on.

So many unanswered questions:
Why do families leave their kids behind without any explanation?
Terra cognita looks like a decent neighborhood, what happened to the families living there?
How has Zoe never had a friend or noticed any of her neighbors or her surroundings?
She has an implant behind her ear that makes her concentrate more.... It's was mentioned when she removes it with her bare hands and nothing about how it got there.... Has been explained????
No changes in her behavior post removal of the implant???
Timmer comes to Zoe's house and asks her to pack up and leave, she packs a few underpants and pajamas and leaves to go live with him..... A little more explanation would have made it palatable?
Who is Raoul???? Where did he get the money to buy Warren?
Who comes to shop at All mart??? Since everywhere there are abandoned homes and poor families?
Why does Sallie shoot Sanjay in the last scene???? Coz he showed the footage of her.... What about the co host?

I could go on.... But you get it....

I can say this is probably one of my worst reads ever....
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
October 23, 2019
I would rate the book MARTians with 2 stars because it lacked many important details. It was challenging for me to understand as lots of things were unexplained. I was mainly confused throughout the book because many things didn’t add up such as why Zoe was forced to graduate and why didn’t she have more options in the workforce. Zoe did not tend to state her feelings very often and I feel like that made the book even more challenging to read from it being hard to relate to her. Zoe never stated in detail how she felt about being left alone and having no choice other than AllMART. The book was very challenging to follow through as I never really found the plot and the introduction seemed to be too long.
Though the book lacked a plot and a mood, it had a few good qualities that kept me reading. I was partially interested in the book as the introduction made me excited to find out what happens after Zoe arrives at AllMART. The book had a decent conflict as I saw it mostly as Zoe against her own opinions from the experiences of Zoe worried of making wrong decisions. Without a good mood, the book still portrayed Zoe as human as she set herself apart from all of the strict guidelines of AllMART. Everything between the pressure of the experience to the name on Zoe’s name tag that named her “Zero”, she fought through the struggles.
Overall, I did not enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I think that it could be improved into a very good book because it has a good conflict but there would need to be a plot. If Zoe hesitated and showed how she actually felt then the book would have been better. I almost felt as if I was reading the book in an outside point of view because of her few thoughts.
19 reviews1 follower
March 17, 2018
Target audience: High School/ 14 to 18 year old readers.
Summary: A clear homage to Ray Bradbury (who is mentioned both on the dust jacket and in the dedication) this book is a cautionary tale set in a dystopian future. Rather than focusing on the dehumanizing affects of technology, as Bradbury so frequently did, Woolston focuses on the dehumanizing affect of corporations and their tendency to insinuate themselves into our every aspect of the lives of the people the purportedly serve.
Zoe is an above average high school student attending a school not unlike the one Clarisse McMlellan attended (in Fahrenheit 451) when suddenly her school is shut down and she is shunted off to work at AllMart. This corporation proves to be extremely intrusive, but Zoe makes friends with a group of outsiders bent on resisting the inevitable, and it is this affiliation which leads to the story's sad conclusion.
Strengths/ Weaknesses: Written at a fast pace, and with a more contemporary feel than Bradbury's works, the story seems as though it should appeal to members of its target audience more than the author's inspiration. On the other hand, because the book so clearly emulates the work of Bradbury, it is difficult not to weigh one against the other, and if the reader does that, Bradbury's novels clearly outshine this book.
Personal critique: Kudos for keeping an important segment of science fiction, that of societal critic, alive. The message of this book is extremely relevant in today's world; it is good to see somebody writing such a book.
Profile Image for Arminzerella.
3,745 reviews87 followers
February 7, 2019
Zoe Zindleman is graduated early from her high school when the government decides not to fund public education anymore. She is smart, though, and has prospects and interviews with the two most prestigious mega stores. She decides to work for A11MART (partially on the advice of Timmer, a teen from her neighborhood), and it’s as you might expect – mind-numbingly dull and awful. Zoe also finds herself suddenly homeless and abandoned by her mom (Annamom). Her house is too far away from work for her to commute, plus her mom has taken the car to search for work herself and Zoe is on her own. Will Anna come back? Zoe finds a temporary situation in an empty mall along with Timmer and some other lost souls. Everything seems to be falling apart around them. Normal people aren’t doing so well, but the corporations and megastores are thriving. Zoe starts to realize how bad things are when she decides to stop taking her medications, which helped her with anxiety, focus, and depression. Suddenly the world isn’t such a shiny wonderful place anymore. When their home gets raided, Zoe and the rest escape, but they have to decide what future it is that they want for themselves. Because this is so very focused on one tiny part of Zoe’s world, it’s hard to know what else is out there. So when the kids embrace the great wide open at the end, there’s no way to know what their prospects are for survival. Is there anyplace they can go that’s better? A cautionary dystopian tale with a somewhat disappointing ending.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Marsha.
Author 2 books33 followers
August 17, 2019
While the Earth within this book seems uneasily like Wall-E, it lacks that movie’s sense of wonder and hope. It’s firmly rooted on an earth that seems to be sinking into economic depression, dull-eyed apathy and rampant consumerism that pushes goods on patrons even as it sends its employees into ever-spiraling debt.

Zoë isn’t much of a protagonist. She doesn’t seem to have much agency, even after she removes a mood-controlling nodule behind her ear. She doesn’t lead a revolution or provide hope to her makcshift family. She simply goes with the flow much of the time, getting into a car with a stranger named Timmer and then allowing him access to her home, her shower and her fridge.

Timmer doesn’t truly appeal either. For one thing, Zoë never describes what he looks like. The other characters get physical descriptions but not this guy. When Timmer keeps talking about his friend Raoul, I suspect trickery. The mysterious Raoul is much mentioned but never seen. Timmer also tells him how Raoul warned him to look out for people like Timmer was: the weak and the powerless. He says this to Zoë’s face and she doesn’t even get annoyed by it. Ouch.

Zoë refuses to care for an infant and she willingly goes into a desert-like scenario with the poor, mute 5er, a sad boy who can’t take care of himself. It’s a miserable ending and you can’t see how they can survive without real food or even running water. But this is given as being somehow a positive resolution to this shabby life. Sorry but I just can’t see it.
Profile Image for Kate.
494 reviews40 followers
August 7, 2019
Zoe Zindleman lives in a near future where capitalism and corporations have taken over American life, down to what subjects are taught in school (subjects like Corporate History, Consumer Math, Consumer Citizenship, Communication). One day during her homeroom, a special announcement from the Governor comes over the loudspeaker announcing that in order to provide a boost to the workforce and economy, everyone in her school is now a high school graduate. They are to report to the front of the class to receive their work assignments.
While some of her classmates get less than ideal placements (like getting sent directly to prison). Zoe is excited to accept a job at ALLMART. When she gets home that night to tell her mom, she finds the car packed up, her mom is leaving for another city to see if she can get a better job, leaving Zoe to fend for herself.
On the first day of work, Zoe is given an employee number, a uniform and a name badge (sadly the badge maker seems to have come from starbucks and misspells everyone’s name so she is relegated to being called ZERO at work, it could be worse). Instead of staying in the ALLMART dorms, she decides to move into an abandoned strip mall across the parking lot with a band of misfits.
Can Zoe survive in this consumerist dystopia, where your only value comes from your shopping habits? How far is ALLMART willing to go to make a profit?
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