Bradley's Reviews > The List

The List by Patricia Forde
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bookshelves: 2017-shelf, sci-fi

Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC!

This is a middle-grade book about the dangers of limiting your vocabulary! So get your dictionary and... oh, wait, it's not about that at all!

It's *actually* about a SF dystopian world after all the ice melted and the dangers of wrong thinking made the scared Noa build an ark, stuff all his people aboard, and be very, very careful about striking certain words out of the common lexicon of regular words.

Our young protagonist, Letta, is a journeywoman who's job is to collect the proscribed words, and later, she becomes the master.

I thought it was good based on these basic ideas and the premise, but if you think you've seen this before in 1984 or the Giver, then you're right. In fact, you've probably seen it in numberless short stories and even quite a few tv shows.

Is it worth reading? Does the plot boldly go where none other of its kind goes? Sadly, no, if you're a reader of YA. It's pretty potboiler with standard situations, but the ending does go bold.

Is it solidly written and keep my interest? It's solidly written, but I did have a few issues keeping my interest going, but that may be because it's middle-grade literature.

I do think it's better than The Giver, however, so that might be something to consider when looking for small-town ethics and a rigidly stratified society that meets unrestricted ideas for the first time.
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Reading Progress

January 4, 2017 – Shelved
January 4, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
January 28, 2017 – Started Reading
January 30, 2017 – Shelved as: 2017-shelf
January 30, 2017 – Shelved as: sci-fi
January 30, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-9 of 9 (9 new)

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Trish I loved the side-blow the author made about leaving articles out of your speech because that is what the "cool kids" are doing here these days => "We go theatre" instead of "We are going to the theatre" (it all, sadly, started innocently when many foreigners entered the country and COULDN'T speak grammatically correct at first).

Bradley Personally, I'm a big fan of grunts when I'm not writing. Then, communication is all about context and can be super complicated and it's satisfying on a whole different level! Who says we have to focus on glottals and hisses! Open wide the doors of expression, people!

*fingers his club* *grunt grunt*

message 3: by Emmanuelle (new)

Emmanuelle I discovered that language is much more than words: first with my dogs, cats and now with my two yo daughter. Still, I am waiting for the moment I wouldn't have to scratch my head 'till I don't have any hair left to understand her. Interesting little book, but I might rather give a try to the Giver then... :p

Bradley Yup, dogs and kids. That's exactly what I was thinking, too. So much more to language than words. :)

message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul E. Morph Nice review, Brad. Good to see you weren't too far behind Trish; gotta keep it interesting.

*maniacal laughter*

Leigh O'Connell Absolutely loved this book, kept my interest throughout, the theme is current with some interesting takes on how we use language. Go read 😉

Clare Kavanagh Love this book, great premise, interesting characters, find myself still thinking about it after I've put it down. Recommend it.

Kristina Ulrey We read this as a family as part of the Scripps Book Club. My son has been fascinated with Dystopian novels. That is not my preferred genre, and my husband is an avid reader of all genres.
As a family we had a lot of discussions as to why certain words would be banned: What separates us from animals, what would we lose if we were unable to communicate? Is there a reason why the writer chose words from Christian history Noa, Ark, Nicene-what is she trying to say? Why was color banned from the list of words? Could you describe something without using color? Why were artists known as color-catchers?There were words that were on his spelling list which I loved as it helped lock in the meaning. We tried to see if we could describe something not using certain words. Even to the end who carried out the legacy and why or why not would that have been shocking.
That is why I rated it high, maybe if I was older, more familiar with this genre, or reading it alone I wouldn't, but as a family this was an engaging book that we couldn't help talking to other people about.

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