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The List by Patricia Forde
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This young adult dystopian novel offers an interesting mixture of different dystopian elements. Some parts of the novel reminded me of “The Giver” by Lois Lowry, where language is replaced by memory, or “Divergent” where the similarities between Factionless and Desecrators became obvious. However, this novel gave new life to these elements in its own way. There are also many allusions to the Bible (as far as I could see, not an expert in this respect), regarding Noa and the Ark. The novel takes on some topics that concern our society nowadays, such as global warming. By mixing all these elements, the novel draws a possible image of our future. However, in my eyes it was not a very realistic or convincing future scenario. The dystopian prospect did not make me feel uncomfortable as did the novels “The Machine stops” by E. M. Forster or “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley.

The dystopian society is described throughout the progressing of the story. However, most of the time I had the feeling that it was a rather vague and incomplete description. I loved the idea of a wordsmith, whose role reminds me of that of a lexicographer. Taking care of words and the language is a fascinating task. Therefore, I felt really uncomfortable reading List-language. I could never communicate in this way. Gruesome. Nevertheless, a great idea.

The paper slips at the beginning of each chapter were a valuable addition to the story. They hinted at the content and gave some sort of a sneak peek regarding the oncoming chapter.

I enjoyed getting some insight into John Noas thought and motives. These snippets made him much more credible and tangible. It showed that there are always two sides to a story.

Letta seems to be a nice girl, sympathetic, with a rather naïve world view, but overall a bit boring. I liked how the pronunciation of her name evokes the word “letter”, as in sign of the alphabet.

Until Marlo’s healing the narration dragged on and was rather boring. His healing, which was uninteresting, took up excessively many pages and chapters. Even though the story gets an interesting turn after Marlo got back on his feet, it took too much time for the story to get going. I was relieved to find out that the lovestory between the two actually was not that prominent as the book summary made me believe.

The ending was rather unexpected. I don not care about whether a story has a happy ending or not. Even though this book challenged my expectations (I really did not see that coming), it was all a bit too vague. Some more detail would have been appreciated. I still have too many questions in my head. It seemed to me that the author was in a hurry, somehow eager to just end the story. She left out a lot of important information. How unfortunate. Even though there has been some foreshadowing, I cannot quite picture Lettas role in a sequel (are there actually to be any sequels? Could not find anything on the internet).

Interesting dystopian novel, but not quite convincing. I think the author could have made more of it.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 28, 2018 – Shelved

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