Sarah (saz101)'s Reviews > Slated

Slated by Teri Terry
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's review
Apr 29, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult, dystopia, 2012-releases
Read from May 31 to June 07, 2012

4.5 stars

Is there something in the water in England? Or is it simply the obvious—that English is their language? Well, another Brit’s at it and, ladies and gentlemen, Teri Terry is a terrific writer. Tense, oppressive and—frankly—brilliant, Slated is a shining jewel of an addition to its genre.

The Story:
Kyla Davis is no-one. She has been Slated. Her memories, her past, her life erased; her synapses rewired, and her mind wiped blank.

Sent to live with a new mum and dad—not that she would know the ‘old’ ones from a bar of soap—Kyla tries to fit in, to make sure the monitor on her wrist shows her emotions stay level, to be balanced, and a functional, integrated member of society. But Kyla is not like other Slated teens... Kyla asks questions she should not, thinks things Slateds should not be able to… but worst of all, Kyla seems to have ghosts of memories, terrifying nightmares that couldn’t actually be real, could they?

Slating is meant to be a second chance—a clean slate for criminal teens. But when you don't even know yourself, who can you trust? As terrifying truths about her world, and about slating become clear, Kyla begins to question everything she’s known in her short second life...

My Thoughts:
Fluidly moving from Kyla’s easy, flowing narrative to fast-paced, frantic stream-of consciousness, Terry delivers a protagonist with a truly unique voice. Kyla is fascinating, clever, she questions everything, and she’s a keen observer. While in many ways she’s adult and intelligent, in others, she is almost childlike, seeing the world for the first time, allowing the reader to learn it along with her. Slateds must re-learn to walk, to talk. They are completely unaware of the dangers in their world, that knives are sharp, fire burns. Having been slated, Kyla is a blank slate. She has no memories of her past, of who she is—or should have no memories—but she does have a distinct personality.

A palpable sense of foreboding permeates Slated’s pages, a feeling of menace very much like Orwell’s totalitarian England—and Big Brother is watching. As Kyla navigates her new world, she takes the reader with her, uncertainty painting everything grey and shadowy, and it is never clear who to trust. A teacher? A friend? Perhaps a parent? A wrong word to the right person, or a sign of dissent, and people disappear. Missing adults, friends, children. Slating is meant for criminals, for terrorists… but can a government with this kind of power be trusted? Herein lays the brilliance of Terry’s construct: the cold, terrifying reality is that Slating is a draconian government’s ultimate weapon. Opposition can’t very well speak up when their voices and memories are stolen. Even an imprisoned terrorist has a voice. Slating is something far more sinister.

Slated is not an action-oriented thriller in the ilk of The Hunger Games. It’s not a tale of explosions, or edge-of-seat live-or-die exploits. This is a more underhanded, sly, pervasive threat and menace. Dystopian fiction is at its most effective and frightening when presenting a reality that is conceivable, and believable. This type of novel hinges not only on its audience's ability to believe such a thing could come to pass, but—just as Orwell did in 1984—plays on the innate fear that it is already happening, already here, that this is a future we could very well face if we do not take a good, hard look at ourselves. Terry presents a world terrifyingly close to our own, one that is halfway here, and it seems she is challenging her readers to not only think as they read Slated, to discover it, and Kyla’s, secrets, but to question what they know, contemplate the value of their basic civil liberties, and what ‘self’ truly means.

Political statements and brilliance aside, some of Slated’s most compelling facets are its human ones. From tender to terrifying, sweet to infuriatingly unfair, Kyla’s interactions with the world and people around her are what give it heart. Kyla’s relationship with her ‘Mum’ is touching, and fascinating to watch grow, and those with her Doctor and teachers are worrisome and murky. But it is Kyla’s developing attachment to fellow slated boy, Ben, which has the biggest impact on her, and indeed sets many of Slated’s events in place. Slated is certainly not a romance—though its moments of tenderness are heart-warming—and if anything, Kyla’s most important relationship is the hugely complicated one she has with herself.

The Verdict:
Slated combines the feeling of Orwellian oppression and corruption with something new: the teenage experience. That sense of powerlessness; a sense, not of invincibility, but of hope, not yet tempered or tainted by defeat. There are moments in its pages that are crushingly bleak, and others brimming with hope; but the most ubiquitous feeling of all is that of overwhelming injustice and corruption. Chilling, confronting, and un-put-downably good, Slated will leave you thinking long after its final pages are turned... and howling for more.
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Reading Progress

05/30/2012 page 21
06/04/2012 page 218
49.0% "Oh my goodness. Half way through. I can't even explain how good this is. Best dystopian I've ever read? Quite possibly..." 2 comments
03/08/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-9 of 9) (9 new)

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message 1: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim What do you think of Slated so far?

message 2: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi Valentine BEST DYSTOPIAN YOU'VE EVER READ? Why are you torturing me, Sarah? As if I didn't want to read this enough already! :') <3

Sarah (saz101) MIMI. IT IS GOOD. SO, SO SOOOO GOOD. I can't even explain. Less actiony than THG or Divergent; a more pervasive sense of menace... more thinky. It's brilliant. SO BRILLIANT. Very Orwellian. ME LOVES.

AND KIM! ACK! I'm so sorry I missed your comment! I was away for the weekend. You already know this now, but I LOVE IT. Can't even explain.

message 4: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi Valentine Oh my gosh, thinky? Brilliant? I LOVE those types! Why can't I find this book in my Canadian bookstores??? Darn it -- another reason to move to Australia on my super-long list next to SARAH ROCKS LOL :') <3

message 5: by Kim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kim Lol, it's all good Sarah. I'm just glad to know you're enjoying it!

message 6: by Mimi (new) - added it

Mimi Valentine I want to like your review a million times, Sarah!! <3

Sarah (saz101) Ahahaha! MIMI! <333

Giselle I just ordered this because of your and a dozen other fabulous reviews it's unreal I haven't seen 1 bad one!!

Aa'Ishah This is seriously a must-read for me. Brilliant review, Sarah. :)

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