Bridgette's Reviews > Pale

Pale by Chris Wooding
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Aug 31, 2012

really liked it

I received this title from NetGalley and was intrigued by their header that the book was written for an older audience but written at a level for much younger readers. The book is probably written at a third or fourth grade level, but the content is intended for teenagers. The basis of the novella is that certain blood types are able to be brought back to life by an injection commonly called the Lazarus Serum. The people brought back are physically different: their skin becomes pale as does their hair and eyes. The description is similar to what an albino person looks like, but even more pale. The people brought back by the Lazarus Serum are called Pales and are separated from the rest of society. They are dead and have almost no rights other than being able to attend school.

It took some getting used to the writing style of the short, choppy, simple sentences. It actually almost made me quit reading the book, but since it was only about 70-80 pages on my Kindle app, I finished it, and I am glad I did. Though it is short, it was very thought provoking. I could see how the Pales were treated and separated, living in slums, as very reminiscent of how the Jews were treated for years and how every minority is treated. It raised many questions not only for how minorities and those viewed as different or alien are treated, but how easy it is to go along with the crowd. Before he is a pale, Jed beats up Pales with his best friend. Jed goes along with everyone, doing things no decent human being would do. But it raises the question of what a person could do when going with the majority and never questioning why anything is done or why it is the way it is. For that reason, I think that's why the book was written at a lower level, because Jed thinks on about a fourth grade level.

Overall, I enjoyed the novella though there were things about it I didn't like, mainly the fourth grade reading level, but I'm willing to overlook it. I became interested and invested in the characters and would enjoy reading a sequel, if there ever was one.
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