Posts Tagged 'government'

Meritropolis by Joel Ohman

Meritropolis-Cover

Genre:  Futuristic/Survival Fiction

# of Pages:  225

RAC:  Yes

Charley lives in Meritropolis where everyone is judged on their merit and given a score.  He has an unnaturally high score of 118. He loathes the system, however, because when he was 8 his only brother was taken away and put outside the gates to die simply because he had Down Syndrome and therefore had a low score.  He has been plotting his revenge since.  Every time a person is put outside the gates every adult is required to go to the gate ceremony to watch.  At Charley’s first one they led a little girl with a disability to the gates and he went crazy and started fighting the guards.  He was eventually overtaken, but due to his high number he was not sent outside the gates as punishment.  Instead, they put his best friend out there to remind him of who is really in charge.  At that point Charley started plotting how he can take down the system.

This book seems very simple at first, but touches on many important issues in any society.  For example, the sick and elderly are discussed quite often and how “valuable” they are in society.  There are different views on this throughout the book from different characters.  There are also hunger issues, which is a terrible problem in all societies.  Some people get a lot while others barely get by.  Finally, even abortion is touched on.  The main character is strong and not afraid to speak up and could be a great literary hero for reluctant boy readers.  The plot is full of unanswered questions, some interesting revelations, and lots of action.  Recommended for fans of survival fiction.

Enclave by Ann Aguirre

enclave

Genre: Futuristic fiction

# of Pages:  262

RAC:  Yes

2014 Iowa High School Award Winner

In this futuristic novel, Deuce is a huntress who lives underground in an enclave.  Humans have moved underground because life above ground is believed to be uninhabitable.  Her hunting partner, Fade, is very mysterious and there are rumors that at some point he has been above ground.  Together they work in the tunnels surrounding their enclave to find food for their people, but it dangerous work since there are many mutated “Freaks” in the tunnels fighting them for food.  When Deuce is officially allowed to finish her training and go into the tunnels she is surprised by how well the Freaks seem to fight.  She was taught that they were simple minded and easy to fool, but they appear to strategize and work together to outsmart the other fighters.  Meanwhile, a good friend of Deuce’s is accused of a crime she knows he did not commit so she takes the blame and is exiled to live above ground.  Surprisingly, Fade stands with her.  Can they survive above ground?  Will the enclave be safe without them to help defend the colony?

Fans of futuristic novels like Divergent and The Maze Runner will enjoy this novel because it does have a different spin on the genre.  Deuce is a very strong female character who will not give in to pressure to change her opinions or beliefs.  The story itself moves quickly with a lot of action which will pull in those reluctant readers who do not like slow moving plots.

The Selection by Kiera Cass

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Genre:  Realistic fiction/Futuristic fiction

# of pages:  327

RAC:  Yes

America Singer is a 5 on a caste system where 1 is the royal family, 2s and 3s are the wealthy and powerful, and 5s are the artists of the world.  She is secretly meeting with Aspen, the neighbor boy who is  a 6.  Girls almost never marry below their station because they then become that station.  One day the palace announces that Prince Maxon is ready to marry and begins The Selection.  Any girl between the ages of 16 and 20 in any province can fill out an application to be entered into a random drawing for The Testing.  One girl from each of the 35 provinces will be chosen to move to the palace in order to be considered as the country’s next princess.  America does not want to do this because she plans to marry Aspen, but when she tells him that her mother is pressuring her he encourages it so that he will never feel responsible for her missing out on something great.  To everyone’s shock, America is chosen and must move to the palace.  Does she try to become a princess where she might be able to make some real changes that could benefit people lower on the caste?  Does she refuse to go and announce she is marrying Aspen?

This book crosses The Hunger Games with The Bachelor.  America is a fun, modern girl with goals and aspirations that have nothing to do with her two suitors, but they are fun as well.  There is a lot of political turmoil that she is not expecting and the relationship she begins with Maxon is very different from anyone else’s.  The cast of characters is very intriguing and vibrant and despite the number you really do get to know several of these girls as people.  As part of a trilogy, the story holds up well through to the end and America never compromises herself for a man or a crown.  Recommended.

Independent Study by Joelle Charbonneau

independent study

Genre:  Futuristic/Adventure

# of Pages:  310 p.

RAC Book:  Yes

In this sequel to The Testing, Cia is living in Tosu City having survived the testing in book one.  Tomas, the boy from her home town, is also in Tosu City.  Their memories were altered to keep them from remembering anything that happened during the testing, but Cia had left a message for herself secretly on the navigation device she brought from home so she remembers the hardship and loss they all experienced.  They are about to be given a rigorous test that will determine what they will study in college.  Cia studies incredibly hard and does pass, but not with the major she was hoping for.  Instead, she is put into the government field of study and must move into a dorm with other government students.  Students are not merely tested on paper, however, and must in fact survive a rigorous initiation process.  Can Cia survive yet another dangerous challenge that could end with her dying?  What does Cia learn about this government while living there?  Whom can she trust in his mission to stop the testing from ever happening again?

This is a solid follow-up to The Testing and will be  welcomed by many readers.  There is not as much focus on the students themselves as there is on the government officials and overall structure of the government.  The problems Cia has for freeing herself and other children from the testing regimens are only beginning to surface as this program involves many more people and secret layers than she could have ever thought.  Plus, the head of the government department seems to have it out for Cia.  She has a lot to do and is unsure who is really willing to help her do it.  Fans of The Hunger Games or adventure spy novels will enjoy this title.  This book really starts to set itself apart from other similar series.

Perfect Ruin by Lauren Destefano

perfect ruin

Genre:  Fantasy

# of Pages:  356

RAC:  Yes

Morgan lives on  a city that is floating in the sky.  The legend is that the gods of land believed the humans to be greedy and wasteful and were going to exterminate them and begin a new race when the god of sky decided to save them.  Therefore, their floating city is suspended in the sky and anyone who attempts to look at or jump to the earth either dies or is seriously injured.  Morgan’s brother was blinded when he attempted to see the ground below.  The community has limited space and resources so everything is carefully monitored such as who will marry who and when or if they will be allowed to have children.  Morgan and her betrothed are very close and have no secrets from each other.  One day a young girl is found murdered on the train tracks and this makes for the first willful murder ever to take place in this city.  Naturally, the citizens get scared and are on high alert even as security is enhanced.  Then, Morgan sees the suspected culprit running free in the woods despite all accounts of his being in custody.  Is the government lying to the people?  If so, what exactly are they lying about and what can she do to find out the truth?

Futuristic stories are incredibly popular right now amongst young adults and this one will fit into that niche easily.  The story has similar aspects to books like Matched and Divergent but is different enough to encourage interest.  Morgan comes to find that much of what she believed her world to be is in fact a lie.  Her government, her teachers, and even her family have all kept secrets from her.  The end of the story is exciting and leaves an opening for a thrilling sequel.  The supporting characters all enhance the story as you see how each person responds to the world they live in and the rules imparted on them differently.   Recommended.

Blackout by Robison Wells

blackout

Genre:  Fantasy/Mystery

# of Pages:  426

RAC:  Yes

This futuristic novel depicts the U.S. suffering from multiple terrorist attacks at the hands of U.S. teenagers.  The army begins gathering up all teens to have them tested for a particular virus they believe is causing special powers in these young adults.  Every teen seems to manifest different powers, but they are all extraordinary such as manipulating minds and turning invisible.  Alec and Laura belong to  one of the terrorist groups trying to destroy national landmarks and industrial buildings.  Meanwhile, Aubrey and Jack are merely two teens at a high school dance when they are apprehended and tested for the virus.  Aubrey knows she has a special power, but Jack is shocked to learn he tested positive for the virus.  Through exciting circumstances all of these characters will come into contact with each other and try to survive this deadly situation.  Unfortunately, some want to make the chaos and destruction stop while others want to be the cause.

Fans of futuristic novels such as Divergent will enjoy this title.  There’s even a super hero feel to this as the teens learn of their different and amazing abilities.  The story moves at a steady pace and the characters are portrayed in a way that really lets the reader know who they are and what they want.  However, there are a lot of unanswered questions and unexplained potential that most definitely will be used in future books so readers need to be prepared to end this book with a lot of questions.  All young adults will enjoy the title, but boys and reluctant readers will especially enjoy it.

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

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Genre:  Realistic Fiction/Mystery

# of Pages:  344

RAC:  Yes

Cia Vale lives in a very small farming community on the outskirts of their civilization.  The civilization was once ravaged by the Seven Stages War and everyone left behind is simply trying to survive.  Every year when the local school graduates a class of students everyone secretly hopes that someone from the government will arrive to invite someone to the Testing.  The Testing is a super secret test that only the best and brightest are invited to.  No one really knows what it entails, but if you do well you get to go on to higher education.  Cia’s father underwent the testing in his youth and is a very accomplished scientist, but he does not remember much about the test and seems leery of wanting his children to have this same great opportunity.  No one from Cia’s community has been chosen for years, which is why it’s so surprising when four are invited, including Cia.  As Cia begins her journey she is warned to trust no one.  What has she gotten herself in to?  Will she ever return from the Testing?

This book is definitely similar to The Hunger Games and Divergent, but for readers who enjoy that type of novel it is still very engaging.  Despite some of the similarities to other stories out right now many readers will care about the characters in this book and wonder what will happen to them through the course of this testing.  The book does have a fair amount of violence, betrayal, and overall treachery so readers who prefer lighter novels should keep looking.  Recommended for reluctant readers.


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