Author: Teri Terry
Pages: 346 (Hardcover)
Publishing Date: May 3, 2012
Reason for Reading: Personal Interest
Kyla has been Slated- her memory erased, her personality wiped blank.This is the government's way of dealing with teen terrorists: give them a fresh start as a new person. They teach Kyla how to walk and talk again, give her a new identity and a new family, and tell her to be grateful for this second chance.
It's also her last chance, and to ensure that she plays by their rules, Kyla is fitted with a Levo, a bracelet that monitors her mood and will stun- or even kill- her if her levels of anger or violence rise too high.
As she adjusts to her new life, Kyla can see she is different from other Slateds. She asks too many questions and is plagued by nightmares that feel like memories- even though she shouldn't have memories. Who is she, really? Has her Slating gone wrong? And if only criminals are Slated, why are innocent people disappearing? Torn between the need to understand more and her instinct for self-preservation, Kyla knows a dangerous game is being played with her life, and she's determined not to let anyone see her make the wrong move.
Let me start by saying I very nearly read this book in a single sitting, and that the only reason I didn't is that I had his 6am and was in some serious need of some sleep. I finished the book shortly after waking up.
I love-love-love dystopian novels. The Hunger Games and the Divergent series are some of my favorite books of all time. I just love the whole concept of imagining what our world might look like in a dystopian future. I also really love the kind of commentary these books are able to make on our society today, as we can often see exaggerated aspects of our world in these dystopian futures.
Needless to say I was immediately drawn in by this book's premise. The idea of a government erasing people and sending them back into the world as an entirely different person with a new family and a new life was both terrifying and fascinating, and I needed to know more. The book did not disappoint. Throughout the book we are introduced to strange concepts that, within the realm of the story, are completely normal. Kyla is expected to call her new parents Mum and Dad and accept them and her new sister as her family without ever having met them before they pick her up from the hospital. She cannot experience emotions freely, because too much anger or sadness will drop her Levo levels and put her at risk of blacking out or even dying. It is even stranger to find these concepts being normalized in your mind; the more you read, the more you adjust.
Character development- or rather character perception- was another thing I really loved about this book. There were characters that I didn't like at the beginning who I came to love the better I got to know them, and there were characters I liked and trusted at the beginning who had betrayed me by the end. Terry masterfully allows you to learn more about characters as the book goes on, enabling you to form- and change- your opinions on a character just as you would if you were meeting them in real life.
I will admit there is some cliche description throughout the book, particularly concerning Kyla's romantic interest. I was turned off a tad by the typical 'overly attractive, dazzling smile, golden brown eyes' description when he was first introduced. However, the more I learned about him as a person, and the more their relationship moved away from the typical YA romance, the less I minded his cliche introduction and appearance.
Overall I really enjoyed this book. I'm looking forward to picking up a copy of the next book in the series and seeing where Kyla's investigations take her next.