Scientists have finally done it. They’ve discovered a way to put an end to all those pesky incurable diseases that were ending lives before they had truly begun. Score one for science. The First Generations, as they are called, are living the life and to a ripe old age at that. Not a care in the world…until it all came crashing down in a blow from Nature they never saw coming. Where their lifespan has been increased exponentially, that of their children’s has been cut short; leaving males to reach the age of 25 years and females…a mere 20 years. With the human races very existence on the line, drastic measures have been taken to ensure extinction is not out final legacy…but at what cost? How much more are we willing to pay in order to see another tomorrow? Willing? Who said anything about “willing”…
There is oh so much to say about this one (yep, prepare for fan-girlish moments once again) and yet I don’t want to spoil it for anyone, so I’ll try to be brief. (Hey, no snickering…I said TRY…) I love the quiet power the runs like an electrical current just beneath the surface of this book. The times, the struggles, the triumphs and failures, all seem completely tangible as are the emotions…and boy are there a lot of those running around. Take the opening scenes when the girls are being sorted through like so many cattle. Those “chosen” are saved from a dreadful immediate end, but they are also merely forgoing the inevitable and have to live with the guilt of knowing what happened to the other girls even though it was hardly any fault of their own. It’s dark. It’s simple. It’s intense.
They may be young girls of sixteen, thirteen, and eighteen respectively, but they are forced to grow up in ways no child (or young adult) of their years should by society and science. Stay a child, youthful and innocent, and pass away at the age of twenty having accomplished little “memorable” in your time. Face the world as an adult, as thirteen is the new thirty, and see things through eyes jaded by events and the passing of time with the understanding of what’s trying to be prevented as well as accomplished. Hardly a choice really…
Perhaps the best part of the book isn’t in the events themselves, though they are enchanting in their own dark ways, but the characters.
Governor Linden may be the “master” of his household and husband to three wives but the author puts it plainly…he is as much a prisoner as the girls, even if it’s not plain to see. Perhaps its better that way for him, though I wonder if he’ll ever see the truth hidden before his eyes. As for the quietly malicious Housemaster Vaughn, I can only provide a reaction…. ~shudder~. He’s one you see but never REALLY see (…read the book and you’ll know what I mean). Gabriel on the other hand is as much a surprise as anyone else and the attention to his character that the author pays in his creation is refreshing. There is of course a reason for this…but you’ll discover that later on... (Hehe, yep, I’m being cryptic…what?).
What? No, not the sun…it was actually night time when I finished reading, thank you…but the writing style and story structure kept reminding me of something that for the life of me I couldn’t quite put my finger on. (Don’t ya just hate it when that happens?) Finally at story’s end, I closed the book and found my “eureka” moment…Matched. That was the book that my brain had been trying to conjure. The way the story builds gradually, quietly sinking it’s little white paper teeth into your subconscious so that before you know it, you’re one with the story and desperate to see how things end up. Really! Take a look at a barebones breakdown type comparison.
See? They both deal in stories about a time not so far from our own in which we could realistically exist (notice I said “exist” because really, a life without thinking or true choices, not so certain I’d sign up for it…just don’t ask me that on a day when I’m really stressed out….) and where despite our love of advancement, it turns out not all things are meant to progress, at least at the speeds we want them to. Oh progress…you are a double edged sword if ever there was one.
A great start to what I can only presume will be a wonderful series and one that will be on my wish list ‘til it reaches its final installment. Recommended read for middle to older teens (simply due to guidance on the content…nothing graphic or language wise) through adults. If you are a fan of the YA genre and characters for which you can truly feel a connection to, this one is certainly for you (and me!). This is one book that you’ll want to clear your day to read because even with my erratic and limited reading time, I finished it in 3 sittings which equates to about six hours. (It’s really good…did I mention that?) Take a step into the world of tomorrow, today for a glimpse at what could happen if science forgets to take one step at a time along on the road of progress.
Anxious to learn more about this one as soon as possible? No worries. I’ve got you covered…or rather the publisher does. Check out the book trailer below for a glimpse at what awaits…
Still not enough? Believe me, I don’t blame you if it isn’t…it is that good after all. For a quick read through, check out the Chapter One excerpt online, but I must warn you…I can not be held responsible if you develop a sudden urge to visit a bookstore near you. Proceed with caution…or at least with a means of transportation and fund-age nearby.
ARC for review received courtesy of Lucille at Simon & Schuster’s Children’s Publishing (who always, even without any prompting on my part, knows exactly what upcoming titles to direct my way to satisfy my insatiable reading habits). (THANKS!!) For more information regarding this new release as well as the publisher’s full catalog of bookish goodness, feel free to visit their website or follow along on Twitter. For more information on the author on her current happenings, check out her website, blog, Facebook page, or follow along on Twitter. (Gotta love that little blue bird.)
Until next time…happy reading!