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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

BLOG TOUR: All Good Children by Catherine Austen

Hiya readers!

Welcome to post number two of the day as we celebrate the recently released Young Adult title from author Catherine Austen, "All Good Children". Earlier today, you were treated to an interview I was granted with the author. Her answers to my barrage of questions were revealing, truthful and funny while still digging deeper into the story line. Well I can't very well leave you with the wealth uncovered and not give you a glimpse of the surface now can I? Glad we agree. Without further stalling on my part, today's blog tour feature and book of choice is....

All Good Children

From the author's site....
"Living with hope is like rubbing up against a cheese grater. It keeps taking slices off you until there's so little left, you just crumble." Quick-witted, prank-pulling graffiti artist Maxwell Connors is more observant than the average New Middletown teenager. And he doesn't like what he sees. New Middletown's children are becoming frighteningly obedient, and their parents and teachers couldn't be happier. As Max and his friend Dallas watch their classmates transform into model citizens, Max wonders if their only hope of freedom lies in the unknown world beyond New Middletown's walls, where creativity might be a gift instead of a liability.

Can you imagine?  A world where creativity is frowned upon and everyone is expected to simply line up, take their assignment and live life as they are told?  Nah...never happen...right?  I wouldn't be so sure.  The world introduced by Ms. Austen isn't so far fetched.  I mean, there are advantages to what they were trying to introduce....a more manageable society with potentially less crime and people living up to their supposed potentials.  Not so bad.....well, except for that "supposed" part.  I mean, whose to say what anyone is truly capable of achieving, good or bad, throughout the course of their natural life....but I for one would rather live in a world that the option to find out exists, as would Max.
Max is not your typical "hero" in any sense of the word.  He's not a good boy gone bad that redeems himself through his deeds.  He's not the classic underdog that fights his way through insurmountable odds to come out on top.  What he is is this....a young man trying to find himself that expresses his frustrations and beliefs through his creative side, for better or worse.  In this society, art is viewed more as a "worse".  The freedom of expression that lies within its unframed borders is a scary prospect to the powers that be.  I mean, if you're going to create a robot like civilization, you can't very well have people thinking for'd never work; hence the battle begins for both our free will and our very lives. 
The storyline here is not merely that of our wills or freedom of also has undercurrents of racism, prejudice, and discrimination.  It's amazing how such a forward thinking group of people can have such backwards thoughts about human kind as a whole....a fact which is addressed rather tactfully as events progress.  Over half of the population can't read or scary is that?  Again though, how far is it from the truth depending on where you look today?  It's not all doom and gloom though as the author injects a bit of real life humor into the story with the personalities given to each character as well as how they act out from time to time. 
In short, it's a fictional look at a reality that may not be so far away with the possible repercussions we could face should the same steps of "progress" be taken.  It's enjoyable from a make believe stand point, but also gives you something to really think about.  We are so dependent on technology as a civilization and expect things to go just much of a leap is it really to a time when we dictate the path that others must follow in their lives for the sake of smooth sailing? 
ARC for review won via LibraryThing Early Reviewers courtesy of Orca Book Publishers.  (THANKS!)  If you haven't visited LibraryThing before, you don't know what you're missing...seriously, check it out! Even friend me if you like!  ^_^  For more information on this title as well as their full catalog, be sure to visit the publisher online....or check out the author's official website.  Speaking of the author, for a deeper look at today's title feel free to check out my interview with Ms. Catherine Austen herself in yesterday's post and for more on her blog tour going on now, check out her site.
Until next time...happy reading!


The1stdaughter said...

I can't even imagine having the opportunity to read or write never given to me. That's just devastating. It sounds like a very well written and thought provoking story. Excellent review!

Fairday Morrow said...

This book sounds very intriguing! What a storyline! I am very intersted in reading this book after reading your review. There seems to be a lot to think about and I love that it is fast paced.


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