Author: Maria V. Snyder
Published by: Harlequin (2010)
My Rating: ✭✩✩✩✩
Okay, I’ll admit it, I didn’t finish this book.
But when one is faced with cheesy, unrealistic dystopian cliche and a stereotypical character with a stereotypical plot, you only have so many choices.
Characters: Trella, the main character, is so cliche I could almost predict exactly what she was going to say next. She could be any character in any YA dystopian novel. She’s strong and determined, but of course has her fears—that she hides—that set her back. She’s part of the lowly county. She doesn’t think much about higher counties; she just keeps her head down, lives her life, and tries not to get noticed. She thinks of herself as lowly and ugly. She’s stubborn and willfull, but thinks she knows right from wrong. She’s often chastised for misbehavior and is warned that someday it’ll get back to her. Often she sneaks off to be in private because the world becomes too much. She doesn’t have any plans of rebelling—that would be ridiculous, they would totally get her for it! She refuses to believe any legends or rumors (but I bet that in the end she came to realize they were actually true). She doesn’t let herself hope, because hope will get you nowhere. She is stuck in this world and she might as well just go with it and not get stuck up on false beliefs.
Sound familiar? It’s something called a YA stereotype. Every. Single. YA. Dystopian. Main. Character. Is. The. Same. Trella could switch places with any other dystopian female lead and nobody would notice the difference.
The average person probably wouldn’t notice or care any of these things, and to be honest, if this were the only dystopian novel out there, it’d be a pretty good one. It’s just the fact that so much is the same in every book!
Plot: I could go on to describe further things in Trella’s world, but I might as well just describe another book. I didn’t finish it, but I bet that “Broken Man” is going to be right all along and Trella is going to discover Gateway exists, and then accidentally start a rebellion. Correct me if I’m wrong, but there’s something called a stereotype and from what I read, that was the direction was going. Also, from reading other reviews I just discovered there’s also a big plot twist. Stereotypical.
I stopped reading at chapter 7. I know that sounds bad, but listen, it’s 50 something pages into the book and nothing has happened except some pointless drama over Broken Man and more pointless scenes that do nothing to move the plot forward. All of this could be condensed into 20 pages and the book would be a lot better quality and a lot more interesting! In other words, way. too. drawn. out.
Other Notes: Other reviewers have mentioned this, and I wholeheartedly agree: the way of keeping track of time was confusing and more confusing and more confusing. That only begins to explain the reader’s confusion. The whole book was that way, actually. Just confusing.
Anyway, I guess that’s enough to get my point across. If you enjoy YA Dystopian in general you will probably will love this book, but if you are picky about your YA, don’t waste your time.