Title: Freakling (Psi Chronicles, #1)
Author: Lana Krumwiede
Published by: Candlewick Press (2012)
My rating: ✭✭✭✭✩
SUMMARY FROM GOODREADS:
In twelve-year-old Taemon’s city, everyone has a power called psi—the ability to move and manipulate objects with their minds. When Taemon loses his psi in a traumatic accident, he must hide his lack of power by any means possible. But a humiliating incident at a sports tournament exposes his disability, and Taemon is exiled to the powerless colony.
The "dud farm" is not what Taemon expected, though: people are kind and open, and they actually seem to enjoy using their hands to work and play and even comfort their children. Taemon adjusts to his new life quickly, making friends and finding unconditional acceptance.
But gradually he discovers that for all its openness, there are mysteries at the colony, too—dangerous secrets that would give unchecked power to psi wielders if discovered.
When Taemon unwittingly leaks one of these secrets, will he have the courage to repair the damage—even if it means returning to the city and facing the very people who exiled him
A uniquely plotted dystopian with great writing and great characters, Freakling was an enjoyable read, full of action, clever plot twists, and a believable world/setting.
Themes: My one confusion which lowered my rating was the themes. A main theme of this book is the religion the characters have. The religion in this book is its own thing, not directly related to anything in the real world, and tied directly to the fictional setting. However, there were things in this religion such as “the Sabbath” “the temple” “priests”, etc, and I could not figure out if it was intentionally meaning to relate to anything or if it was just a part of the world. The themes portrayed through this were positive, but because I couldn’t quite figure out what the author was trying to do, it lowered my appreciation for the book. More or less, it was written in as just an aspect of the plotline and it didn’t seem to me to be intentionally against or for any specific religion.
Plot: As for the rest of the book? I was very impressed. The plotline was well constructed and written, with scenes that were all contributing the plot. Twists in the plot were hinted early on in a clever, foreshadowing type way, but not too much that it could be figured out what was going to happen. Everything ties into the story almost perfectly, and every loose end leading up to the ending turns out to be a crucial aspect to the storyline.
Setting: The setting was done very well; from the expressions the characters use to the way things are described, the author perfectly painted this world. Psi is elaborated with detail, written in a very realistic way. This type of thing is hard to pull off, but I think the author did a great job.
Characters: I loved the characters, too. While some of them fell a bit flat—and others plain-out unlikable—there were few important characters, so nobody got lost in the flow and everyone had their moment and importance to the story. The villains of the story were very easy to dislike and the heroes easy to love. The only character I didn’t get was Moke. We never got a chance to get to know him, so I didn’t connect with Taemon in that way. Besides that, though, most every other character was done very well.
Despite the few confusions I have about this story, really, it was a very well done book. It was a dystopian without the dystopian feel and it was clean—something I always appreciate. 4.0 stars.