In a future version of earth, the glaciers have melted and land is sinking into the seas. The United States is fractured and is involved in a long, tumultuous war. What used to be West Coast America is now run by a militarized government in an area called the Republic. There is a widespread, rapidly spreading outbreak of a plague with no cure. The protagonists Day and Jude are interesting, complex characters, who are fundamentally different from each other. Meet June and Day, two 15-year-olds with nothing in common. June, a member of the elite, is being groomed for military leadership. He is the highest rated soldier in the academy. On the opposite side is Day, a highly skilled criminal and the most wanted criminal in the Republic. He can break into any facility in the Republic. When June's brother is murdered - and Day named a suspect - their lives cross. Their encounter launches a series of events that challenges both of their beliefs.
BTSYA / Teen Reader (12):
Thanks to the author, the reader doesn't just learn about Day and June, but spend a fair bit of time on the secondary characters. This helps them understand their importance not just in relationship to the characters, but the plot, too, because it shows Day's and June's values. Through the symbolization the author encourages thinking while reading, which always adds to the experience. The symbolism was not just some vague, subtle piece of the story that you had to work hard to see. It is part of the plot and takes place with the main characters.
I also deeply enjoyed the complexity of the main characters, especially Day. His criminal background allows for a more down-to-Earth culture, which might resonate more with readers. A relatable world makes the book more enjoyable. It is refreshing to read a book where no one is portrayed as a saint, with absolutely no flaws. The central characters have many imperfections that they had to deal with and accept, just like we have to do in our lives.
I wish the author had dealt with the background information differently. Readers learn as the book moves along, resulting in parts it is hard to fully understand. Overall, the book is a good find, with an exceptional author’s craft.
Lots of action, exceptional character development, and a cat-and-mouse chase between soldier and suspected murderer will have readers reading well past their bedtime. A must-read for dystopian science fiction fans.
The story contains graphic violence.
This is the first book in a dystopian mystery.
The characters are fiction, but as our teen reviewer notes, there are some elements to them that make them more real than the words on a page. The story creates great opportunities to talk about personal ethics and values. Where they come from, how they impact what we do, and maybe even open our eyes to new ideas.
13 and Up
12 and Up
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer age: 12
Definitely borrow. Find the book and read it. It is very enjoyable (says our teen reviewer).
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|Publisher||Diamond Patch Press © 2015|
|Publisher||Berkley © 2016 (Reprint Edition)|
|Publisher||Delacorte Books for Young Readers © 2014|