“This was Darian One Sterling. A murderer. And my childhood friend.”
Author: Shannon Duffy
Publication Date: April 7th, 2015
Publisher: Entangled Teen Books for Young Readers
Source: eARC from publisher
Where to find: Goodreads / Amazon / Book Depository
So I know I should not make this connection at all because they are two completely different books, but this book started out with a very Matched feeling to me. And I really disliked that book, however, the writing in this book was much better. I really enjoyed the way the world was laid out and the story that was being told. Desiree conflicting feelings were wonderfully explored.
My big issue with this book was the predictability. I get that it is a dystopian book, so there is a level of predictability which what is going to happen. But I feel like it went beyond that layer of needing to break free from the “perfect” society.
What I really loved about this book was the writing. Shannon Duffy has this way of pulling you into the story and the characters’ lives. The writing is what kept me interested and reading as fast as I could to get to the end and see what happened to the characters and world. While some of the plot points were predictable, I still enjoyed the overall story in this book. I appreciated that this book was focused on Desiree finding out the truth for herself. We see her timid, subconscious distrust of The Protectorate morph into this desire to find proof and eventually the need to do something about it.
Like I said, I appreciated the premise of this book. While the whole matching you to your soulmate thing screamed Matched Trilogy at me, I loved the idea of The Protectorate and their “brainwashing” of citizens to keep them in line. The Protectorate is there to take care of everyone’s needs. I also thought it was amusing the the past was called the Manic Age, as if things were utter chaos when you got to choose your own job, significant other, number of children, etc. Finally, the whole Dreamscape aspect and the reliance on this machine to sleep and as a way for the Protectorate to subdue individuals, and remove to nightmares was captivating. It is beyond disturbing to think that punishment for noncompliance was basically to have to live in your nightmares, rather than the wonderful dreams you are always used to.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book even if it was predictable. I think I have gotten to the point where I have read so many YA dystopian books that there is not much that could surprise me when it comes to plot points in a dystopian. I also appreciate that this was published a standalone, rather than the typical trilogy. It definitely left things open for a possible sequel, but for the most part things were tied up nicely.
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review*