by Teri Terry
Age: Young Adult
Series: 1 of 3
Contains: cursing, terrorism, violence
He finds a tissue in his pocket and holds it out. I press it against my lip. Pull it away and look at it. Bright red, though not much of it.
I’ve had worse.
Book-a-likes: The Program by Suzanne Young, and a smidge of Unwind by Neal Shusterman
Once upon a time a read a book with a concept I liked: teens were having their memories wiped clean against their will. I had SO many problems with that book, but liked a few aspects just enough to keep going. Though honestly that book still ticks me off.
Then I plucked this one off one of my TBR bookcases (yes, I have multiple TBR bookcases…don’t judge), and I didn’t pay that much attention to what it was about. I started reading and I couldn’t help it. I just kept having flashbacks to that other book. I kept getting frustrated even though this poor book hadn’t done anything to deserve it!
But eventually I got over it and was able to just enjoy this book for what it was on its own.
So Kyla lives in a not-too-distant dystopian England where kids under a certain age can be Slated–have their entire memories wiped clean. This is only supposed to happen when they’ve done some really bad things, there’s been a trial, and it gets doled out as punishment. But surprise, surprise it looks like some naughty people in the government have been using Slating any which way they want.
But Kyla doesn’t know all this. She’s newly released and living with her new Mum and Dad and also-Slated sister, Amy. Slaters have to wear Levos on their wrists that connect with a chip in their brain to monitor mood. Their mood drops too low and it could literally kill them. But that’s okay because when the government rewires people they also make them kind of dopey and happy so they won’t go all criminal again…
But Kyla is different. She questions things. She mistrusts people. And she’s pretty sure her mood-killing nightmares are laced with memories she shouldn’t have. But she likes a boy named Ben and he’s pretty cute, so she’s go that going for her.
So I like Ben and Amy alright, but for most of the book their both kind of…blah. Like, she likes Ben, but what’s not to like? He’s cute and sweet. But how much of that is because he’s Slated and programmed to be an agreeable, easily-influenced, people-pleaser? He finally gets some backbone towards the end, but maybe not so much in the common sense department.
For most of the book you’re a few steps ahead of Kyla because she knows absolutely nothing. She’s like a giant child in a lot of respects. Which works well most of the time–like when she’s trusting people or situations she shouldn’t. Or not reading into things enough. But it’s pretty clear to the reader early on that Kyla has some, if not all of her old memories stored somewhere deep in her brain, and you do spend a lot of the book waiting for them to break out.
*Spoiler alert* It doesn’t happen until the very end, so don’t hold your breath or anything.
I’m interested in book 2, but not so much that I feel the need to rush out and pick it up. I think I need a break from mind-wipe world. Though how much of that is because of the other annoying book I can’t tell.
If only I could wipe my memory of that!
Psh…with my luck I’d probably just read it all over again…
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