Author: Shannon Stoker
Publisher: Harper Audio, 9 hours 30 minutes
Publication Date: July 16, 2013
The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.
Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.
All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.
This book was entertaining, but it lacked that wow factor. The premise is interesting. It is sometime in the future, and girls are sold to the highest bidder. And couples want girls because they get money, and if they have a boy, the boy is given away to the government to learn to be tough and eventually be a soldier. To keep women in their place, they have no real education. Instead, they learn how to please their future husband (cooking, cleaning, sewing, make-up, clothes, etc).
Mia is so sheltered and ignorant, it's rather ridiculous. She has to take a test for the Registry, and she can't even do basic math. She has no access to news, computers, etc. She's lived her entire life on the farm and has had no interaction with anyone, except for Whitney, a girl whose father works for her family and is smart and not that attractive so no one will buy her (which means she'll be married to the government).
Then Mia finds out from her older sister that the Registry and marriage is not all that it seems, and Mia decides to escape. Before she can escape, she meets her future husband, the evil Grant. She and Whitney run away and end up blackmailing Andrew, one of her father's workers, to help them (He was leaving since he has about a month before he has to report for duty and he wants to relax and see some of the country).
So most of the book is them on the run and Grant chasing them. Mia is incredibly ignorant and Whitney is whiny. Andrew is almost emotionless, having been practically brainwashed to believe everything he has been told about America. All he wants is to serve his country, get a great job after, and buy a nice wife through the Registry. Grant is rather two-dimensional, just evil. The story is told from three POVs: Mia's, Grant's, and Andrew's. I liked the chapters told from Andrew's POV because it was interesting to see how he was changing and how he was really feeling since he usually didn't express any emotions (well, he does get mad at Mia and Whitney a lot because they're so ridiculous). Mia is also changing as she gets more assertive, a little bit more savvy (she's starting at zero), and opening her eyes to the world.
Part of me liked this book, but part of me thought it was pretty ridiculous. There's a pointless love triangle that just annoyed me. There is some resolution, but I'm assuming there is another book. If I had to rate this, I would give it between 2.5 and 3 stars.
As far as the audiobook part of it, I usually do not listen to audiobooks, so I don't have a lot to compare it to. The narration wasn't horrible, but it wasn't great.
Posted by: Pam