Author: Ruth Silver
Publisher: Patchwork Press, 240 pages
Publication Date: April 28, 2013
*Received from publisher through NetGalley
In the future Dystopian society of Cabal, the government instills equality for all and offers its citizens the perfect system. There is food, shelter and jobs for everyone. The one requirement is to follow the rules without question, including the government's match in marriage and "The Day of the Chosen", a lottery that randomly selects families to conceive children as natural means hasn't existed in generations. Following her eighteenth birthday, Olivia Parker accepts her requirement to marry her childhood best friend, Joshua Warren, and is eager to start her work assignment and new life when it all comes abruptly to an end as she's arrested and thrown in prison. The only crime committed, her existence. Olivia is unlike the rest of the world born not from "The Day of the Chosen." The truth haunts the government and puts her life in grave danger as one simple fact would destroy the perfect system.
With Joshua's help, Olivia breaks free of prison and is forced on the run. Together they set out to find the promised rebel town in search of a new home and new life together. Their situation seems less than promising as they reach the town of Haven. New rules and customs must be adhered to in order to stay. Leaving would mean most certain death in the large expanse of the Gravelands. Time is running out as the government mounts an attack to destroy Olivia and bury her secret with her. Thrown into a world unlike their own, they must quickly adapt to survive.
Maybe I've read too many dystopian lately, but this book just seemed like a mishmash of different ones (Matched, Divergent, The Hunger Games). And there were a lot of things that just didn't make sense to me. No one can conceive a child without medical help anymore, but apparently what that means is that no one has sex, and, in fact, Joshua doesn't even know what a kiss is. What? And Joshua and Olivia have to hike for a long time to make it to Haven, but then Joshua's mom is already there and the explanation doesn't make sense. Why not let Joshua and Olivia get there the same way? And the rebel city is luxurious, with a lot of different food, fine clothes, etc. Why would the rebel city have all of this and the government city not? And why would the government allow these cities to exist? It's not like they're hidden. And everywhere they go, the people are absolutely horrible! If I were them, I'd be running back to support the government.
I liked Olivia as a character, she's feisty, curious, and doesn't have any doubt about her feelings for Joshua (which was refreshing). And no love triangle (although I'm worried one is being set up for future books). Joshua, on the other hand, is very back and forth about his feelings for Olivia, at least in the beginning. One minute he acts like he really likes Olivia, and is happy about their "marriage" and the next minute he's not. That was a bit annoying. And he goes from not even knowing what a kiss is to being very flirty and making sexual innuendoes almost constantly. Additionally, the dialogue just didn't seem realistic, especially given they've been best friends for thirteen years. Just have a conversation with each other! Instead you get a lot of quips and jokes.
The book was fast-paced, full of action, and entertaining, but in the end, I had too many issues with the plot. These things are often hit or miss and in the end, this was more of a miss for me.
Posted by: Pam