Sep 6, 2011
Author: Sara Grant
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (August 3, 2011)
This is another take on the very popular young adult dystopian future novels that are hitting the bookshelves hard these days. I don’t say that in a negative way though – kids are enjoying and reading and that’s always a good thing.
This one contains no zombies, instead follows the bleak future of humanity. The question is… ALL humanity or not?
At some point in the past, the United States, or a portion of it – details remain vague – built a giant cage for it’s population called the Protectosphere. It then closed itself off from the horrible world and erased all records of history. The government told the population that the outside was poisoned and to exit the Protectosphere was to guarantee an instant death. It helps them not tempt fate by electrifying the entire thing.
No dates are used so I’m not sure how long ago their history changed, but apparently long enough that the entire population is starting to look alike and the teenagers have started marking themselves to look different. It mentions several times how you can’t actually find anyone in a crowd as most people resemble each other. I believe that’s called inbreeding….
When the story starts Neva has just turned 16 and is being pressured to wed. Apparently people are not only dying out quickly (all that inbreeding can’t be helping) but many appear to be disappearing and the society is shrinking. But Neva remembers stories from her Grandmother about “the outside”. She decides to learn more. Neva also knows that people who question the government can quickly go missing.
This is a good novel regarding an ugly future, a tempting hope and the youth that are our future not giving up their dreams. A good, fast paced read.
One thing I do need to point out is that it’s pretty heavy on sexual content. Not a lot of description of actual acts, but quite a lot of build up and frank talk, including a “female exam” and miscarriages. Definitely should be geared toward the more mature young adult reader.
Book Trailer: NEVA by Sara Grant (Dark Parties) from Sara Grant on Vimeo.