Do you know that feeling when you see a book on NetGalley and you’re like “Sure, that sounds interesting. Let’s request it!” but then you find out it’s a sequel and now you are forced to quickly read the first book to understand what’s going on in the other one? If you have never experienced this, count yourself lucky! It has happened so many times to me and mostly I don’t care, but when it comes to dystopian worlds, I like to get the full picture and not just feel lost along the story. I don’t feel like I could fairly review it otherwise. So, long story short, I accidentally requested (but really blame the publisher because they didn’t state it correctly) the sequel to this and now read this as fast as I could.
I haven’t read dystopians in a while now, but this felt as generic as they come. Bright young girl learns that the system she believed in isn’t as fair as it’s made out to be while also being entangled in a sort of love triangle – sound familiar? I felt like the relationship had a real Katniss-Peeta-Gale-dynamic to it, which means one of the boys was a Gale, which in my language means he never was a real prospect for the MC’s love anyway.
The concept of eradicating all mental health issues sounded interesting at first, but it soon became very disturbing. They literally put collars on people who have a problem at controlling their temper. In addition to that, they basically hand out suicide pills to the poorer population, because they don’t want to help those people like they do with the upper class. No, those folks can get their memories erased whenever something bad has happened. I do see the benefits of not having to remember e.g. being raped, but they also discuss how the memory wipe affects the person’s personality. Our memories and the things that have happend to us, may they be good or bad, make us into the people we are. They change us and wiping your mind clear of these events will forever make you a different person too.
There were some interesting theories thrown in the mix, but I found the execution very poorly. Lain, the main character, was annoyingly idealistic. I simply couldn’t understand why she believed she wasn’t monitored or why she acted against her gut feeling when it came to the character of certain people in her life. She was one of those special unicorn kind of girls, the one who has no friends at all, is super smart and has two handsome guys lusting for her from afar. I just felt like I have dealt with a character like that a million times before.
The beginning of the sequel seems promising in terms of them mixing things up with the narration, but I will see if I can enjoy it more. This definitely won’t make it into my favourites list for now.
Fazit: 2.5/5 stars! Could have been better executed.
Have you had trouble with NetGalley requests as well? Have you read this series and feel different than me?