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*Places hands on keyboard*
Well. It was an interesting read, to say the least. Before I continue, I would like to say that three stars is not bad. At the beginning, I was leaning heavily towards four/five stars but the second half of the book started chipping away at my imaginary rating.
Kyla has been "slated", a form of punishment induced by the Government on those who are about to face a prison sentence or worse. By being slated, it means you're given a second chance at life, a second chance to reinvent yourself and become whoever you want to be. By following through with this procedure, you will lose knowledge on everything, including how to walk, talk and eat without assistance.
Like a newborn baby. Except these newborn's are below sixteen years of age and have defied the Government in one way or the other. Each new Slated (yes, with a capital 'S') are given a watch -- aLevo -- that measures their happiness, to put it in layman's terms. Whenever your levels drop under the 4.0 mark, you can suffer blackouts, strong headaches and, in the end, death. It's to keep people happy and to stop them from fighting or harming others.
Of course, Kyla is special. Something went wrong in the procedure, and her memories are coming back...
Writing & Plot:
It's such an innovative idea, and one that you can imagine happening in the future. If the Government opted for the Slated option in the future, it would benefit hundreds of thousands of people. Instead of sending criminals to prison to serve hard time, their memories will be wiped and they (and you) can start a new life. How awesome would that be? To be given a second chance at life?
So I definitely enjoyed the idea of the book. Was it executed well enough for my liking? Not really. Although it was a great premise, we were given nothing but huge blocks of information that I had to digest and then remember for future references. In some parts, it felt like studying for a pop quiz.
The writing is simple. Not too simple so as to bore me to tears, but simple enough so that you can feel exactly what it would be like to live in Kyla's head. She's an artist, and the descriptions of places and surroundings was really well done, especially for someone who didn't know what the colour orange was until the doctors told her.
Speaking of Kyla!
Good God, this child. In the beginning, I gave her a lot of excuses to act like a total grade A moron. You know? She's been Slated, she doesn't know how to act like a normal person! She doesn't know how to not attract attention! Right?
The first thing she does to 'not attract attention' is fall into crazy instalove with Ben, a fellow Slated, right under the eyes of their friend Tori. Tori is gorgeous but described as "twisted and bitter". Duh. Relationships between Slateds are banned until the age of 21 (I don't get why it's 21, when the legal age to do everything in the UK is 18, and this book is based in the UK). However, what got on my nerves the most was how Kyla cried and moaned about Tori 'not being right' for Ben and how she was madly in love with him.
Dude. You've known him like a week. Get over yourself.
Kyla is a nice character, but the problem for me was trying to sympathise with her. She constantly questioned everything around her, even when told not to, threw accusatory remarks at random people in her adoptive family and just can't keep her mouth shut. If you were given a second chance at life, your LAST chance, would you throw it away because you can't hold your tongue? No, you'd do your damned hardest to please everyone. In the end, I couldn't sympathise with her. Not even a little bit.
It's not a bad book. It's intriguing and interesting and can hook you in just by using the right words/scenes. It's cleverly written, but I think Ms Terry bit off a bit more than she could chew. There's definitely room for improvement, and I believe she could've done more with what she had.
Rating: 3 stars