My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Received: Raincoast Books
Published: September 17th, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Recommended Age: 13+
Genres & Themes: Young Adult, Action, Dystopia, Feminism, Romance
Do not be fooled by the excessively pink cover, this is not a sweet story and the characters do not care to be likeable and cherished by the reader. It’s a wild, wild world and so are the girls in it. I have not read a YA dystopian in over a year, but this one reminded me why I used to actively seek out these types of stories. Because they are messy and ugly and dramatic and despite all that, or maybe because of it, I am fascinated.
In Tierney’s dystopian society, teenage girls are believed to have powers that are a danger to the men. Every year, girls are either claimed by men to become wives or unclaimed and left to find work. But before their status officially changes, they are sent as a group into the forest for a year to squash their unnatural powers. Some of them return, others don’t. This is what happens to Tierney.
This is a story of survival. You’d think it would be about women surviving men or the wild mainly, but actually, in this particular case, women need to survive one another. Indeed, in a society where women are not allowed to be mad at men, the only people they can turn their anger against are other women. It’s a sad and disturbing thought. But to make it more disturbing, women are such possessions that there are poachers who kill power-wielding girls in order to sell their parts to consumers who believe consuming these young girls will improve their health. Cannibalism, ladies and gents.
I’m not surprised Kim Liggett has written horror stories in the past after finishing in this book, and I’m sure more are to come, because this was terrifying. It’s unrealistic and yet very realistic at the same time. I couldn’t imagine this happening in our society, but I had no trouble visualizing everything the author described. This is a story that I will not soon forget.
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