There is hope for YA dystopian books! And that hope is Scythe.
Never have I read 400+ pages book so fast. I just couldn't stop - it was readable, entertaining, unpredictable and just plain awesome.
“Everyone is guilty of something, and everyone still harbors a memory of childhood innocence, no matter how many layers of life wrap around it. Humanity is innocent; humanity is guilty, and both states are undeniably true.”
Scythe was one of the very few YA books that made the cut to be read in 2018 by me. Since I am trying to bring down my YA books to a bare minimum this year, because they don't do much for me anymore. Happy to say that Scythe not only didn't disappoint me, but it also exceeded my expectations.
Now Thunderhead (Scythe 2) is added to the list because you bet I already ordered it for myself.
“Death makes the whole world kin. Rowan wondered if a world without death would then make everyone stranger.”
Sure, it's meant for younger audience, sure it was slowish at times and sure some things weren't original at all. But despite all of that - it was very enjoyable. Especially because the topics it explored were very serious, and musings it provided were very deep and true.
I especially liked the author's views on government, corruption and school system. If kids aren't being taught anything knew and everything is redundant and repetitive then aren't they just go to school to stay out of adult's way? School has become a great means of wasting time.
Who would you become in the age where death doesn't exist? Would you become sedentary or would you keep moving? Would you still have dreams after everything has been learned and accomplished? Would you treat every day as a gift or would you take them all for granted because your days weren't numbered anymore? Would suicide become a fool's play to you, just means of adrenaline kick? Would you use your eternity to perfect yourself or would you rot away, drowning in your eternal bad choices?
“I wonder what life will be like a millennium from now, when the average age will be nearer to one thousand. Will we all be renaissance children, skilled at every art and science, because we’ve had time to master them? Or will boredom and slavish routine plague us even more than it does today, giving us less of a reason to live limitless lives? I dream of the former, but I suspect the latter.”
At first I felt a bit prejudice towards Citra, one of the main characters, as she seemed to be this cliche "bad temper for no reason teenage girl". I am so happy to say that as the book progressed Citra not only proved herself, but actually risen to be my favorite. She grew on me, with every choice she made, and that was a great character development.
Rowan was my favorite to begin with, but as time progressed and he made his choices I wavered in him and didn't know where his path would take him. In the end, Rowan didn't disappoint.
I was so scared that this book will contain star crossed lovers trope, complete with passionate kisses at the most unfortunate time, passionate but awkward half-sex scenes and all other crap that ya dystopian books seem to be full of. But boy was I pleasantry surprised when none of that was present! It literally gives me hope, hope that good books are still being written.
Although I suspect there will be some romance in the second book, but I will just have to wait and see.
Also, let it be know that Neal Shusterman can write a plot twist! Not just one, but five at least! And all of them except one took me by a huge surprise, and it was totally amazing!
“Without the threat of suffering, we can’t experience true joy. The best we get is pleasantness”
Freelance BETA reader.