This debut dystopian novel manages to turn an overused plot into a quick, entertaining read.
In a land of the future in which a Protectosphere encapsulates its dwindling population of citizens, who all look similar, 16-year-old Neva Adams throws a party completely in the dark. While it’s meant to bring out her peers’ differences and serve as a last hurrah before starting their assigned jobs, it becomes the impetus for Neva to discover what’s happening to all the disappearing young women and ferret out the truth about life before and beyond the Protectosphere. But there’s one more complication brought out by the dark party: She falls for Braydon, her best friend Sanna’s boyfriend, and realizes she’s no longer in love with Ethan, her own longtime boyfriend, who changed after being arrested by the authoritarian government. In this edgy and evenly paced first-person adventure, Neva uses her position in the office of her father, the Minister of Ancient History, to dig for information, but she doesn’t know whom she can trust with it—secretive Braydon, evasive Ethan, her seemingly demure mother or a host of anonymous citizens who claim to be helping her—especially when Sanna becomes one of the missing, and there’s a chance to escape the Protectosphere.
True fans of dystopia will find more original and thought-provoking storylines elsewhere, but less exacting readers will enjoy it. (Dystopia. 12 & up)