Read from October 12 to 14, 2012
This book was fantastic. It is one of those great examples that perfectly fit the genre of Dystopian YA fiction without paranormal layers but with scary closer to truer to outcomes of what social unrest and war can bring. With characters that act as humanly as you can imagine, with all the great qualities and flaws that define us.
This is the story of Ember, a girl who will soon turn 18. She lives with her mother and the books starts with her return to home from school one day with two of her friends. We are shortly introduced to her mother and then BAM! her life abruptly changes. We learn what this new state of affairs does to regular citizens. We learn about the Moral Militia (MM), the Federal Bureau of Reformation (FBR) and the soldiers that are making sure citizens are following all these articles and regulations. We learn about Article 5 and the consequences of violating this article. Gracefully, we are introduced to her past with Chase Jennings, a soldier who is part of this oppressive government and how this will irrevocably affect her present. Yeah-yeah, there is a story here, about lost love and heartbreak but I will not spoil it for you, so you will fully enjoy it!
All this is told from Ember's viewpoint. What she experiences and the horrors behind the society that lives in the aftermath of war. Oh, this world is very very wrong. With a capital "W". I cried, yes I did, almost at the end of the book... Kristen Simmons is a wonderful storyteller. She got under my skin. With simple words, she takes us to this not too simple future. I could not believe what my eyes were reading. We walk hand in hand with Ember who will discover all about trauma, survival and endurance. She will be changed forever and thankfully she will not be alone. Oh Chase, yes, you made half of this story fantastic. Thank you for your silences and allowing Ember to reflect upon her circumstances and learn from her experiences (without you being aware of).I am not entirely sure why this book touched me so much, and I think dear reader this is the beauty of this book. It will take you places in its simplicity. However, this I foresee to be the kind of book that either you love or hate. There are not many surprises on this plot, but tons of action and great descriptions. These characters felt very real to me.
Because there is a lot of books of Dystopias and post-apocalyptic YA fiction out there, I will strongly recommend you to take this book and give it a try. It will be really worth it!
I love music and I was browsing Kristen Simmons's website and discovered her musical playlist for this sequel. It does make me want this book RIGHT NOW! This is a great playlist:
1. Got Nuffin- Spoon
2. Uprising- Muse
3. Hello- Evanescence
4. Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)- Nancy Sinatra
5. Uninvited- Alanis Morissette
6. Imaginary- Evanescence
7. Resistance- Muse
8. Granite- Pendulum
9. A Certain Shade of Green- Incubus
10. My Last Breath- Evanescence
11. Sister Rosetta- Noisettes
12. Lullaby- JJ Grey & Mofro
13. Turn to You- Michael Johns