Blurb: Kyla's memory has been erased, her personality wiped blank, her memories lost for ever. She's been Slated. The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla's mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is at it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?_____________________________________________________________
This review may contain spoilers. To view them, highlight the white parts of the text between the brackets [ like this ].
I had quite a few expectations for this book. I thought there was going to be a plot full of action in which the protagonist, Kyla, escapes some high security base after being taught what she needs to know to live by herself so that she can find out why the heck she can't have her memory back. I expected her to be a tough yet lovely naive heroine who slowly finds out about a conspiration of the government and terrorists being the good guys. Oh, and nothing with a "Chosen One" in it. So you can see - I had some high expectations. Then I read Mara Dyer. That book, also with high expectations on my part, totally ruined my mood for any YA novel. But I chose to read Slated anyway, thank GOD, because now I'm once again hyping the genre!
Although it wasn't what I wanted it to be, I really enjoyed reading it, similar to 'Anna Dressed in Blood', which was one of the positive surprises this month. I think the plot is extremely well formed although there are a few things I would have changed (not only the things I listed in the beginning). But let's do some PRO and CONTRA analysis, that's something I havn't done in a couple of years.
- KylaThe protagonist Kyla, was slated. Her memory's been wiped and she shouldn't remember a thing from her past. But she's special: Her nightmares and her drawings seem to trigger memories she is neither supposed to have nor does she want to. While this whole "Your special" thing sets my teeth on edge sometimes I think it's pretty well done in this book. Kyra is a sympathical, not at all conscious of her being special in any way (at least in the first half of the book) and in some ways really pitiable. I love the way she doesn't know how to react in the beginning and slowly finds out what to do in certain situations, who to trust and how to take peoples emotions and statements (pokerface, anyone?). Due to the first-person narrative we are able to follow her thoughts anytime and this actually got me attached to her. She also REALLY grows during the book - she finds out what exactly makes her special, how to use this to her own advantages, how to stand up to people, she makes friends, she learns to speak her mind (to the right people), makes connections on her own and shows some real bravery.
- The Plot
That's the thing I loved most about the book - there actually HAPPENS something. The whole concept of being Slated deeply interested me and I'm glad that this wasn't just some kind of run-along thing invented to support some head-over-heels love-story. We find out about this topic as Kyla gets more and more information about herself and other people getting the punishment of forgetting their lifes and there is still SO much that we don't know at the end of the book that I cant wait for it to get on! Sadly the sequel isn't coming until March 2013.
- Getting to know the Characters
I have no idea if this was done conciously or just because the author changed her mind in the middle of the book, but I'm astonished how many characters turned out in different way comparing them at the beginning and the end of the book. I would like it to be done deliberatly - at least it would make sense because of Kyla learning the social ways of the people she gets in touch with.
- New Ideas
There are some new schemes in this book that I havn't read in any other YA or dystopian novel. The emotional control was somehow featured in 'Matched' by Ally Condie but to no extend comparable to what we expirience in this book. There was never any chance of people just shutting down because they would take some stupid pill, here however, it's absolutely possible in this book just because of some degree of anger building up in you. We also get to know a different governmetal philosophy - they don't kill people if they did something wrong, at least not until the completion of their sixteenth year of one's life, but they give them a second chance as far as we know by now. The terrorists however seem to be much deadlier than in any other dystopian novel I've read this year. I like the debate and how it influences peoples thoughts and actions.
Yes. For real. He's a douche. All he ever does is smile and nodd, tag along wherever Kyla is going, wagging his tail and would never think of disturbing her thoughts for a moment because he has some seventh sense about her... Yea right. Who would want someone like that? The only thing that seems to make her like him are his good looks. ssdfgrmpf!! He drives me crazy. And not in a good way. [ And in the end, when he finally comes to his senses, all he can think of is being a bigger douche and finishing himself off, more or less. I would love to hear what he has to say for himself in the next book ] I'm a bit spoiled when it comes to men in YA novels, because nobody could EVER compete with Justin in 'Awaken'.
- The love-story
Perhaps I despise it because I can't understand any affection towards Ben, but I really don't think it fits at all. All the ever do is run. Literally. They don't even conspire against anything, not really. I got the feeling that at some point of the novel the love is just there like poof! abracadabra. If you choose to include a love story at least make it authentic, please? I also think that there is no way a person whose memory has been wiped clear can grasp the concept of love in about 8 months.
- Give it some time...
Just as there is no way of falling in love so quickly I would have liked Kyla to remember everything more slowly, picking the pieces together as we continue the story. There were way to many I've-got-the-feeling-that... moments for my opinion and it would have been a perfect addition to the plot if things were going just one at a time. I think that's why the end seemed way too rushed for me.
- I've seen this before
Due to the explosion of YA-dystopian compositions over the last few years I understand that there is not MUCH that we havn't seen yet. However there is always the Girl Who Likes Running. There is always the Beautiful Boy. There is always the Hater, the Bad Doctor, the Government, blah blah blah blah blah. You get me, right?
So we're stuck at a draw. However the plot IS one of the most important things in a book, I hope we all agree on that. Concluding I would describe this book as an entertaining YA novel you can't get your hands off because you want to know what it's all about. Sadly, you have to wait for the sequel because the cliffhanger (not only the last sentence but the whole last chapter....) is huge.