As we speak right now, I am away camping for 4 days! So excuse my uncanny absence on the blog and the internet. (Oh gosh, I am going to get so much reading done.) But since fifty-two-billion books are being released on May 1st, I'm bumping this one forward. Woot. Or not.
Thank you Hachette Children's Books on NetGalley for the e-ARC!
Riot by Sarah Mussi releases on May 1st, 2014.
It is 2018. England has been struggling under a recession that has shown no sign of abating. Years of cuts has devastated Britain: banks are going under, businesses closing, prices soaring, unemployment rising, prisons overflowing. The authorities cannot cope. And the population has maxed out.
The police are snowed under. Something has to give. Drastic measures need taking.
The solution: forced sterilisation of all school leavers without secure further education plans or guaranteed employment.
The country is aghast. Families are distraught, teenagers are in revolt, but the politicians are unshakeable: The population explosion must be curbed. No more free housing for single parents, no more child benefit, no more free school meals, no more children in need. Less means more.
But it is all so blatantly unfair - the Teen Haves will procreate, the Teen Havenots won't. It's time for the young to take to the streets. It's time for them to RIOT: OUR RIGHT TO CHOOSE, OUR BODIES, OUR FUTURE.
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Sarah Mussi was born in Gloucestershire. After her education at a girl’s school in Cheltenham, she completed a post graduate degree at the Royal College of Art before leaving the UK for West Africa. She lived in Ghana, West Africa for over eighteen years, marrying a Ghanaian and teaching in Accra. Sarah now lives in Brixton and teaches in Lewisham, splitting her holidays between England and Ghana.
The blurb and cover called to me (as blurbs and covers do...don't you hear those little voices? read me read me), so I'm honestly surprised I didn't like this book!
While the writing is good and the characters are engaging, I just didn't buy the plot. Take a peek up at that blurb. This book takes place in 2018. That's FOUR YEARS from now. Maybe I have an over-confident picture of society in my mind. But do you think human rights will plummet in four years? Do you think protests will be illegal, there will be curfews everywhere, forced sterilisation of people, and the government will get away with shooting people with no repercussions?
I feel like, in 2018, this book will be a huge joke. And that's not good news for any book!
Writing? It's great. I really enjoyed the narrator's voice and style. Although, seriously...there's only so many times you can use the word "flipping". I'm not living in a cave. "Flipping" is usually the safe way to avoid the other F-bomb...so it doesn't make sense that Riot used both. But the narrator used "flipping" every paragraph and it was...lame. Darl, you need to just chill out or find a new expression.
Characters? The narrator, Tia, was incredibly naive. Frustratingly so. She organises protests! She's a hacker! She has a corrupt politician for a father! You'd think the girl would have a few more ideas about the world...wouldn't you?
I did like Tia and Cobain's relationship, though. It was logical and quite sweet actually. The learnt to depend on each other as friends FIRST. Plus Cobain was kind of the...bad boy. As well as being sweet. N'aww. Adam, get the parson for them two sweet thangs.
That's a Seven Brides for Seven Brothers reference, just in case you're not educated in the ways of musicals.
Obviously I'm not going to spoil the ending, but I had a real issue with it. It. was. not. okay. The way the ended the book? I was half disgusted, half horrified that anyone would call that a resolution. This has got you intrigued right? Oh, devious me.
If I had half a brain for politics I'd have enjoyed Riot a lot more. As is, my political views more include matters of chocolate freebies and world domination. SO. Be prepared to launch headlong into speculative politics. And don't worry about being bored, because the plot is BANG BANG BANG -- figuratively and literally. I don't even think anyone has time to shower. Ew.
Cait understand politics! Sort of! She knows...something... about...okay, never mind. She has no idea. All she understands is President Snow with "make-all-the-people-hungry" and Marie Antoinette with "let-the-people-eat-cake". Is there no happy medium between the two? Really? Currently, she's camping without internet (sobs) and reading THE WINNER'S CURSE.