Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Updates and Notes

Today was the big day!  Of course you realize that I didn't buy most of those books; it would be pointless to get them all at once.  But I was afraid I'd talk myself out of them entirely, and there is no reason on earth that my disposable income shouldn't go toward these authors I like so much.  So I grabbed Rose Under Fire right away, and assuming that book club and library due dates and Netgalley teasers cooperate, I'm going to read it as soon as possible!  I'm afraid that Fangirl and Unthinkable may have to wait a bit, though; I'm spread pretty thin.

I think I'm giving up pretty quickly on another one that's been on my list.  As much as I still think Susan Beth Pfeffer's Life As We Knew It was one of the best end-of-the-world books I've ever read, none of the sequels quite lived up to it.  The newest, the fourth in the series, has already turned me off just a few pages in.  It's called The Shade of the Moon, and it focuses on Miranda's youngest brother, Jon.

The premise here is very different from the other three; instead of trying to survive in a world with no society, we now get an enclave, a society where there's plenty of food, but a major line between haves and have-nots.  Instead of being about physical and interpersonal survival in a world where society is just gone, you get an overly repressive society, complete with bad-guy haves who not only mock the have-nots, but consider them disgusting.

Aside from everything else--how much more often this story has been told, how little personality the "oppressor" types seem to have in the first few pages--there's a scene near the beginning where a bunch of the rich fancy clavers (enclave kids) are warning Jon away from the new girl.  I know this is a whole new world and all, but it's only been three years since the old world.  There is not enough distance between the old and the new for some of the prejudices these kids have to make sense.  I mean, this kid talks about his grandfather was sent out of the enclave in the same sentence that he's calling the non-clavers "disgusting."  Most of these kids probably have relatives, or at least acquaintances, who are out there. 

I do understand the whole mentality of looking down on the less fortunate to make your own position seem safe and all.  And it's not fair to judge after just the 10 or 20 pages I've read.  But the truth is, this book shone brightest where it was a family against nature.  A boy against society is not a book I need to read again.

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