Published June 7th 2012 by Faber & Faber
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Source: Publisher via Netgalley
In a near future, society is segregated according to whether people are genetically disposed to mental illness. 17-year-old Ana has been living the privileged life of a Pure due to an error in her DNA test. When the authorities find out, she faces banishment from her safe Community, a fate only thwarted by the fact that she has already been promised to Pure-boy Jasper Taurell.
When Jasper disappears, Ana sets off on his trail, determined to solve the mystery of his abduction. In doing so she journeys into the darkest corners of society, and uncovers some devastating truths that destroy everything she’s ever believed.
EDITORS’ PICKS for Best Books of the Month (June) AMAZON UK
I have recently been more and more interested in the dystopian genre. I think it is the thought of reading about different worlds that fascinates me. Either way, I am so glad that I had read this book, it kept me on my toes and wanting to see what would happen next.
I enjoyed the storyline to this book. I mean, being segregated due to mental illnesses? The fact that the “pures” live behind gated communities and the “crazies” or impures, live out on the streets just grabbed my attention. This is very unique and different and I congratulate Ms. Merle for being the creative genius behind it.
I loved Ana as a character and found her to be very brave. She did not think of the consequences that she, herself, would have to face, she just trudged on and tried to do the best thing for everyone else. I thought she was well-developed and the reader was actually able to identify with her. Jasper on the other hand was kind of a mystery to me. The short amount that we actually got to see the “real” him, I did see a very sweet young man and was able to understand why Ana would fall for him.
But, when Ana meets Cole, I knew right away that she would be falling hard for him. Cole is a bad boy with a tender side. He stands up for what he believes in and stands up for everyone he cares about.
Now, for Ana’s father. I cannot express how aggravated I got while reading this book. The ending had my blood boiling and was sooo hoping that it all would work out somehow. We are kind of left on a cliff hanger and I am sure hoping there will be another book!
McCavern trundled Ana, who was strapped down in a wheelchair, past the river and therapy stages towards a huddle of nineteenth-century town houses. Ana tried to worm her hands from the cuffs but it was no use.
‘In some places,’ McCavern said, ‘getting noticed might be a good thing. Not here though,’ she laughed. Ana’s stomach churned.
They stopped before an open front door. McCavern pushed her through a salmon-papered hallway and dumped her in a parlour room furnished to fit the Victorian setting. The door slammed closed. Ana turned towards it and caught sight of her reflection in a gilded mirror hung above an oak sideboard. One large grey eye and one hooded purple eye stared back at her. The last of the brown gel contacts had dissolved. She looked a wreck.
The parlour door creaked. A man in his mid-twenties with long sideburns and layered glasses, one layer currently in the up position, entered.
‘Good morning, Emily,’ he said. His voice crashed against the stillness. ‘I’m Dr Frank.’ He undid the strap around Ana’s waist but kept her hands cuffed. Then he sat down on the edge of an armchair and folded one leg over another, trying to get comfortable. He shifted to balance his clipboard on his leg. Unhappy with his position, he got up, perched on the arm of the chair and peered down at her.
‘Let’s see, Emily,’ he said, unable to stay the excitement in his voice. ‘Yesterday, you told Dr Cusher that you were Ashby Barber’s daughter. How do you feel about that today? Still think you’re Ariana Barber?’
‘Time doesn’t change who we are,’ Ana muttered. There seemed to be no shortage of idiot psychiatrists at Three Mills. She wondered where Cusher was.
‘Apparently you asked Dr Cusher to contact Ashby Barber,’ Frank said. ‘You wanted us to get in touch with him and tell him his daughter was in our care.’ Ana felt a jolt. Her guard went up. Was Frank offering her an opportunity, or a trap?
‘Did you contact him?’
‘I’m curious,’ Frank continued. ‘If Dr Barber was here, what would you say to him?’
‘I wouldn’t have to say anything,’ she answered warily.
‘Because he would see the mistake with his own eyes.’
‘Tell me about this “mistake”, as you put it.’ Frank leant back, enjoying the sound of his own voice. ‘Didn’t you come here of your own free will?’
‘I don’t remember.’