Monday, July 18, 2011

Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Dark Parties by Sarah Grant
Release Date: August 3, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown Books

Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says... Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most. - Goodreads.com

This was an interesting dystopian compared to others I've read in the past.  I wasn't quite sure how I was going to like it, and I'm still not entirely sure.  I love the premise of a society stuck beneath a protectosphere where they are told the outside world no longer exists.  I also like the fact that some teenagers are figuring out that perhaps things aren't exactly what they seem.  It seems that teenagers, who often strain against any form of protection or stricture, would find this type of society to be extremely confining, and so it did make sense to me that they would be the ones leading others in a form of quiet rebellion to figure a way out of that confinement.

Neva's pursuit of truth leads her into a place where she can glean some answers, but someone she has always trusted seems to be neck deep in perpetuating the lie the government has been feeding people.  This gives her lots of conflict to deal with, and I really did like this aspect of the story.  It's always hard to reconcile things when someone you've always loved and trusted is appearing to be the bad guy.

One part I was a little disappointed with was the romantic element.  I felt like the attraction here was just a little too instant, and very underdeveloped.  And yet, they seem to kind of pine for each other throughout the story with very little back up why.  I wanted to see a few more scenes with these two together.  I wanted a little bit more of a build up and just a teensy bit more focus on this aspect of the story.

I was also a little disappointed in the end, as so much was up in the air.  Please let this be a series, because if that was the end for a stand alone novel, I'd be very disappointed for sure.  As it is, the final events seem to be leading to a sequel where I hope the pieces that have been left dangling will be worked out.

All in all, this was a good, suspenseful read, and I will definitely be looking out for a sequel.
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