Monday, September 19, 2011

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert

The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

Your future is not your own... "We wanted to know what makes a good kid good and a bad kid bad. Can you blame us for that? We found an astoundingly, marvelously simple answer: The brain isn't so much a complicated machine as it is a crystal ball. If you look into it, you will see everything you want to know."  -Dr. Mark Miliken, senior researcher at Utopia Laboratories.  Who will it be?   Will the head cheerleader get pregnant?   Is the student council president a secret drug addict?  The whole school is freaking out about PROFILE, an experimental program that can predict students' future behavior. The only question Daphne wants answered is whether Jesse will ask her out...but he's a Predicted, and there's something about his future he's not telling her. -

This one had an interesting take on the whole dystopian thing.  Most dystopians I've read are set way into the future and show how societies have evolved over time into something constrained and suffocating.  This one was different in the sense that it doesn't really take place in the future.  This could happen now.  That possibility made the story all the more disturbing because I could so imagine it being introduced now.

I can definitely understand how PROFILE came into being.  It may have started with good motives... to keep their children safe from things like school shootings... but it encroaches on the rights of other teens in order to ensure safety from such occurrences.  This was a very smart book that makes you think.  It was a lot more complicated and thoughtful than what I was expecting from the back cover copy, and it introduces some interesting moral dilemmas.  In order to keep children safe, do you sacrifice their freedoms and basic right to acceptance?  Or do you allow segregation where those predicted to have possible violent tendencies in the future are made to be outed and separate?

Daphne's having feelings for a Predicted boy puts her in a unique position to understand the wrongness of this.  Jesse is a good guy, who even saves her from a school shooter, but because he is "predicted", shown in his profile to be someone who has the capacity to commit violent crime, he's lumped in with all the others and segregated.  Kids who used to eat lunch and hang out alongside these kids now speak of them as if they were a subspecies, or something to be feared.  And the parents are just as bad.  The question, though, is just because someone is profiled to be capable of violent crime, does it automatically follow that they will commit that crime?

Again, this was a very thought-provoking book.  I enjoyed it very much!

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