Author: H.A. Swain
Pub. Date: June 3rd 2014
Source: Netgalley & Feiwel & Friends
In the future, there is no food. Not in the way we know it today. The environment is ravaged and decayed, and citizens depend on technology for their nutrition in the form of a medicine that chases away hunger. It works for everyone, or so the scientists think. Soon Thalia feels a weird hollow sensation, and her stomach growls; she has started to feel hungry despite her medication. After meeting a boy named Basil, she is quickly thrown into the web of lies and deceit of big corporations that rule the city, and has to defy her family in order to change and to find the one thing her body needs: food.
If I'm being completely honest, this book left me torn. I'm not really sure about it as it had both a fair amount of pros and cons, earning three stars and a relatively neutral opinion from me.
First I'll go over what I did like. The biggest plus that this book had was the concept. I was drawn in right away by the idea of no longer having or needing food. In Thalia's society, having food or food related objects is a crime. As the daughter of a chef and a foodie, the thought of that being illegal struck me as yes, bizarre, but also rather startling.
I also really liked the main character, Thalia. She was born of privilege to one of the creators of the medicine that eliminates hunger. However, despite her high status she wants more for everyone, not just herself. She thinks it's messed up how the upper crust lives compared to those on the outside, and she wants to work for a better life for everyone. While sometimes she made really questionable decisions, her and her best friend were likable.
There is a huge amount of technology mentioned in this book. Futuristic games, handheld Gizmos that know all about you, moving tattoos. I thought some of it was pretty cool. However, though I was fascinated by most of it, I was left with a feeling that it was too much too fast. Almost like I didn't get enough time to fully grasp all of the gadgets, what they do, and their names.
I also didn't really care for Thalia's love interest, Basil, and I was disappointed in the insta-romance that popped up between them. Sometimes such a sudden attraction can work itself out, but this one just left me sighing. I also felt like I didn't get a good sense of Basil's history and character.
All in all, this was an okay read. It was well-paced and hard to put down, and I was intrigued throughout the text. While I liked the concept and the main character, I didn't like her romance and some of the gadgets and ideals of this dystopian society. If you're a die hard dystopian fan, this book's worth checking out. However, if you don't like an instant love between characters, it's probably not for you.
Thanks to Netgalley and Feiwel & Friends for my copy of this in exchange for an honest review.