Title: The List
I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it if you like dystopian teen fiction you need to read it. The basis for the book is that climate change killed most of the world off and a few select people who saw it coming prepared for it. These people are led by one man named 'Noa' who created a place called 'Ark' that is a sanctuary. Lots of cute nods to Noah's Ark and other biblical stories (without being preachy at all!). The big thing about this community of people is that they can only use 500 words to communicate. Thus, removing all unnecessary, emotional charged, or problematic words from language. Noa believes that words are cheap and the world would be better off if they didn't exist.
For now I've given this book 4 stars. I think there is a possibility that as I reflect on it more it might be worthy of 5 stars. My conflict there is that it's not quite as good as Hunger Games (but really what is). However I do believe it is written better than Divergent. The relationships between the people are more realistic. There is no insta-love (chemistry but not love) and the romance story is really on the side to the main story. It interferes very little with the plot and provides some extra motivation for our characters but nothing outrageous or annoying.
The lead gal is an intelligent, responsible heroine that is a good role model for readers. She is a strong, yet cautious person that thinks through her decisions; and when she chooses to do crazy things she accepts that it's crazy but always provides her reasons for acting. I appreciate this as I believe it's realistic and reflective of our real people think. I don't want to say too much about any of the characters or the plot because I believe that part of the enjoyment in dystopian literature is to have the reveals unravel as you read.
There are some science elements that are fictional in The List. I was disappointed to learn that Nicene isn't a real thing (in any form). Yet I believe this really shows how truly creative Patricia Forde is. She's created a world that feels like it could be our world in the not-so far future.
There are subtle references that I believe were nods to The Giver and other dystopian fiction. I liked this respectful way of including elements of other stories we all know and love. There are things that Forde decides not to touch on (ie: reproduction, death, property ownership, etc.); but I actually think it was nice to focus on language and intelligence as the key to this dystopian society.
Overall, thinking of the teen books I've read that were published this year, this would easily be in my top 5 teen reads of 2017. It certainly deserves a place on my bookshelf and I will be looking to get my very own print copy to oogle on the shelf.
I will definitely be looking for more from Patricia Forde.
Please note: I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. This is an honest and unbiased review.