Carina’s uncle just died of an “accident.” That wouldn’t be very suspicious except for the fact that her mother also died of an accident and they both worked for the same shadowy secret project. Lot’s of smoke, but is there fire?
By Sophie Littlefield
Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Alone, Carina is forced to rely on the only person left in her life, her boyfriend Tanner, who we quickly meet in the first chapter as the two underage kids have sex. (Both of these characters are in high school. Even if it isn’t statutory rape, which it may be in some states by legal definitions, it’s definitely not something I want a 12 year old – the age suggested by the book – to read as normative.) Tanner and Carina then go on a quest to find out the truth about the secret project and the death of her Uncle and Mom. The book lasts all of like two total days. The end.
In my opinion this is a mess of a book. Sure, it’s fast paced and a lot happens during the two days but very little is fully explained and the characters aren’t memorable. By the end of the book what I was struck with most was how the characters were doing things that only adults should do (sex), speaking like bikers at times, and didn’t inspire the reader to care very much about the situation.
Let me get on my soapbox here a little bit. Society recognizes that children – read under 18, which is the legal definition – are vulnerable and should be protected. Anything that sexualizes children is rightly frowned upon and likely illegal. But for some reason books are allowed to do this all the time with no questions asked. How many “young adult” books have underage protagonists – 15, 16, 17 years old – who engage in sexual relations and other risky behavior and are sold and marketed to other children who then learn the lesson that this is normal and safe? There is rarely talk about the dangerous repercussions of these activities. No one gets STDs, pregnant, emotionally or spiritually damaged. It’s all presented as good fun with no downside. That isn’t reality though. And books the promote children having unprotected, possibly illegal sexual relationships with no expectations about the very real dangers involved in those activities do children and society a disservice.
While the above was a part of the book, this isn’t the only reason not to recommend the book. It’s short, shallow and not that interesting in my opinion.
@ashertopia is the Managing Editor of BookGateway.com. He is an avid reader and a lifetime learner. His favorite genres include science fiction, fantasy, as well as theology and Christian living. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people.
This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.