I tried this book because it was said to be a bit like The Hunger Games, which as this blog knows, I really enjoyed as a series and the thoughts behind the books really haunted me even months after reading, and I've read the books twice too. I must apologise to Mr. Westerfield but I just didn't really get his book. Well I did, its the classic rise against the dystopian government book, that much I get. But the idea that everyone is made pretty and compliant, I just don't get it, I'm sorry I don't. To me there seems to be no obvious way in which the society is holding itself up, and maybe thats my main issue with this book, no one is struggling to make ends meet, in fact no one even seems to spend any money, they literally just get anything that they want, even when they're in their 'uglies' phase. Now I get the idea behind the surgery going too far in society, personally I think in some cases it already has, but as a way of controlling people? Nope I'm sorry Mr Westerfield your book just doesn't do it for me, I don't get the world, there are absolutely no parameters on it, its not just America like in A Handmaid's Tale, or marked out as just America in The Hunger Games, though it would seem that the rest of the world isn't right there too, neither is it the whole world like in 1984, its just completely undefined, and you can't really talk about undefined dystopias, it just doesn't work.
Plus the characterisation, it seems to be somewhat lacking, even the protagnaist who you are with for 425 pages barely actually seems to evolve, her love is ridicolously sudden, as is David's for that matter and the way she acts, to me, is just so one dimentional, there's no rebellious love (Winston/Julia in 1984, Nick/Offred in A Handmaid's Tale), no teenage angst about love - she is 16 after all (Katniss/Gale/Peeta in the Hunger Games).
Now I'm not saying the book is all bad, it has a passable storyline, continuously it makes sense and the way that the 'rusties' aka humanity as we know it, got destroyed is pretty believable, but for me there is something lacking and this book definately does not live up to the other dystopian novels or series that I have read.