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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Whitney Finalist Spotlight Review: REMAKE by Ilima Todd (YA Speculative Fiction)

From Shadow MountainImagine a future without family. 
Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.
But Nine isn’t like every other batcher. She harbors indecision and worries about her upcoming Remake Day—her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they’ll be.
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?
Audience: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian, Speculative Fiction
Length: 304 pages

Rating: 4+

Review: A while back my husband watched this Christian dystopian movie. It was kinda crazy and weird, and I posted about it on Twitter. Ilima tweeted me back that she was worried about why I thought it was weird since her book REMAKE had a Christian dystopian theme.

Don't worry. REMAKE is anything but weird. I loved it. It was so goofy to me to consider Nine changing her gender by choice because anyone could be what they want, but Ilima set it up to be exactly that. A really great, imagine if scenario that, considering the way human culture works right now, is not actually that far fetched. And it's brilliantly set up in my opinion. I got the world. I got the culture. And then Nine gets plopped down into the middle of something we all know--families.

I adored this family theme. I adored the way Nine discovered her femininity and strength. How she discovered her family.

The only thing that I sort of shrugged at (the only reason I didn't rate it a full five) is that the stakes are pretty different from most books in the genre. And it wasn't in a bad way exactly. (Let's be honest, when I read dystopian, I'm cringing at every every-day comfort they don't have...) Things definitely got crazy, but I never got a sense that things were unsolvable.

My favorite line; I have to share. "You're not a mistake. [...] Sometimes I think you're the most deliberate thing I've ever seen. The rest of us are just shadows of what could be."

Loved this book.

Sex - 2+ (Much of theme surrounds choosing a gender and the differences, so there's discussion, in an absolutely tasteful and mild way, of gender differences, especially as Nine begins to notice her own changes.*)
Violence - 1
Language - 0
Overall Rating - PG

*For instance, I usually highlight or make note of content I feel needs noting. I made no notes in this book.

Check out the other 2014 Whitney Finalists here.

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About Me!

I've been writing since I was old enough to grasp a crayon--my grandma even has an early copy of a "book" I made her. I have a bachelor's degree in history from the University of Wyoming and will (hopefully) soon be starting a graduate program in English. When I'm not breaking up impromptu UFC fights in the living room or losing miserably to my boys at Uno, I'm ... well, writing or editing, of course! I'm married to my best friend, and we have three rambunctious but simply amazing little boys.


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