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Author: Alex London
Year Published: 2013
My PRE READING
Synopsis: Knox was born into one of the City’s wealthiest families. A Patron, he has everything a boy could possibly want—the latest tech, the coolest clothes, and a Proxy to take all his punishments. When Knox breaks a vase, Syd is beaten. When Knox plays a practical joke, Syd is forced to haul rocks. And when Knox crashes a car, killing one of his friends, Syd is branded and sentenced to death.
Syd is a Proxy. His life is not his own.
Then again, neither is Knox’s. Knox and Syd have more in common than either would guess. So when Knox and Syd realize that the only way to beat the system is to save each other, they flee. Yet Knox’s father is no ordinary Patron, and Syd is no ordinary Proxy. The ensuing cross-country chase will uncover a secret society of rebels, test both boys’ resolve, and shine a blinding light onto a world of those who owe and those who pay. Some debts, it turns out, cannot be repaid.
This is a great Dystopian YA book with a main character that just happens to be gay. I like that its just seen as one of his many character traits. It obviously affects things he does, but its not his lone identity as a character. He is also a person of color and its dealt with the same way. It was unfortunate that there is still some discrimination in this futuristic world, but it matched the world London created. Although, I would have liked to see other examples of LGBT characters, maybe a patron? I liked the little quirks and such of the world. Chapter 11 was interesting. (That's not a chapter, but a reference you'll get if you've read the book)
There are two main characters and its written in third person, but focused on one of the characters at a time. This happens within chapters, often from paragraph to paragraph. I found this confusing at first, but I got used to it.
Guilt and debt are strong themes in this book. All different perspectives and feelings toward these things are shown. There are also some interesting historic and fiction references. Destiny is another theme that is talked about often. I liked how different characters had different opinions and different ideals were showcased. All of the characters had depth. There were many characters introduced early on that filled larger roles in the story later. Almost every character was not who they originally seemed to be.
I liked the use of technology. Everyone relies on the datastream, with different ways of accessing it depending on your social status. The med patches that could change almost anything about a person were interesting as well.
This is a really great dystopian YA filled with diversity. Many themes and ideas are brought up and it is in no way preachy. The story follows a common dystopian roadmap, but it takes some different routes. I give this book a 4/5 and can't wait to read the sequel, Guardian!