by Ilima Todd
"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?"
I fluctuated between "this is a really cool concept", and "this is so lame" throughout this entire book. The main character made me uncomfortable and irritated most of the time, there were some plot issues, and the love triangle was awkward as well. However, all that was reading it with my adult eyes. I think teenagers will overlook the lameness and really enjoy this one. It does make you think. There are several topics that could develop into great discussions with your teenager. How important is family? What would it be like to never know what "family" even meant? What is real freedom? Is the greater good more important than individual good? And many more. So all in all, I think it is a worthwhile read for older teenagers, but I think it will make the younger crowd uncomfortable.
Areas of concern:
Frank talk of maturation.
A lot of discussions about sex and gender.
Talk of teenagers showering together and sleeping together (they had been given hormone suppressants and had not gone through puberty yet).
There are biblical quotations scattered through the book, if that is of concern to you.
Publisher's Weekly - Ages 12+
*Mrs. Duke thinks 14 and up is a little more like it.