Kyla has been given a second chance. If a criminal or gang member is under the age of 16, they can be slated which means having their memories completely wiped. Those who are slated are placed with families and start their lives again - under the constant supervision of their Levo, a device on their wrist that can't be removed and monitors their mood. Kyla is having a hard time adjusting. She swears she remembers things about her own life, but that's not possible. Is it?
This was an enjoyable dystopian novel, and one that I'm curious about where it will go. I still have lots of questions about the world Kyla is in, but it didn't feel like poor world building was why I hadn't figured it out yet. Things were deliberately held back. The reader doesn't know anything more than Kyla does, and she's just starting to put things together. I hope when all is revealed it won't be disappointing!
The first thing I was trying to figure out, right from the beginning, is why there were so many under 16-year-old criminals. We are not that far into the future. It's 2054. It is still unclear what happened, but it involved some kind of massive gang uprising and violence, which was put down harshly by the government. There are still Antigovernment Terrorists (AGT). Do the terrorists recruit young children? Are gangs still prevalent? It seems that gang violence had been pretty much eradicated. Why still so many slated?
It started to make a lot more sense as Kyla began to see that people could be taken away by the government. They would just disappear. People who asked the wrong questions or didn't fit in quite right. They could just be taken and no one would ever see them again. Kyla wonders if she was really a criminal after all.
This story takes place in England, and I am curious as to what's going on in the rest of the world. Is slating people world-wide? I want to know!
Kyla was an introspective character. The slating seems not to have worked completely on her, we don't know why. At first it just in dreams she seems to remember things from before, but then more and more things begin coming back to her. She also acts differently from the other slated. Most slated seem eager to please and incapable of thinking through things on their own. They are very suggestible. Kyla is not like that. She is able to observe what's going on around her and make connections.
Of course, there is a handsome love interest, Ben, who has also been slated. Ben is all super cute and he and Kyla bond over their found love (and need) of running. Ben becomes someone Kyla can confide in, and just as they're gotten to the "yes, we like each other in a datey kind of way" bad things happen and Kyla is on her own. But determined to find Ben again.
It was an engaging start to the series, and I am looking forward to seeing where it goes. Lots of questions I want answered!