Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Dark Parties - Book Review

Dark Parties– Book Review
Sara Grant
YA Dystopian
Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...
Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most…

Dark Parties was certainly an intriguing read. There were times when I really liked the story but… there were also times when I really didn’t. Although one thing I did enjoy was that in no way was this book predictable. The plot constantly twisted and changed directions so that as a reader, it was impossible to predict what would happen next. 
Written from the point of view of sixteen year old Neva, a girl who has lived her entire life within the rigid order of the Protectosphere (a dome like structure that encompasses the country to keep people safe from disease and destruction), the story is set in a dystopian world where the government rules & controls the people through a suppressing system of fear and deceit.  Yet her whole life, Neva has kept a written record of all the people around her who after run-ins with the government, seem to have mysteriously disappeared, including her beloved grandmother.
Sick and tired of the government laws and their constant propaganda to have the younger generations marry and procreate, Neva along with her best friend Sanna decide that enough is enough. Together they plot a way to rebel against the government’s tyrannical rule but when they stumble upon a truth that the government are prepared to kill to keep hidden, Neva finds herself fighting for more than just freedom, but her life as well
Ultimately I think this book got off to a really good start. Quite literally opening with a dark party, I thought it began on an interesting premise and was written in a way that had me highly anticipating the events to come. However I have to admit, about halfway through the book I started to lose interest as nothing happened the way I wanted it to and I got a little… bored.
However that’s not to say that the story wasn’t interesting because there was honestly a lot about it that I really liked.  I just expected the book to me more about Neva’s rebellion than it actually was. Also again, with the romance not turning out as I expected and the ending left fairly open - I was left feeling a little disappointed.
Basically this book just wasn’t my thing. Yet the drama, action and intrigue of story were enough to have me read all the way through to the end. Also the characters themselves were really  interesting.
Neva was a reserved and hesitant protagonist but I enjoyed watching her confidence grow as she became more actively assertive in her choice to rebel. Her friendship with Sanna was moving and their loyalty to each other was very touching – despite Neva’s forbidden romance with Sanna’s boyfriend Braydon – who was typically handsome, mysterious and naturally a bit of a bad boy. Also I couldn’t but feel sorry for Neva’s boyfriend Ethan who I felt kind of got the short straw in this story.
Also I’ve read a quite a few dystopian books now and while some of the concepts were new, I felt that much of it had already been done before. Therefore I think readers who are new to the dystopian genre will probably enjoy this book more because Dark Parties was good. It was dramatic and full of plot twists but I it did leave quite a few questions unanswered. However I would still be interested to read other books by Sara Grant as I did like her writing style and as I said, I thought the book got off to a fantastic beginning. Sadly on this occasion though I just didn’t gel with story so my rating is only 3 stars!

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