Thursday, May 24, 2012

Slated by Teri Terry



Slated (Slated, #1)Slated by Teri Terry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


Late in the 21st century, the government, no longer the United Kingdom but Central Coalition, found a new way to deal with criminals. Instead of prisons or even capital punishment, they get a clean slate, or more precisely, they get slated – their memory gets wiped clean and, if they’re underage, they get assigned to a new Mum and Dad, a whole new family they’re supposed to treat as their own. Kyla has been slated nine months ago, and the time has come for her to leave the New London Hospital and go live with her new parents and sister.
The tightly controlled society is run by the Lorders (Law and Order Officers) and it’s normal for people to disappear, be taken away any time, with little or no warning. All slated wear a Levo around their wrists - it is a device that measures their moods and keeps things from getting out of hand. If they feel anything too strongly, their Levo shuts them down and they black out in pain.

As entranced as I was by this story, I did manage to notice some discrepancies. The problem with putting your character in such a challenging situation, or rather state of mind, is that it’s very hard to remain consistent. Kyla doesn’t know very much about the outside world when she leaves the New London Hospital, she even has no idea how to use the car door handle, and yet no one is surprised when she recognizes the sound of gunfire just a few days later. We could probably explain it away easily, with something simple like a movie, but the skeptic in me always assumes the worst.

Also, I love to know a bit more about the background with my dystopias. It’s not enough to just describe the society, I need to know how it came to be. (This pretty much sums up my problems with Divergent). In Slated, some of it was explained towards the end of the book, but it was too little, too late. I hope the sequel will take care of that.

The romance didn’t quite reach me. I liked Kyla and I liked Ben, but I never understood how their relationship happened. Or why. At the beginning, Ben is described as a gorgeous boy every girl in school wants to be with, but he remains uninterested until Kyla shows up. Then, suddenly, he’s all over her, friendly, protective, always there to help. She is, of course, insecure and convinced that he’s dating another girl, even when he starts spending all his free time with her. What makes it bearable is that Slated is not really focused on the romance, it’s focused on Kyla’s recovery, past and new family, all of which was handled perfectly.

Minor issues aside, Terry did a great job with the subject of memory loss. The beginning of Slated reminded me a bit of the beginning of Thyla. But the most interesting part Terry explored is muscle memory. Sometimes, Kyla would just stop thinking about things and start moving instinctively – she discovered a lot if things about her old self that way, her ability to drive just one of them.

Me pointing out a few flaws doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy Slated. As far as dystopias go, it was better than most. If you’re a fan of the genre, you won’t want to miss it. If you’re a fan of all things British like I am, you’ll enjoy the British setting and the distinctly British language.

A copy of this book was kindly provided by the publisher, Hachette Children's Books UK, for review purposes.



15 comments:

  1. Great review, Maja! These YA dystopians are a tricky thing. A lot of them have AMAZING premises and most don't really deliver. :/ I'm loving the sound of this one though and I think I'll pick up copy. :)

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  2. I had the same issue with Divergent too. I also thought it was just too alike to Hunger Games without the sense of urgency. Despite the minor flaws of this one, this one sounds like an interesting read, especially how the memory loss is dealt with. I'll definitely will be checking this one out provided that it makes it way to the U.S.

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  3. It's good to know this is refreshingly different from a lot of the dystopians. Dystopians aren't usually the first books I go for, but lately I've been coming across some great ones! I' hoping this one will join the awesome pile too! Fab review Maja! :)

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  4. MAJA! I think you're working some sort of conspiracy with Sam to make me want to buy this book -- she posts the excerpts, then you post this amazing review, and off Mimi goes to buy this book! x) I just LOVE the concept of being Slated! And I always wonder the same things about memory loss stories -- like how they can remember some things and not others, etcetera -- but I think I'll be able to put that aside like you did because the rest of this book sounds absolutely FANTASTIC! :)

    Amazing review as always, Maja! Having a weakness for British boys is the same as having one for British books, right? Because then I'm even MORE convinced! ;) <3

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  5. I was intrigued after reading the excerpts on Sam's blog. This still sounds fascinating. I know I will agree with you on the whole world building thing. You know I complain often about lack of details. I am glad though that you enjoyed this overall. It is a fascinating idea! Thanks for sharing!

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  6. This one sounds good to me, Maja. I actually like dystopians. I'm wondering what the MC did to get slated. Great review my dear! :)

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  7. Ooh interesting. I can see how the little things could be hard to take, but I think I could get it past it. Sounds like a good story overall and everything, and I LOVE British books...esp. the ones that have the British language without americanizing it. Thanks for the review. I'm curious now!

    -Lauren

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  8. This one sounds really interesting! Definitely a bit more unique than a lot of the other dystopias running lose in booklandia.

    Thanks for this review!

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  9. Wow. I had actually remained pretty uninterested in this book until I ran into your review. I know, you actually point out a few flaws, but while they can be bothersome I think I'd bear with them just to explore the whole "being slated" concept. Memory loss is hard to write, and even if there's a slip-up or two, I'd like to see how the whole thing is treated.

    Gah! I'm supposed to not like distopias, Maja! Why do you have to get me interested in one? ;)

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  10. Meh. I don't this one is for me. I'm not a fan of dystopians that don't explain the whys and hows. I have yet to read Divergent, but it's one of the reasons why I haven't. And even though the romance isn't the focal point, I'm not sure it's one that would work for me either. It sounds like it was just thrown in there so a romance could be claimed.

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  11. great review! I love the idea of it, but I'm a little afraid to read it because I like things to make sense. D: ah, well, it still sounds interesting!

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  12. The premise alone sounds fabulous. It's an interesting way to deal with crime- giving criminals a literally clean slate. All those discrepancies definitely don't sound fun though. I'll probably check it out when I can but I'm not in a rush. Awesome review, Maja :)

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  13. Since I'm fan of all things British, that might be one of the strongest reason why I want to read this book LOL! Oh, and the gorgeous cover is something that I can't easily ignore either! Kyla seems like an interesting heroine. I'm wondering what made the government slate her memory. :)

    Beautifully written review like always, Maja! <3 And thank you for the kind wishes, lovely - I'm feeling better now. :)

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  14. I'm sort of reading this at the moment - I read the first third or so and got distracted by something else. I love the concepts, the writing, the characters... but I think I agree with you about romance. I haven't really gotten anywhere significant yet, but I can already see that I would prefer if it wasn't there. Anyway, I'm looking forward to finishing this soon and I'm glad you mentioned that there is some explanation of how Slating came to be towards the end. Great review, Maja!

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  15. I loved loved loved this book, glad you enjoyed this too Maja. <3 eeep. I just cannot wait for the second book! Great review as always.x<3

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