Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: Slated

Author: Teri Terry
Release Date: May 3rd 2012
Publisher: Ochard Books
Add it: Goodreads
Preorder: Book Depository / Amazon
Sixteen-year-old Kyla has been 'slated': all of her past memories erased, her entire personality wiped blank. She has been assigned a new name, a new date of birth and even new parents. The government that did this to her claim she was a terrorist, and that she has been given a second chance. But Kyla knows that the government has been lying. Without her memories, how will Kyla ever find the truth? And if her old self is really and truly dead, then what are the terrifying images that still haunt her dreams?


Slated offers such a fascinating premise. Teenagers are given a 'second chance' at life after committing some horrible crime. Their memories are removed and everything that contributed to their personality.... are wiped away. They spend months in hospital relearning how to function and then they're taken in by a new family. This will be their new life and they will take to it with a smile and an obedient nod of the head. Because that's all Slateds are - troubled teens the government has brainwashed into happy little robots. All except Kyla. While individuality is a good thing for most, for the Slated it is not. You're not supposed to be able to think for yourself after the surgery. To question, to ponder, to want to know things. Kyla does. And if the people in power knew the extent of her own personal control... her very life could be at stake.

Kyla was a fantastic protagonist. Teri layered her brilliantly - her reintroduction to this big, scary world, her fears and vulnerabilities and the bold, curious girl hiding within. I really enjoyed watching her grow into herself, whoever that may be. Through her terrifying dreams, we're given possible clues to her past. Who she was before they took stole her identity from her. But does she really want to know? Her dreams are of torture and being trapped, of pain and fear... why would she want to remember a life like that? What kind of person must she have been to have deserved such treatment? To even be Slated in the first place? The more you learn about Kyla, the deeper the mystery runs and as more questions arise, the more wicked the plot becomes.

I found the amount of control over the Slateds to be infuriating. On the surface, it might appear 'fine'. It's rehabilitation, they assimilate into a new family, new school, make friends among peers. But always someone is watching, taking notes, monitoring and controlling their emotions. And the constant interferences with small things like taking an art class, running track or spending a little too much time with a boy. Those who are Slated are supposedly criminals, even terrorists. So this is a second chance - a privilege, not a right. Does that make it any easier to swallow? No. It's frustrating and you want to reach through and strangle a few choice people on more than one occasion!

There's a sense of foreboding as people start to go missing. People Kyla knows. One after another. Each time it's someone who's said something we're all thinking, but it's the wrong thing to be heard by others. The government has an iron-tight grip over this future society and they don't tolerate those who show the slightest hint of rebellion. What happens to the people they drag away? Who will be next? And how long before Kyla slips up and says the wrong thing to the wrong person? You can't help but worry about her, because while she's strong in her own way, you want to take her under your wing and make sure she stays safe. There are sinister games at play and one wrong move could see her gone forever.

I loved how Teri made me change my perception on so many of the characters over the course of the novel. From Kyla's mum and dad, to Amy, Phoebe and Ben. First impressions are not always the most reliable, there are hidden depths to everyone. The ending was a frustratingly good cliffhanger, which has me desperate to get my hands on the sequel to see how things will play out. There is clearly so much more to this story, threads that run deeper, journeys that are about to get a whole lot more complicated.... and dangerous.

With its gripping mystery, compelling characters and sweet, budding romance, Slated is a thought-provoking novel that offers something fresh and exciting to the market!

4/5 Golden Apples!

33 comments:

  1. Oh. My. Goodness...
    This sounds terrifying. Terrifying and amazing... It's reminding me a bit of 1984. Where in the end he's reprogrammed? *shudders*
    It's not a second chance though, is it? If they're so clearly scrubbed clean of everything that makes them them there shouldn't be any possible worry or reason to keep them observed and under such scrutiny. Ominous and menacing and--Eek, even just THINKING about this is giving me the chills.

    I'm not just saying it--this is a seriously SERIOUSLY fabulous review. I'm totally freaking out and getting that chilly someone's-watching-me vibe... and I'm, like, used to be the watcher, not the watchee. Disturbbbbiiinnng.

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    1. And *cough* you have no idea how many times I randomly visit your blog a day waiting for you to post something...

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    2. EXACTLY! They make them wear Levo's - these bracelets around their wrists that monitor their emotions (all wired up through brain and all that technical stuff) and if it slips too low... let's just say, NOT GOOD. Because unhappy Slateds could - oh no - lead them back to their criminal ways. Asdjusdhgjf stupid government!

      Hahaha I <3 you, your comments always make me smile :D For stalking purposes, I usually only post reviews Tuesday and Friday's because I have OCD for the days I post them on and I don't have as fast a turn-around of reading/reviewing as you crazy people do. I wage a constant battle between reading addiction and internet addiction, internet cuts into my reading... and procrastination cuts into my reviewing.

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    3. My internet addiction cuts into my reading addiction too! Hahaha!

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    4. Eeeee... so it sounds like there's an element of the nature vs. nurture debate therein? I LIKE this. Oh goodness, it sounds so sinister. They could 'slate' anyone and get away with it, because all they have to do is say they were bad. They don't know any different or have any memories or evidence with which to argue.

      I understand the turnaround, and I think post on certain days is goooood. But then I get excited about a certain book and want to post nownownow (Anna! Mara!):D
      I think I read slow compared to some of the people I follow. I read/review back-to-back, but the actual reading? Hmmmm... The last few nights Twitter has totally cut into my reading... but I don't really regret it because everyone's so funny... and I've deliberately built up a back-log of reviews (VAMPIRE ACADEMY!) so if I don't read a book one week, I still have a review :D

      Ughhh... it's a constant and tenuous balance: to read/to internet *sigh*

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    5. EXACTLY that. And people can hardly make a public outcry against it because in this kind of society, making a stand will see you disappear. Such a creepy idea!

      See, that's the clever approach. I don't have a single review back-logged... but two in desperate need of writing. I have a bad habit of writing my review the night before I post, because, well, TWITTER! No, not really twitter. I blame everyone who uses twitter, because if they weren't so awesome, I wouldn't be compelled to go on there, would I?

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    6. Eeeee, so that's where the slateds come from? :S
      Creepy creepy creepy.

      Aaah, but you see, the problem with having a backlog is scheduling and prioritizing, and publishing in a timely manner. *sighs*
      different problems :S

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  2. I reviewed this one before Christmas...and I LOOOOOVED it. I can't wait to get a finished copy, and then die while I wait for book 2 :)

    stop by my latest review??
    http://lindsaycummingsblog.blogspot.com/2012/01/arc-review-selection.html

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    1. I saw your amazing review!! Haha we shall suffer together until the sequel. So excited to see what Teri has in store!

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  3. This kind of reminds me a bit of Anthony Burgess's A Clockwork Orange. The whole idea is terrifying! Hopefully if the government ever starts messing with people's heads, it will be after I'm dead and gone. Yikes!

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    1. I've never read A Clockwork Orange, but YES. I hope I'm not around to see if the government ever gets that kind of control over society. SCARY! :S

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  4. I love reading a book that you think you've got all figured out and then the writer pulls out all of these surprises.

    This sounds really good. I think a lot of authors have tried to pull off similar plots unconvincingly. This sounds like it really hits the mark :)

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    1. Yes, Teri has pulled it off really well! And I've no doubt she has a LOT more awesomeness in store :D Can't wait to see what everyone thinks when it comes out!

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  5. You know, I actually hadn't heard of this one before seeing your review. Now I'll definitely be checking it out! You're so good at putting new books on my radar Brodie <3
    And that cover...eeep, it's beautiful!

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    1. Really hope you like this when you read it, Rachel! I love the cover too, those eyes are so striking!

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  6. How had I not even HEARD of this before? It sounds so good! Creepy, but excellent.

    I'm getting kind of a XVI vibe from this one. The worlds are totally different but they still have that ever-present, controlling government factor. I'm glad this one impressed you since XVI fell kind of flat for me.

    Awesome review! :) I love the sound of this one.

    Sonia

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    1. So glad to have put this on your radar! I hope it lives up to your expectations better than XVI! I've yet to read it, so I can't make a comparison.

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  7. I saw this book on goodreads. Sounds like a great book! Creepy but awesome. Thanks for the great review of awesomeness Brodies. Thank a lot. haha. Now I want this book badly. Sighs.

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    1. I liked brodies. I can imagine Brodie with an army of minion clone brodies (brodies with a lower case. Different from Brodie: Evil Overlord).

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    2. Hahaha <3333 to you both. You just made a crappy afternoon turn into an awesome night :D

      They're miniature minion clones too, so there's wee little brodies running aroudn doing all my bidding. I think they're cute. Some do bite, but I'm still working out the kinks.

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    3. Mwehehehe! I can imagine them with high pitched little voices, running around gnawing On the furniture. Bad brodies! Down! *hits with rolled newspaper*

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  8. Wow. This sounds freaking scary! It's the government's way of sweeping everything nasty under the bed, all hush hush. Amazing review. Sneaky governments and how one girl opposes them all--geez, this just sounds like another awesome book!

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    1. I love those corrupt/evil/twisted government type reads.... any book that makes me GRRRR at the injustice or the crazy misguided ways of running a society is usually a winner :D

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  9. I haven't heard of this book. Great review! Do we call it a dystopian??

    Michelle

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  10. Brodieeee!!!! Awesome review. I really want second chances at everything! Gosh, this sounds like a great book but also scary! The cover is so awesome though!!!!!! Glad you enjoyed it! :D (Wow, there sure is lots of exclamation marks in my comment, lol)

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  11. brodie
    your a genious
    was not really interested in reading this ones
    saw it on goodreads but now on my wishlist
    ynx 4 reviewing

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  12. Loved your review of Slated, Brodie. It sounds absolutely amazing to me! Looks and sounds a bit scary.

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  13. OH MY GOOOOOOSH!!!!!! *shivers* I get chills just reading that synopsis, but YOUR REVIEW. Holy moly guacamole, Brodie! (<-- Hey, that rhymes! XD) I want to read this book so badly now!!! <3 I have the biggest fear of anyone ever tampering with and/or looking into my memory because I think that every single one helps make me who I am today, and I wouldn't want to be anyone else! But the idea of someone wiping your memory CLEAN? Oh my gosh... So terrifying! x)

    This was an absolutely AMAZING review, Brodie (but I'm learning not to be surprised)! ;) <3 I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! Although maybe I should wait for book two because of that cliffhanger? LOL! I can't even convince myself for a second! x)

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  14. I don't think Slated is available in Canada but I enjoyed reading your review Slated! The book sounds like quite the thriller with TONS of suspense and questions which need answering!

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  15. This looks really interesting! I will definitely have to check this one out! I'm a new follower :)

    Amy @ Following the Reader

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  16. Love the sound of this one. I'm sort of intrigued as to why the brainwashing didn't work on Kyla and why she still retains her individuality. And what on earth did she do in her "past" life? So many questions! Also, "budding romance" caught my eye. Really excited to read this now - fab review, Brodie! :)

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  17. Oh my god. Oh my god!! This sounds perfect for me!! *claps* The romance, the memory-taking part, the fake new life! This sounds so intriguing. I've heard of books with amnesiac characters but this is different. This sounds terrifyingly possible. Great review!

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