Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Dark Parties

Grant, Sara. Dark Parties. New York: Little, Brown and Company, 2011. Print.
[Book cover credit:]

Neva looks a lot like her best friend Sanna who bears a striking similarity to Neva's boyfriend Ethan who has a passing resemblence to Sanna's boyfriend Braydon who you can tell is related to just about everyone else in Homeland. When everything is shared, including the gene pool, life can be suffocating. But in the dark, no on looks the same and the possibilities are almost endless.

Dark Parties is my favorite kind of dystopian novel. The society therein is totally recognizable, and life seems almost completely normal. Only the over-abundance of hand-me-downs and the community-wide family resemblance mark Homeland as different than real life. Until ... DUN Dun dun ... Neva figures out why her life is the way it is and decides to do something about it. This set-up almost never disappoints me, and Dark Parties was no exception. I really liked this book! But as nothing in Neva's world or ours is ever perfect, I had a few issues with this book.

The first is that part of the mystery of what's really going on hinges on Neva not knowing what IVF stands for. If you don't know what IVF stands for, ignore this concern and skip to my next one. It's only mentioned briefly, but in the context of the story, it gave a lot away (Spoiler?: society desperate for healthy babies + teenage girls being taken by the government = In Vitro Fertilization fueled baby factory, obvs). That said, I doubt this will be an issue for the majority of teens reading this book.

My second issue is with Neva's relationship with Braydon. Let me rephrase: Neva's romantic relationship with her best friend's boyfriend. Kissing your best friend's boyfriend in a pitch black room where you can't see anyone could be an honest mistake. Every make-out session behind your best friend's back after that, however, is Not Okay.* Neva and Braydon's affair lasted for jsut about the entire book, and though Neva felt guilty about the inevitability of Sanna's broken heart, she continued to be the one doing the breaking. It made me not like her a bit, and apparently I am one of those people who has a hard time in an unlikable main character.

These two issues aside, Dark Parties really was a great book. It has a great dystopian setting that still has a few secrets left to reveal. I hope Grant chooses to let us explore them!

Book source: ARC provided by the publisher

*Is there a girl version of "bros before hos"? There should be.

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Heather H. said...

Ooh, this looks interesting! Scott Westerfeld has gotten me into dystopias, so I can easily see myself checking this out. But yeah, that romantic aspect you pointed out would irk me, too. (Perhaps the girl version of "bros before hos" is "chicks before dicks"? Hmm.)

Lawral the Librarian said...

I LOVE Scott Westerfeld. The Uglies series is what started me on dystopias as well.

Also, "chicks before dicks" totally works!