Book Review: The List

5 Oct

33846933.jpgSynopsis: This science fiction, dystopian novel opens with Letta transcribing a list of words. Soon, we learn that Letta’s community, the Ark, only has a pre-approved List from which to communicate – 500 words. Specialized workers receive additionals words in order to do their job. But, when Letta’s master disappears under mysterious circumstances and Letta learns that the powers-that-be want to reduce the list even more, she is forced to make a difficult decision. Does she hold onto her trust for the community in which she has been raised or does she fight for what she believes is more importants – words, feelings, art, expression?

Review: I really enjoyed this dystopian novel. I was interested in the concept of a place where communication is limited to very basic words. Where discussing your feelings, talking with neighbors and sharing ideas is unheard of. Scarily enough, the author paints a picture of the world before the Ark and it is a very familiar setting – people who don’t take climate change seriously, until the world breaks down. And what’s left is a small group of people living under the control of a man who believes that talking is not the answer.

I really enjoyed the characters in this story – Letta is a strong apprentice who, at the beginning of the story, believes in her village and what her elders say, until she begins to understand the power of expression and the importance of words. Her relationship with her master is one of deep respect, love and trust and when he disappears, the world as she knows it disappears as well.

If you have kids who have loved Hunger GamesDivergent, or The Giver have them check out this title – it would make for a great discussion about climate change, censorship, art and more!

Twitter Booktalk (140 characters or less): Letta’s village only speaks w/ 500 words & the threat to reduce the List forces Letta to befriend someone who can help, but at what cost?

Title: The List
Author: Patricia Forde
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Page Number: 336 pgs.

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