Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Slated, Teri Terry

Slated, by Teri Terry
Title: Slated
Author: Teri Terry (author website)
Release Date: 12 May 2012 by Orchard Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Dystopian
My Rating:1 star2 star3 star4 starhalf star

Back when I reviewed Slated, I made what I thought was some clever, pithy remark, questioning the water supply in Britain, and how it keeps coming up with these brilliant British writers. Err, turn's out Teri's not British, really. No, she's just her own brand of obscenely, atypically brilliant. In any case, Is there something in the water in England? Or is it simply the obvious—that English is their language? Well, another Brit’s at it and, ladies and gentlemen, Teri Terry is a terrific writer. Tense, oppressive and—frankly—brilliant, Slated is a shining jewel of an addition to its genre.

From Goodreads:

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth

The Story:

Kyla Davis is no-one. She has been Slated. Her memories, her past, her life erased; her synapses rewired, and her mind wiped blank.

Sent to live with a new mum and dad—not that she would know the ‘old’ ones from a bar of soap—Kyla tries to fit in, to make sure the monitor on her wrist shows her emotions stay level, to be balanced, and a functional, integrated member of society. But Kyla is not like other Slated teens… Kyla asks questions she should not, thinks things Slateds should not be able to… but worst of all, Kyla seems to have ghosts of memories, terrifying nightmares that couldn’t actually be real, could they?

Slating is meant to be a second chance—a clean slate for criminal teens. But when you don't even know yourself, who can you trust? As terrifying truths about her world, and about slating become clear, Kyla begins to question everything she’s known in her short second life...

My Thoughts:

Fluidly moving from Kyla’s easy, flowing narrative to fast-paced, frantic stream-of consciousness, Terry delivers a protagonist with a truly unique voice. Kyla is fascinating, clever, she questions everything, and she’s a keen observer. While in many ways she’s adult and intelligent, in others, she is almost childlike, seeing the world for the first time, allowing the reader to learn it along with her. Slateds must re-learn to walk, to talk. They are completely unaware of the dangers in their world, that knives are sharp, fire burns. Having been slated, Kyla is a blank slate. She has no memories of her past, of who she is—or should have no memories—but she does have a distinct personality.

A palpable sense of foreboding permeates Slated’s pages, a feeling of menace very much like Orwell’s totalitarian England—and Big Brother is watching. As Kyla navigates her new world, she takes the reader with her, uncertainty painting everything grey and shadowy, and it is never clear who to trust. A teacher? A friend? Perhaps a parent? A wrong word to the right person, or a sign of dissent, and people disappear. Missing adults, friends, children. Slating is meant for criminals, for terrorists… but can a government with this kind of power be trusted? Herein lays the brilliance of Terry’s construct: the cold, terrifying reality is that Slating is a draconian government’s ultimate weapon. Opposition can’t very well speak up when their voices and memories are stolen. Even an imprisoned terrorist has a voice. Slating is something far more sinister.

Slated is not an action-oriented thriller in the ilk of The Hunger Games. It’s not a tale of explosions, or edge-of-seat live-or-die exploits. This is a more underhanded, sly, pervasive threat and menace. Dystopian fiction is at its most effective and frightening when presenting a reality that is conceivable, and believable. This type of novel hinges not only on its audience's ability to believe such a thing could come to pass, but—just as Orwell did in 1984—plays on the innate fear that it is already happening, already here, that this is a future we could very well face if we do not take a good, hard look at ourselves. Terry presents a world terrifyingly close to our own, one that is halfway here, and it seems she is challenging her readers to not only think as they read Slated, to discover it, and Kyla’s, secrets, but to question what they know, contemplate the value of their basic civil liberties, and what ‘self’ truly means.

Political statements and brilliance aside, some of Slated’s most compelling facets are its human ones. From tender to terrifying, sweet to infuriatingly unfair, Kyla’s interactions with the world and people around her are what give it heart. Kyla’s relationship with her ‘Mum’ is touching, and fascinating to watch grow, and those with her Doctor and teachers are worrisome and murky. But it is Kyla’s developing attachment to fellow slated boy, Ben, which has the biggest impact on her, and indeed sets many of Slated’s events in place. Slated is certainly not a romance—though its moments of tenderness are heart-warming—and if anything, Kyla’s most important relationship is the hugely complicated one she has with herself.

The Verdict:

Slated combines the feeling of Orwellian oppression and corruption with something new: the teenage experience. That sense of powerlessness; a sense, not of invincibility, but of hope, not yet tempered or tainted by defeat. There are moments in its pages that are crushingly bleak, and others brimming with hope; but the most ubiquitous feeling of all is that of overwhelming injustice and corruption. Chilling, confronting, and un-put-downably good, Slated will leave you thinking long after its final pages are turned... and howling for more.

Books in This Series:

  1. Slated (2012)
  2. Fractured (Expected Summer 2013)
An enormous thank you to Orchard Books/Hachette Australia for providing a review copy of Slated

47 comments:

  1. Amazing review, Sarah! I'm ordering this book next week and now I'm even more excited about it! It sounds so brilliant. :)

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    1. Thanks Nicola! Oh, seriously, it was AMAZING! Can't recommend it strongly enough AMAZING :D

      Delete
  2. Oh wow, this sounds amazing! I'm glad the book doesn't focus too much on the romance...it's always nice to build up a character on THEIR own a bit more. I didn't know this was a series though...I'm definitely hoping to read this one at some point. I'm glad it really worked for you, and thanks for your thoughts.

    -Lauren

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    1. LAUREN! IT WAS! IT WAS!
      I'm so used to romance in YA novels, to the point I normally get grumpy and MISS it if it's not there, but this was AMAZING. It was a fabulous, fabulous BRILLIANT book! ♥

      Delete
  3. Great great GREAT review, Sarah! :) This book sounds really interesting and the cover looks appealing, but I never really wanted to go check out the summary. HOWEVER, you make me want to go check it out NOW!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, hun! xoxo <3

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    1. Aw, Gianna! Thanks for READING them! I LOVED this book, and seriously, if you like dystopian, you SO need to read this! xx

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  4. Wow! Sounds like Slated is DEFINITELY worth a shot. I can't possibly pass up a book that you enjoyed so much, Sarah, so this one's going on my to-read list!

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    1. Natalie! It was AMAZING! And intelligent, and it had a heroine I could genuinely admire and charachters and a story that made me THINK! I SO hope you like this one, and I really think it might interest you, given your course of study and whatnot, and EEEEEEEE! Seriously, I'm freakign out fangirling over this one :D

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  5. Awesome review! I love dystopian novels and your references to Orwell have me adding this to my must by list!

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    1. Thanks Kimba! I seriously love this book--it was fantastic! :D

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  6. Replies
    1. RIGHT? Every time I look at I feel like I'm having some kind of spiritually transcendant staring competition O____O

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  7. You have really conveyed the mood of this book so well, Sarah. It sounds creepy and terrifying yet compulsive, too! I have been looking forward to this since our twitter convo and I know now that I MUST read it!

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    1. Thanks, Mands! It was SERIOUSLY fantastic. I really want this book to get more attention!

      Delete
  8. Oooh, I love stream-of-consciousness writing. This sounds fascinating - like, I love me some edge-of-the-seat action and swoony romance, but I also love things that make me think. And a heroine you can admire? (I totes read your comment to Natalie above, because I am your own personal, if slightly short stalker. But I stalk with love!)
    Awesome review, as always! xo

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    1. *HUGS*
      I LOVE STALKERS. SERIOUSLY. It's like, a kindred spirit. Also, your comment made me laugh :D

      Your skills make up for your short. You are tiny but FIERCE :D

      Seriously, though... now I'm really curious about your height! NEXT WEEK! NEXT WEEK!

      Delete
  9. Amazing review! I've heard nothing but great things about this book. Might pick it up soon when I get a chance.

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    1. It's FANTASTIC, Erin! I really hope you get a chance and LOVE it! xx

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  10. I can’t stop staring at that cover, those green eyes! Slated sounds so fabulously awesome, I cannot wait to read it for myself. Lovely, lovely review. :)

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    1. Oh my goodness, YES! RIGHT? The book is FANTASTIC, and that COVER! *STARES*

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  11. I am SO intrigued :O After hearing how much you were enjoying it, I entered a giveaway and won myself a copy - yikes! :D Fantastic review, lovely.

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    1. EEEEEEEE! BECCA! I'm SOOOO excited for you to read this, and congrats on winning! ♥

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  12. EEEEEEEEEEEEEE! This one sounds awesome. I love the idea of people being Slated, wiped clean. It is actually a good idea if the government did it fairly. But I assume that is not the case in this book.

    I really want to read this one.

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    1. RIGHT? Oh, seriously, I think that's such a good point... it *COULD* be a great idea... if it was done fairly. But how do you police that? Think of all the false imprisonment cases that have popped up over the last few years. You're as good as putting someone to death, because who they were no longer exists. I think I remember reading an article which listed all the lethal punishment verdicts in Texas, and some of them were wrong. That's frightening. And I mean, all it takes is one corrupt individual, right? *shivers* such a creepy concept, because, well, like you said... it *could* be such a good idea. It could be fantastic... but does it take that long for something to go from fair to twisted? THE POSSIBILITIES!

      Delete
  13. That's another one you've made me add to my towering TBR pile. I could really go for the underlying sinister kind of draconian society right about now.And look at that cover!

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    1. Ahahaha! I both love and hate that feeling. SO excited for more books, and TERRIFIED of... more books. It's an AMAZING book--hope you LOVE it, Lan! xx

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  14. OMG! Sarah my dear @_@
    you totally did it for me with this review. Truth be told, I didnt pay much attention to this book before... until now.
    Slated sounds like a very complex, powerful and also deep read!
    It seems this book has it all! from political situations to touching relationships. OMG! Why have I not this book in my hands? aaah!!!

    Thnx for such wonderful review! Im adding this one to my bag now!

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  15. Amazing review, Sarah! Oooh, you make me want to pick this up right away! I am SO intrigued! How great is it when a book scares you into thinking our own world could quite easily go down the path the world of the book did! IT's just frightening! Thanks for the review!

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  16. Wow! Sarah! I can completely tell how much you adored this book! It sounds brilliant! I like the sound of the world-buliding in this book! thanks for the introduction to Slated! I really want to read it NOW! it sounds so scary and real- the best factors needed in dystopian stories! Fabulous review!

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  17. You're absolutely fantasic at writing reviews that makes me desperate! I've been super curious about this one for a looong time and now you make me want to run to the closest store for it! I love that you mention it sticks with you after finishing and I love an unputdownable book. Lovely review!

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  18. Oooh this sounds soo creeptastic and awesomely awesome!!! I have to buy this like, YESTERDAY!! I love reading gushing reviews they make me so excited I can feel your excitement!! I will be getting this one asap! YES I WILL!!!

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  19. I have CHILLS reading your review, Sarah. I'm all for a more subtle, ominous dystopian read and this sounds amazing. I can't resist this book, especially after your comparisons to Orwell, so I will be getting my hands on it ASAP.

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  20. Ahh... now I'm thinking there might be something wrong with me. I started this a few weeks ago and actually really enjoyed the start, and then I completely FORGOT ABOUT IT! Maybe because I am so easily distracted by other books. :P Anyway, seeing your awesome review has reminded me that I actually need to finish this thing. It sounds absolutely amazing and I hope I have a similar reaction to you. I really want to love this book now. :)

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  21. This sounds absolutely amazing. I appreciate your great review. I don't know if I would have sought this out on my own, but know that I have to read it now.

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    1. It's a seriously fantastic book, Steph! You know, I was the same. I wanted to read it after reading a fantastic review. Hope you enjoy it! xx

      Delete
  22. I can't even tell you how much I want to read this book!!! Oh my gosh, Sarah, I don't think I've seen a SINGLE negative review for it -- which totally makes sense because I've read the first few chapters of this book as teasers, and I was hooked from the start! I wish they sold this in Canadian bookstores, but I think I'm willing to bend some rules to try and get my hands on it ASAP! Gosh, reading this is giving me chills x)

    GORGEOUS REVIEW, SARAH-BARA! I'm still really from how beautifully you described this book... Everyone seriously needs to read it! :') <3

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    1. Oh my goodness, YES. RIGHT?! I don't think I've seen a SINGLE negative review, and I seriously know why. The book's not just brilliantly plotted, but it's gorgeously written, it has an amazing, admirable character and I LOVED it! I read those first few chapters, too! LOVE! I so hope you get your hands on it SOOOON!

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  23. Sarah!!!!! WHAT CAN I SAY? I LOVE YOU AND YOUR AMAZING REVIEW? So..I did want to read Slated but after reading your review, I WANT TO READ IT SO BADLY. You have that power over me :P

    So glad you enjoyed it! ♥

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    1. *hugs*
      CELINE! Thank you! I so SO loved this one, and I seriously hope you get to read it and love it, too!

      Delete
  24. ........ Exactly how are you making me crazy excited/needy to go read a book I have ALREADY read?? I just want to copy and paste your entire review in the comment box and scream "YES!" at you.

    AMAZINGLY well written review, Sarah! You totally GOT it, you captured vibe and the message and... just, everything that made this book such a fantastic story. A creepy-fantastic story, that is. I love when an author can create such a haunting, infuriating system that makes you want to claw your nails at the pages sometimes, because it's so WRONG. IT'S UNFAIR.

    I'm so eager to see where Teri is taking the story next! AND I CAN'T WAIT FOR YOUR EQUALLY BRILLIANT REVIEW <3

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    1. IT IS WITH MY MAGIC BRODIE-BRAIN MANIPULATIONATORY POWERS *CACKLES*

      ASDFGHJGDJGSDL. SERIOUSLY. Slated. Was. AMAZING.
      AND I want EVERYONE to read it because it's so bloody brilliant and and and... WHY HASN'T EVERYONE READ THIS YET?!

      "I love when an author can create such a haunting, infuriating system that makes you want to claw your nails at the pages sometimes, because it's so WRONG. IT'S UNFAIR."

      YESSSS! THIS THIS THIS!

      Delete
  25. Sarah! You totally make me want to read Slated again. I hadn't even thought of how 1984-ish the book was - I was too busy internally screaming about how freaking awesome it was - but you're right, it does have that creepy Big Brother feel to it...creepy in a good way.

    Amazing review...just amazing.

    Kim

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  26. sarah /you a wordsmith
    how do u do it
    i love the sound of it
    txx 4 the amazing review

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  27. I love dystopians. This sounds really enticing.

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  28. Great review! Love this part:
    Slated is not an action-oriented thriller in the ilk of The Hunger Games. It’s not a tale of explosions, or edge-of-seat live-or-die exploits. This is a more underhanded, sly, pervasive threat and menace.

    Underhanded sounds perfect right now. I have been looking forward to this for a while, just waiting for the local library to have it...

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  29. You were telling me to read this one weren't you? It sounds pretty cool.

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  30. I just read Slated yesterday - in one day, that's how good it was. I agree with everything you just said - Kyla was a fasinating main character - so clever and always questioning everything, with a distinct, but likable, personality. I definitely felt that 'palpable sense of foreboding' that 'permeates Slated's pages' too.

    That was such a beautifully written review - you captured perfectly the amazingness of Slated!

    Catherine :)
    The Book Parade

    ReplyDelete

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