Friday, August 19, 2011
Dark Parties by Sara Grant
Long ago, there was the Terror. After that, the Protectosphere was built to keep the people safe and enclosed. All history from before the Terror was erased, and time was reset so there was nothing that came before.
Neva just turned 16, which makes her an adult. She is just starting to rebel, with the help of her friend Sanna. They want to try to convince the government to open the Protectosphere. It's obvious that the population is dying out and food supplies are running low. The government tries to get young adults to get it on to keep the population up, but Neva and her friends made a pact to remain chaste until some real change happens. There's lots of heavy kissing and physical intimacy in the book, more than I usually see in young adult books. I found it kind of refreshing as opposed to books of the Twilight vein, but it might not be for everyone.
The spark of Neva's rebellion is the memories of her grandmother. Neva's grandmother used to tell stories about outside of the Protectosphere, about the snow. Then her grandmother disappeared, and her mother and father pretend she never existed. That's what happens when you disobey the government, you are completely erased. Neva even keeps a list of these people, the Missing, in her journal.
If the rebellion and threat of being written out of your life wasn't enough, Neva starts to fall in love with Sanna's boyfriend. They kiss at a dark party (Party in the complete darkness) at the beginning of the book, and cannot deny their connection. Neva doesn't want to hurt her best friend, but she still feels this spark when she is around Braydon.
Overall, Dark Parties had some really great moments. The big conflict near the end (At the Women's Empowerment Center) had me on the edge of my seat. While I predicted a lot of the twists that came up, they were still fairly shocking. A minor complaint is that I wish they would have given more details about the Terror, or that everything was wrapped up in just one book for once. That never seems to happen anymore these days.
I read a copy of Dark Parties through Netgalley. It's available now.
P.S. Just wanted to add this alternate cover. I think the black one with the red snowflake is awesome and very striking, but this one intrigues me. It's very generic-looking among young adult books these days, I'm fairly certain this never happened in the book...I'm pretty sure I don't like it, is what I'm saying.
You can read more Dystopian reviews during the month of August at Presenting Lenore.