From the second you’re born, every achievement, every failing, and every significant moment are all immortalized on your skin. There are honorable marks that let people know you’re trustworthy. And shameful tattoos that announce you as a traitor.
After her father dies, Leora finds solace in the fact that his skin tells a wonderful story. That is, until she glimpses a mark on the back of his neck… the symbol of the worst crime a person can commit in Saintstone. Leora knows it has to be a mistake, but before she can do anything about it, the horrifying secret gets out, jeopardizing her father’s legacy… and Leora’s life.
In her startling prescient debut, Alice Broadway shines a light on the dangerous measures we take to make our world feel orderly–even when the truth refuses to stay within the lines. This rich, lyrical fantasy with echoes of Orwell is unlike anything you’ve ever read, a tale guaranteed to get under your skin…
I received this ARC from Scholastic in exchange for my honest review. I just got it in yesterday and read through it last night.
I must admit that a beautiful cover often sends up a red flag for me. Is the cover beautiful because the book is crap, which often tends to be the case? Not where this book is concerned. Wow! Not only is the cover simply gorgeous, the book is outstanding, original and excellently written!
I have no tattoos and the idea of getting one doesn’t appeal to me, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like them.
When reading this book, you are introduced to a society that tattoos all achievements and failures on their skin for people to trust them. In essence, until you die, you’re a living book. When you die, they make your life into a skin book so that your memory will live on.
People who do not wish to be tattooed are called Blanks and they are feared. I wish the Blanks were discussed more in the book to further my understanding of their choices.
So as previously stated, this is a Dystopian world with a corrupt government. The book is written in first person, which I’m not usually a fan of, but after reading the book, felt this was necessary for the story to succeed. I have to warn you that there is a “chosen one” element for those who hate stories with this trope. It didn’t interfere with my liking the book.
I absolutely loved all the references to fairy tales made all through the book.
I found the writing lacking in enthusiasm but I must admit, this too worked well for the story overall in a dystopian setting filled with repression, discrimination and corruption. Anything bouncy and flowery would have failed the story. Sometimes, simple is better which describes the world-building done by the author. It was beautiful but not embellished and over the top.
This book is part of a series, I believe, and if not, it should be because of how many issues and topics were left unanswered.
The only real flaw I found in this book: The Character Development.
I found it incomplete or weak at times. The interaction of characters was also lacking and needed more. The Protagonist didn’t feel complete by the end of the story and she appeared two-dimensional rather than fully rounded. I felt that character development was not the author’s strong point. I did enjoy the relationship between the Protagonist and her friend, I just would have liked that type of character development for all.
Overall, this is such a great idea and a wonderful read. I haven’t seen the hardcover as my copy was an uncorrected proof in paperback format. I’m told it’s going to be just as beautiful and I may consider buying it for my bookshelf…just cuz! 🙂 lol
I gave this book: