My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
Source: Netgalley (received to review)
Book Description: Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.
But Nine isn't like every other batcher. She harbors indecision
and worries about her upcoming Remake Day -- her seventeenth birthday, the age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to choose who and what they'll be.
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom
Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is
pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test
her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?
My thoughts: This book provoked many different thoughts and feelings for me.
Basically, it's a dystopian book where the people of Freedom 1's hormones are repressed until they turn 17. They don't go through a natural maturation process. This allows them the opportunity to be "remade". They can pick their gender, their skin color, teeth color, hair color, every thing a person can imagine about appearance can be altered to personal preference.
Nine is the main character. She is female. Her appearance is odd because she has red hair and freckles. At least it begins to grow out red, until her head is shaved, another way to keep the children without an identity. On her 17th birthday she boards a shuttle to go to the remake facility. Her plane crashes into the ocean and she is picked up by Islanders. Their society is a traditional society. It is made up of families, where people live with the attributes they are born with. They are loved and have consequences for decisions, emotional support, and mental stability.
The idea of a family is new to Nine. All of the beliefs that she grew up with are challenged and she learns to adapt and think outside of the module she knows.
I liked that this book took a hard look at the importance of families. It gave a perspective that freedom doesn't come by choosing to change our bodies, it comes from inside and having friends and family to love and accept you.
I had a hard time with some of the situations in the book. They weren't bad, just a little uncomfortable. Physical intimacy is looked at clinically. I don't think I would let younger YA readers read the book. There is material that require maturity.
I don't know if this is a stand alone book. There is a lot of places that Ilima Todd can take this story. I am interested to find out more about this dystopian society and hope that implodes! Overall, I would say that this is a good debut for this author.
About the Author: ILIMA TODD was born and raised on the north shore of Oahu and currently resides in the Rocky Mountains. She never wanted to be a writer even though she loves books and reading. She earned a degree in physics instead. But the characters in her head refused to be ignored, and now she spends her time writing science fiction for teens. When she is not writing, Ilima loves to spend time with her husband and four children.