Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dark Parties ~ Sara Grant review

Dark Parties
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
August 3, 2011
320 pages

Sixteen-year-old Neva along with everyone she knows and lives with, has been trapped since the day she was born. Their society lives under the Protectosphere.

In this isolated nation, they are ruled by fear and taught that everything and everyone (that may or may or may not have managed to survive) outside of the Protectosphere is dangerous and bad. They are safe in the sphere.

With the outside world destroyed by warfare (or so the government says), no one should want out of their safe world, but Neva and her friends are teenagers now . . . and questioning things.

After hosting a 'dark party' and starting an underground rebellion, Neva starts to uncover the truth. And the lies might go even deeper (and closer to home) than she expected.

Dark Parties is sort of an awesome mix of The Simpsons movie (with the dome?) and The Line (with its line). The isolationism and xenophobia that is discussed/addressed in the novel adds a depth to it that would have been missed (because they were such great parts of the book) if they hadn't been there.

While Dark Parties is probably one of the darkest (if not the darkest) stories I have read lately, but it doesn't feel dark when you're reading it. The content is dark, the story is dark, and it really does get into your head, but somehow the tone stays light and doesn't drag you down while reading.

It's definitely a book that pulls you in and one you can't put down easily.

The characters' relationships were well built (and all seemed to keep well with the way the Dark Parties society functioned), the tension was high (sometimes very) and I loved the world/society that was built.

This is a wonderful first YA novel (it's be a wonderful second or third, too!) and I hope Sara Grant has more YA published in the future.


thanks to the publisher for my copy of this great novel

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