In the not-too-distant future, the United Regions of America has formed. Governors hold territories instead of states, and while Washington, DC, is gone, the government has more control than ever before. For fifteen-year-old Vivica Wilkins, the daughter of a governor, this is life as usual. High school seems pretty much the same–until one day, that controlling power steps right through the door during study hall. When Vivica speaks out to defend her pregnant friend against the harsh treatment of Population Management Officer Marina Ward, she has no idea she’s sowing the seeds of a revolution in her own life. But it isn’t long before she discovers her own illegal pregnancy. Now she has to decide whether to get the mandatory abortion–or follow her heart, try to keep the baby, and possibly ruin her mother’s chances at becoming president. A rebel group called the Emancipation Warriors, who are fighting to restore freedoms once held unalienable, offer her asylum. Can Vivica trust these rebels to help her or will they bring everything crashing down around her? Accepting their help may come with consequences she isn’t ready to face. Marissa Shrock’s debut novel crafts a chilling story of what may be to come if we allow the economic and moral crises currently facing our country to change the foundations on which we built our independence–and of the difference one person can make when they choose to trust God’s lead.
When I started reading this book, I couldn’t believe it was Shrock’s first novel. It is a really, really good book for a debut novel. Usually when a book arrives in the mail to review, I thumb through it and then put it at the bottom of the stack so that I read them in order. When this one arrived, once I thumbed through it, I read it straightaway! I couldn’t put it down.
This book has it all – the characters are interesting, the plot is intriguing and fast-paced, and the message is meaningful. Obviously Shrock knows her target audience very well and captures the essence of teen angst. The best part of this book is the character development. Each character develops and changes throughout the book, but in a way that is realistic and true to the integrity of the character. Even some surprises that are revealed about a character are believable.
There really isn’t anything I didn’t like about this book. I think it has an enormous amount of appeal to the target audience (young adults) and anyone else who enjoys this genre. I hope Shrock publishes another book soon. I can’t wait.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kregel Publications in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.