The government has taken over. American is great, the rest of the world is wrong. Women are to be raised, appraised, and sold. Dumb, beautiful women are desired. Submissive women who do as their husbands desire. Boys are soldiers dedicated solely to protecting their country.
The gov't become The Registry. Humans are only told what the Registry wants them to know.
Mia has just been appraised and bought for 500,000 dollars, but having just seen her sister beaten and abused, finally begins to question the way they live. What is happening in other countries? Are women treated this way? Could she maybe escape and have a say in her life?
Her, her friend, and Andrew, a farmhand traveling being he enlists, end up on an adventure as they try to escape to Mexico, a cruel, evil billionaire hot on their trail, leaving bodies in the wake of his fancy helicopter.
What I enjoyed about this novel is the complete thought-evoking world the author created. I actually found myself nodding, imaging this could very well happen if we're not careful. And Andrew...I found his plight/situation the most fascinating of all. Boy are abandoned, thrown out. It's assumed that they will be better soldiers if they grow up without love, connections, if they are forced to fend for themselves. Andrew is like a trained robot who slowly begins to feel, but doesn't know what to do about his emotions. To add to the robot-feel of the men in the story, they often fail to speak in contractions. Their prose is very robotic.
The heroine...I have mixed feelings about her. She seems bratty and selfish a lot, but then she was raised to be this good-for-nothing wife who just looks good and cooks. Like any teenager, suddenly she has freedom--not only to get into trouble, but to FEEL and act on those feelings--and naturally this leads to swapping spit with two different boys as she experiments. I just didn't care for the love triangle aspect of it and the fact she was willing to behave like this when people are literally DYING so she can have her freedom.
Truly, a fascinating plot and conflict though. The book also has these bits of The Girls' and Boys' Guides to this futurist world that at times made me laugh out loud.
"...female physical desires will be satisfied with intense pleasure on a wife's marriage night. Over the length of the marriage more pleasure will be afforded the wife, some so intense and glorious it would be unladylike to put them into words."
"There is no gray area when it comes to war. All others are wrong and we are always right."
Galley received from Edelweiss and quote may be slightly different in the published version. Three bikes.