Tuesday, 30 April 2013

UKYA Review: Slated by Teri Terry

Published by: Orchard Books
Release date:
3rd May 2012
Slated #1
I got it from:
Quote:It is one thing to ask questions; what do you do with the answers?” 
Goodreads summary:

Kyla’s memory has been erased,
her personality wiped blank,
her memories lost for ever.

She’s been Slated.

The government claims she was a terrorist, and that they are giving her a second chance - as long as she plays by their rules. But echoes of the past whisper in Kyla’s mind. Someone is lying to her, and nothing is as it seems. Who can she trust in her search for the truth?

My review: 
I resisted reading Slated for quite a while - I'm not a massive fan of dystopia - it has to be just right to grab me. But I'm taking part in the British books challenge, and Slated finally found its way onto my reading list. I'm glad it did.

Set just far enough in the future, in and England that is recognisable but altered, Slated is a very interesting book. This England is a closed state, cut off from Europe and controlled by a powerful coalition government and its Lorders (Law & Order Operatives). The Lorders watch everything, and if something, or someone, threatens the system, they deal with it.

Kyla has been slated - her memory has been wiped, making her a brand new person. She has learned to walk and talk again, surprising everyone with the speed at which she picks things up, and now she is ready to be part of a family again. Act normal, don't question anything, allow yourself to be re-integrated into society, and above all keep your emotion level up. This is the Slated way. Get too sad, angry or upset, and the Levo on your wrist will react - first buzzing a warning. Eat some chocolate, stroke a cat, go to your happy place - get your level up. Because if it continues to drop, the Levo will take over - knock you out to prevent further damage. Lower than 2, and it will be permanent. The Levo is a tool of compromise - for those who care about slateds to make sure they are happy enough, and for those who worry that they will return to their old ways to make sure they don't do anything bad.

Slated kids don't have an easy time. Recognisable by the Levo band on their wrist, they are a target for bullying. You can see why in a way - they were slated in the first place because they'd done something wrong. Would you like to share classes with a possible murderer? Just because they can't remember what they did, does that make them incapable of doing it again? Just one example of the many interesting questions this book raises. Slated would be an ideal book to study in school - the writing is interesting and powerful, and Terry's world is eerily close enough to our own that it raises lots of good discussion points.

There has to be an element of romance of course, and this time it comes in the shape of Ben - another Slated at Kyla's school. The romance is more a nice little side story though - it's not the main focus by far. Much more important is what's going on - people are disappearing, either taken by Lorders or suffering from 'accidents', and Kyla's new parents are not all they seem. Even her doctor and teachers are full of surprises - warning her to stay under the radar yet full of leading questions. Who can she trust?

Slated kept me gripped from start to finish, and had me frustrated at the end, which leaves us with more unanswered questions than a particularly tricky edition of university challenge!

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