cover image Slated


Teri Terry. Penguin/Paulsen, $17.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-399-16172-8

Memory loss and near-future dystopia have been popular YA themes of late, and while debut author Terry’s dystopia is not always convincing—absent a large-scale catastrophe, it’s hard to believe society is going to give up its gadgetry—her treatment of medically induced amnesia is intriguing. Kyla Davis, who knows that’s not her real name, is 16 and emerging from nine months in the hospital after being “Slated,” or having her memory erased. She is preoccupied with observing and drawing her surroundings, studying them for clues to her old identity. This, readers are told, is unusual, though every “Slater” described in the book differs from the supposed “blank-brained” norm. One is Amy, Kyla’s black adoptive sister; another is Ben, a kind classmate with a knack for discovering information. There is little by way of conventional plot; the focus is on Kyla’s unfolding awareness and gradual piecing together of the puzzle that is her past. Intriguing, yes, but also frustrating—at the end of this book (a sequel arrives next year in the U.K.), there’s much left to happen in the plot. Ages 12–up. Agent: Caroline Sheldon, Caroline Sheldon Literary Agency. (Jan.)