Amid the array of YA dystopian romance available, Swain (Josie Griffin Is Not a Vampire) stands out for sheer clamor. Thalia Apple, 17, is a child of privilege in a marketing/surveillance-bombarded, corporate-controlled world. Thalia has no compunction about hacking and sabotaging the corporation that makes her privileges possible, but she does feel shame about one thing—she’s hungry. Since the sensation of hunger was declared to be eradicated decades earlier, and all nutritional needs are met with Synthamil, the atavistic rumbling of her stomach makes her a target for mental and genetic reprogramming. Thalia privately acknowledges the necessity, but she’s reluctant to be sent away for “inpatient treatment”—she’s just met a boy, and he makes her tremble in an equally forbidden way. Basil knows astonishing secrets, like how to recreate the smell of chocolate, and his friends, called Analogs, are part of an underworld that challenges the corporate hegemony more profoundly than Thalia’s fellow hackers ever dreamed. The plot unfolds in fairly predictable ways, but the sensation-saturated world that Swain describes gives the story fresh interest. Ages 13–up. Agent: Stephanie Kip Rostan, Levine Greenberg Literary Agency. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/07/2014 Release date: 06/03/2014 Genre: Children's
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