Chicago around the year 2073 is not the Chicago we know today. Crime-infested, run-down areas have been cleared of blight and are models of prosperity and community involvement. The one internet provider and the one news source sanctioned by the governing council reduce confusion about and misinterpretation of what’s happening in society. Books and paper are obsolete, and citizens are encouraged to turn in any found paper items to the regional recycling center not just for cash but also to demonstrate their commitment to improving the environment. The US has withdrawn interest and participation in all foreign affairs, focusing instead on what’s happening within its own borders. Chicagoans are living the good life, or so it seems.
Sixteen-year-old Meri and her father are struggling to adjust to the accidental death of their mother/wife, with each coping in isolation from each other. Meri’s dad barely functions and his alcoholism threatens his job. Meri spends her time puzzling over her mother’s artwork, looking for answers for her mother’s distant attitude and changes in behavior. Though she wants to be an artist like her mother, she finds it hard to complete the required portfolio for applying to the City Art Program to which she has long aspired. Mainly, she seeks answers to what really happened to her mother. Odd sightings and incidents involving people who seem to know who she is lead her to discover a secretive group that has the answers she is seeking.
This book is a real page-turner, touching on all the major issues that have our society pretty much in constant turmoil right now: Who has the right to control access to information that may threaten the status quo of those in power? On whom can you count to tell you the truth when the news is controlled by a select group of media outlets? Do people really want to know what’s going on, anyway? How on earth do you effect change when the majority seems uninterested in pursuing it? I felt like I was reading a primer for 2019 politics, quite frankly. This would be a great discussion book for a YA government class.
There’s nothing objectionable in this book. Flagged items in the book are for references to alcoholism, violence, and mild profanity (hell, damn, pain-in-the-ass and such). Buy this one for your library and for your YA friends and relatives.
Categories: Art, Books We Recommend, Books with No Objectionable Content, Civil Rights, Controversial YA Topics, Crime, Death and Grieving, Diversity, Dystopian Societies, Navigating through High School, Peer Relationships, Political Activism, Social Disorders, Social Media, Violence