Friday, 3 August 2012

YA Book Review: 'Slated' by Teri Terry

by Teri Terry

Published: May 3rd, 2012
Publisher: Orchard Books
Format: Paperback
Pages: 448

Cover Art

A year ago, I don't think I would have liked this cover at all. I was fully against photographs of faces on covers, and although my feelings haven't really changed, I do kinda like this one. It has an impact, and the girl's face really is how I imagine Kyla. She is known for her green eyed stare.

Plot Synopsis

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 Rating:

First Lines:
'' Weird. Alright, I haven't got much experience on which to base this judgement. " 
Pocket-Size Review
I feel this book is a very 'standard' YA. Bit of action, bit of romance, OK dystopian world but full of cracks and nothing spectacular.

Highs: I read this book in a day...all 448 pages of it. It is addictive and will make you want to know how it is going to unravel at the end. A YA version of 'Before I Go to Sleep'.
Lows: WHY OH WHY IS THIS A SERIES?! Too long anyway, and should have been a stand alone. It is average in every way and doesn't warrant more dragging out.


Meh. That is the word that comes to mind when reviewing this book. It is entertaining but, in my opinion, ultimately soulless and empty. The world which Terry has created does not excite or inspire me; it is very flat and unconvincing. I read this book in a day which shows that it was gripping enough to keep my attention and was pretty addictive, but what is addictive usually isn't good for you.

The main character is completely unmemorable and too weak and cowardly to be called a heroine. I actually did forget her name whilst writing this review and had to go back to the book and look it up. She is just kinda pathetic, particularly towards the end of the novel. She has been Slated (her mind wiped), but she is different somehow and little clues about her past life being to come back to her. I like how information is drip fed to the reader in this way as it makes you want to find out what happened to her, and discover the truth. However, this is not a stand alone which, in my opinion, is criminal. Books like this SHOULD be stand alone...there should be a tremendous crescendo at the end when all the loose ends get tied up and things are resolved. Can I get a resolution up in here? But no. I for one will have forgotten everything that happened in this book by the time the sequel comes out so I doubt I'll read it. Also on principle I don't want to encourage writers to drag their books out into long winded, pointless series. But that's just me.

Despite the main character not clicking for me, I did really like the way Teri Terry wrote all the other supporting characters in the book (with the exception of love interest Ben but we'll come to him next). What I find that YA is often guilty of is making characters very black and white, slotted into moulds of either 'good' or 'bad'. If you are good you are amazing, incredible, beautiful, and if you are bad you are PURE EVIL. In this novel, the characters have good and bad qualities and, as their relationship with the main character changes, her opinion of them changes too. At first, Kyla likes certain people who seem warm and friendly, and dislikes others who seem cold and stern. However, we see their different sides and see how they react to certain things, and this means that our, the readers, perception of the characters is changing alongside Kyla's. I despise novels that make it completely obvious from the beginning who the bad apples are and have the characters pick up on it straight away (I'm looking at you 'The Selection' by Keira Cass). Don't TELL us who to love or hate, MAKE us love or hate them through their actions. I especially loved Kyla's mum. She fluctuates throughout and you never know what to make of her. I likes that.

Right. Let's move on to what made this novel go from 'meh...I'm liking it well enough' to 'oh god make it stop I have never cringed this much in my life'...and that was love interest Ben. Now. This book absolutely DOES NOT need a love interest. At all. As I have already ranted, it is a series so some light flirtation would have sufficed, and the romance could have developed later down the road. But no. This 'romance' is just so gratuitous and forced that it made me want to kick something. Why must every YA book have a romance squeezed into it? It's like that marshmallow game...shove in one too many and it'll make you sick. This made me sick. Ben is such an underdeveloped and superfluous character, and his presence is just...pointless. I hate Ben. I hate him with the fire of a thousand suns. 

Despite my issues with this book, I did get creeped out by it a bit so I feel that is a good thing. I like creeping myself out and reading this at night gave me some heebie jeebies. There is this creepy guy in a van character who had me spooked...he follows young girls into the woods and tries to molest them. Need I say more? 

Overall, this book was addictive and did (just about) keep my interest until the end. Perhaps if I got a pair of scissors and chopped out the bits that mention 'he who is a pointless love interest' I would be more enamored by this book. As it is, I have pretty much forgotten it already.

Other Thoughts

This Book has Inspired me to Read: Not much, but it did give me the desire to re-read 'Divergent' so I can finally dig in to 'Insurgent'! 

Three Words to Describe this Book: Addictive, Average, Dystopian.

But Don't Take My Word For It: 
  • Blog Reviews of  'Slated': 

' While Slated may occasionally fall into some of the fluffy-dystopia traps (not every book needs a romance, dammit!), it generally wiggles itself right back out of those traps, and more importantly, touches on what makes dystopia dystopia - it feels like it could happen. '

' A really nice change of pace in the dystopian department, Slated promises to be an intriguing thriller like drama.  I can't wait to hear more about Fractured, and what Teri Terry has in store for this series.' 


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