Author: Charbonneau, Joelle
Chicago teen Meri Beckley's pride of living in a land of peace, prosperity, and truth crumbles when questions following her mother's death reveal buried facts, especially that words can have great power.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 5.50
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 507012
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2019 Following in the footsteps of Vonnegut and Orwell (sometimes very closely), Charbonneau (Time Bomb, 2018) explores a future America in which paper is illegal, crime is nearly eradicated, and the government-run news is never questioned. Meri Beckley is grateful for peace on the streets of Chicago, but that doesn’t change the facts that her mother went missing (supposedly killed in a car crash) and her father has started drinking excessively. As Meri tries to untangle the work her mother was doing before she died, she discovers there is more going on in—and below—the city than meets the eye. As tensions rise and Meri discovers strength she never thought herself capable of, she finds herself at the center of a war between the government and those trying to reveal the truth buried beneath the government’s carefully curated news cycles. This (book one in a series) is a thriller about the power of words for teens living in a society full of “fake news” and attempts to mislead the public at large.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The topical relevance of this series starter will likely spawn another best-seller for Charbonneau. - Copyright 2019 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 08/01/2019 Gr 7 Up—In the near future, trust in the media is implicit. Before she died, Merriel "Meri" Beckley's mother was her hero and role model, an artist for the City Pride Department whose goal was to beautify Chicago and inspire the community. But everything Meri knows about her world is thrown into doubt when she sees a man being arrested for possessing paper, something that authorities have declared obsolete but not actually illegal. In the wake of this bombshell, Meri embarks on a path to discover the truth about the paper and her mother's sudden death. Meri's suspicions that all is not right are confirmed when she gets a piece of paper herself with an unfamiliar word on it: verify. When she looks up the strange word, an error code appears, along with the police. Meri is a complex protagonist, struggling with both the death of her mother and her father's drinking to cope with the loss. The characters Meri meets along the way encourage her to grow, while her best friend Rose is her only steady support system and sounding board. VERDICTThe Matrix meets 1984 in this page-turner about a teen faced with the choice to opt out or delve even deeper.—Rebecca Greer, Hillsborough County Public Library Cooperative, FL - Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.