Author: Lu, Marie
In a dark future, when North America has split into two warring nations, fifteen-year-olds Day, a famous criminal, and prodigy June, the brilliant soldier hired to capture him, discover that they have a common enemy.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: UG
Reading Level: 4.80
Points: 11.0 Quiz: 148251
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 9-12
Reading Level: 5.40
Points: 18.0 Quiz: 57480
School Library Journal (00/10/11)
Booklist (+) (10/15/11)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/12/11)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 10/01/2011 Gr 8 Up—In this futuristic tale told in alternating voices, the United States has devolved into factions and California is a part of the Republic. The people are oppressed, except for the privileged few, and Day is carrying out a raid on a hospital for plague medicine for his family. Readers learn that he has been fighting against the Republic for some time, with phenomenal success. Unfortunately, his raid ends with a Republic soldier wounded, and Day is also injured while making his escape. The other narrator is June, who is Republic-trained, privileged, and also in possession of remarkable abilities. She vows vengeance on her brother's killer—he is the wounded soldier. June knows about Day, and she also knows that he doesn't kill, so why did he kill her brother? It's a good question, since he didn't. There is plenty of intrigue and underhanded dealing going on, mostly by Republic officials. The mystery surrounding June's brother and the constant recurrence of various strains of plague are solved by the end, with June and Day joining forces to fight injustice. The door is left open for a sequel since June and Day make their escape and head toward the Colonies (the western part of the former United States not including California) to seek aid in their fight against tyranny. The characters are likable, the plot moves at a good pace, and the adventure is solid. This is a fine choice for those who enjoyed Gemma Malley's The Declaration (Bloomsbury, 2007), Cory Doctorow's Little Brother (Tor, 2008), and fans of the "Star Wars" franchise.—Robin Henry, Wakeland High School, Frisco, TX - Copyright 2011 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 12/01/2011 These days, the United States is a historical legend, a distant dream of a time when the Republic and the Colonies were a single nation, before the floods and shortages and plague. Now the Republic is a totalitarian nightmare, battling both the Colonies and a homegrown terrorist group called the Patriots while suppressing all dissent and social mobility among its citizens. Pitted against each other amid all this are two teens (who take turns narrating): June, an orphaned, privileged prodigy and rising military star, and Day, a whip-smart, good-hearted street kid whose nonviolent subversive crimes and ability to escape capture have made him the Republic’s most-wanted offender. When Day is framed for June’s brother’s murder, June receives an expedited graduation and an order to hunt him down; luckily, fortune throws them together anonymously, and by the time June figures out just who it is that rescued her from a street fight, doubts about his guilt are (given that one super-hot kiss) inevitable. Unfortunately, so is his arrest and that of his family, so that June’s gradual rejection of everything she’s been taught about the virtue of the Republic coincides with increasingly perilous subterfuge, investigation, and escape efforts. The lightning pace, epically evil institutional bad guy, and compelling central mystery (who did kill June’s brother?) make this an easy sell, while the extent to which June is morally compromised by her actions throughout the book adds depth and offers an intriguing mirror image of the usual dynamic of powerful, conflicted boy and kind, determined girl. Fans of The Hunger Games (BCCB 11/08) will be all over this far-future tale of costly personal heroism in the face of brutal oppression. CG - Copyright 2011 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.
Booklist - 10/15/2011 *Starred Review* All right, it has a plague. And, yes, it’s set in some semblance of America in the not-so-distant future. Yet even with all the hordes of dystopian novels out there, this one still manages to keep readers on the edge of their seats. But even the nonstop action would mean little without Lu’s well-toned ability to write characters to care about. One is June, a daughter of the Republic. Her perfect scores at the Trial have insured a great future for her. Then there is Day. A hero to the street people, he fights injustice and keeps an eye on his brothers and mothers as they try to survive. Their narratives, told in alternating and distinctively voiced chapters, describe how circumstances bring them together. Day kills June’s beloved soldier brother as he tries to get medicine for his own. With cold precision, June makes it her mission to exact revenge. What happens next, in macro terms, probably won’t surprise, yet the delicious details keep pages turning to learn how it’s all going to play out. Combine star-crossed lovers with the need to take down the Republic, and you’ve got the makings for a potent sequel. - Copyright 2011 Booklist.