In her debut novel (first in a proposed trilogy), Lu offers up two kick-ass 15-year-olds living in what is now the Republic of California. Day is a street kid causing numerous problems for the totalitarian government; June is a Republic prodigy with an uncanny skill for sniffing out miscreants. When their paths inevitably cross, June hates Day because she believes him responsible for her brother's death. When she learns the truth, she tries to save Day from execution by Republic officials who hide even more horrendous secrets. VERDICT Competent readers Steven Kaplan (Day) and Mariel Stern (June) do a solid job of keeping the suspense flowing. With an impending CBS Films movie already generating positive buzz, this book is certain to be popular.--Joseph L. Carlson, Vandenberg Air Force Base Lib., Lompoc, CA[Page 66]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Gr 7 Up--Fans of dystopian stories will relish the first title (Putnam, 2011) in a planned trilogy by first-time author Marie Lu. June, 15, was born into a world of privilege. Los Angeles is the home of the Republic, a proud nation battling against scum from the Colonies. Devastating plagues have decimated the population, but the elite have little to fear. June is a prodigy, having achieved a perfect score on her Trial. After her beloved brother is killed by Day, the Republic's number one criminal, June is plucked for top military service to track Day down and bring him to justice. Fifteen-year-old Day was born into the slums of the Republic. After he failed his Trial, he managed to escape certain death and has lived on the edge, watching over his family from afar and doing all he can to upset the Republic elite. He cautiously befriends June but realizes too late his mistake. Narrators Mariel Stern and Steven Kaplan turn in vivid first-person performances, and the dual narration adds interest and keeps the story moving at a brisk pace. Lu has written an exciting first novel with a fascinating setting, intense characters, and non-stop action. Fans of Suzanne Collins's "Hunger Games" trilogy will welcome this thrilling new series and eagerly await the sequel scheduled for fall 2012 release.--Tricia Melgaard, formerly Broken Arrow Public Schools, Tulsa, OK[Page 81]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.