Monday, August 3, 2015

Nandi Reviews - Riot by Sarah Mussi

Title: Riot
Author: Sarah Mussi
Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

the enforced sterilisation of all teenagers without
secure university places or guaranteed jobs.
The Teen Haves will be safe.
The Teen Have Nots will suffer.
It’s time for teenagers to take to the streets.
It’s time for their voices to be heard.
It’s time for them to RIOT.

This is one of those rare books that deals with a situation that, although not real, is a very real possibility, and really makes you think while reading it. The story is set in England, and deals with issues of poverty, over population, lack of jobs, and the government’s attempt at fixing these problems. Their solution is forced sterilisation for all teenagers from families in the lower and middle classes. Tia is our main character, and she faces a moral dilemma; does she look after herself, or does she fight for the needs of the people at a huge risk to herself. She is a very likeable character, and I would like to think that if I were placed in a similar situation, I would make similar choices.

The story is primarily a political one, but seen through the eyes of a teenager. There were a couple of moments where I started getting frustrated with the political explanations, but the story is fast paced enough that this doesn’t detract from the overall enjoyability of the book. There are so many unexpected twists in the plot that will keep you on your toes and guessing throughout your read. Although the story is seen through the eyes of a 16 year old, this book isn’t for very young readers, as there are scenes of violence that could be quite disturbing because of the realistic nature of the story.

There is, of course, a love story, although this is a background story rather than something that we focus on. The story is set over a very short period of time (less than a week, until the epilogue), and Mussi deals with the romantic aspect very realistically, in that the characters don’t fall in love at first sight, and they learn a lot about each other before anything really develops.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story, and won’t hesitate in reading more Sarah Mussi books.

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