Series: Slated #1
Published by: Orchard Books on May 3, 2012
Genre: Dystopian, Mystery, Science Fiction, Young Adult
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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?
Slated has one of the coolest stories to it. Ever. It takes place in futuristic England where young teenage criminals are given a second chance. Rather than being put to death or imprisoned for life, they can be “rehabilitated” by being Slated. Their memories and personalities are erased and they are given a clean slate. They start over from scratch, relearn the basics, and most importantly, they are equipped with a “Levo” device. This device monitors their emotions and their happiness levels. If they get too sad or too angry, their Levo device knocks them out and can even kill them. This is to prevent the criminals from reverting back to their old, violent ways.
So this story is basically about Kyla being Slated and given a new adopted home. She goes to school and tries to fit in. But along the way she starts remembering things, presumably from her old life, even though that shouldn’t be possible. She begins to question everything around her and doesn’t know who to trust.
I just thought the ideas in this book were great. I loved the idea of teenage criminals who were supposedly so bad that they had to be wiped clean. I loved the conspiracy surrounding this, and the awesome technology it involved.
I also thought Kyla was a great character. Despite having her memory erased, Kyla is constantly thinking for herself. She learns very quickly, is incredibly perceptive, and doesn’t blindly accept everything as fact. This made her a very likable character because I felt like I could quite easily be her. As a reader, I’m sitting there desperately trying to find answers. I wanted to know what was going on. What’s the truth behind the Slateds? Where are these people disappearing to? Why was she Slated in the first place? And Kyla was right there with me asking all those questions. Although I loved that about her, that is kind of where my first issue with the book arises..
Kyla asks all the right questions — all the questions that I wanted answers to. But after 448 pages, I felt like almost none of those questions were actually answered. There was so much information I was desperately starving for, but by the time I got to the end of the book, it still wasn’t there. It was honestly pretty frustrating because the book was a little slow at times but I kept telling myself, “Surely the ending will be epic!” ..but it wasn’t really. We do get bits and pieces of information, but it wasn’t the “z0mg all revealing” ending I was hoping for. On the bright side, I am inclined to think that this means the second book will be epic. There are so many unanswered questions and I’m desperately hoping that all will be revealed in book #2. If they are, then I’m sure book #2 will be incredible!
As for some other characters, I loved some and didn’t like some. Most of them, I loved. I adored Kyla’s mum and dad because my first impressions were totally off. At the beginning, Kyla’s dad is portrayed as the nice guy who’s on her side, and her mum is portrayed as the evil, overbearing, dragon mother. But as the story progresses, they almost completely switch roles. We become very suspicious of Kyla’s dad because there are just so many questions.. and once again, there’s mystery surrounding her mum, but it seems like she might be more on Kyla’s side than we originally thought!
Many of the other characters were very similar to Kyla’s mum and dad in the sense that I was constantly doubting their intentions. I literally had no idea who I could trust, who was a government pawn, and who actually sympathized with Kyla and saw her as a person rather than a criminal to experiment on.
The one character I really didn’t like was Ben. I just felt like I didn’t “get” him, and that’s a shame because he’s a really key character and a love interest develops between him and Kyla. He’s Slated, just like she is. At the beginning I got the sense that he was kind of a clueless guy. Most of the Slateds are very unlike Kyla. Unlike her, they accept everything without question and they’re often just smiley, bubbly, and thoughtless. That’s what Ben seemed like. I just felt like he didn’t really fit well with Kyla. She’s one who questions everything, who’s dying for answers, who wants the truth. But Ben is just happy in his little mind-wiped bubble. I didn’t feel the spark or the chemistry between them.
But issues aside, Slated was a really intriguing story. Teri Terry has created a fascinating world, and man, she knows all the right buttons to push to have me clawing for answers. I’m literally dying to see the conspiracies unravel and the truths to fall into place. That’s why I’m desperately hoping that the second book, Fractured, will put all the pieces into place and have that BIG BANG that I’m hoping for.