September 23, 2013

Review: Slated by Teri Terry

Slated (Slated #1)
Author: Teri Terry
Release Date: January 24th, 2013
Publisher: Nancy Paulsen Books
Page Count: 346
Source: Purchased
Rating: The beginning of something really exciting.
Kyla has been Slated—her memory and personality erased as punishment for committing a crime she can’t remember. The government has taught her how to walk and talk again, given her a new identity and a new family, and told her to be grateful for this second chance that she doesn’t deserve. It’s also her last chance—because they’ll be watching to make sure she plays by their rules.

As Kyla adjusts to her new life, she’s plagued by fear. Who is she, really? And if only criminals are slated, why are so many innocent people disappearing? Kyla is torn between the need to know more and her instinct for self-preservation. She knows a dangerous game is being played with her life, and she can’t let anyone see her make the wrong move... but who can she trust when everyone is a stranger?

[Summary Source: Goodreads]

You know how when kids today behave badly (y'know, break the law and such) they end up in youth detention center or whatever? Well, in the nearish future, in London, after lots of riots and way too much scientific advancements, children under the age of 16 who misbehave (not even by breaking the law) have a tendency to get pulled out of their everyday lives by these guys called the Lorders. But they're not reprimanded and returned. They're Slated. They have all their memories wiped away and then they're placed with a brand new family. If THAT'S not insane enough, after getting Slated, these kids have to wear these bracelets that monitor their MOODS until their 21. If they exhibit extreme amounts of rage or upset, these bracelets could possibly kill the wearer. For being upset.

Let's break this down:

I'm still on this whole coma for being upset thing. Today I got upset with a friend because we had tentative plans and didn't text me to let me know one way or the other if we were hanging out. In fact, I'm still kind of annoyed with him because he knows that's one of my pet peeves. So basically, if I were a Slated, my wrist would be buzzing right now and I'd have to correct my justified upset in order to keep away from falling into a coma and potentially dying.

Yeah. That's how messed up this book is.

I guess it's a way to control emotion. To keep people happy and on the straight and narrow. To cultivate a positive society. And it maybe sounds like a good idea, but the means that get to the end could only be devised by a truly warped dystopian government. So good job on totally freaking me out, book.

Insanely twisted world building aside, my love for Kyla should be noted. In Book 1, Kyla's basic personality is supposed to be that of a flat, happy Slated. But even when she honestly believes that's all she is, she's so much more. It's not just the nightmares she has that tell her she's so much more, it's that she honestly believes that's not all there is to being who she is. Obviously, grappling with the question of who she is can be and is very difficult when you have no memories and everyone wants to pretend you don't have a past, but I think Kyla does this admirably.

I also really like the other characters in this book. Kyla's new family is complex and kind of slippery. Just when you think you have the family dynamic figured out, it all twists around and suddenly you're not sure anymore. It takes a while to figure out everyone's patterns and it's honestly so very interesting to watch.

Ben's progression as a character is also something to keep your eye on. I love how he's both a standard Slated and not. He can't fight his programming and proves that being Slated is a really, really bad idea (even though no one but Kyla's really taking note) but he also shows that these people who've been Slated really are people, no matter what you do to their brain. Except for the fact that he kind of falls for Kyla FAST. Although again, I blame that on the Slating. I think it would have happened either way, but whoa. Slating.

I think, all in all, this first book is a stepping stone. It's a lot of really good foundation. It promises a lot of other things for the other two books in the series - good things full of true suspense.

I mean, to prove the point, I honestly never know what's going to happen next. Nor can I really pinpoint the end goal of this whole series. I mean, is it to stop the government? Is it for Kyla to figure out who she was? Maybe it's for her to move on from who she was and embrace the future. WHAT HAPPENS WITH BEN? Is there someone else? How does Kyla's new family fit into all of this? I think I really love when I can't quite guess where a story's going. I know sometimes that means what comes next comes out of left field (as with a lot of dystopian trilogies), but this book honestly feels more linear to me. Like, there's action, but it's not showing off. It just is because that's what needs to happen.

But yeah. This book is the foundation. I liked it a lot but I can already tell that the next two books in the series - Fractured and Shatter - are were this story is going to have the chance to step into itself. It's going to take this solid starting point and build a giant tower that is going to bring me so much joy every time I look up at it. Both because it's a trilogy done right and because Kyla's awesome and I cannot wait to find out what her (and Ben's) deal is.

The long and short of it?

Plot: Slow and steady seriously wins the race.
World Building: This book is all about the world building in the very best way possible.
Character Development: Kyla steals the show for real. Because Ben is Slated I kind of want to hit him over the head for a lot of the book, but, well, you can't really blame the boy, can you?
Prose: It's first person and Kyla is totally represented. I'd say the prose is probably why I feel so attached to Kyla as a character.
Would I Recommend This Book?: This isn't one of those ACTION PACKED dystopians that's going to let you down. This is one of those slow builds, amazing pay-off series - something you can tell just by reading the first book. So, if you love dystopian and even if you're feeling a little jaded by a category you once loved, you might want to give this book a try.

Have you read this one? Are you as convinced of it's greatness as I am? If not, maybe you should give it a closer look! Either way, talk to me about it in the comments below.

Oh, and for the record, this book comes HIGHLY recommended by Betty over at Book Rock Betty. HERE is her review of the book. Y'know, in case you wanna know what she thinks about all of this.


  1. YES!! I'm so glad you loved this book! I think most of all I appreciated how unique it was! The plot, the characters... everything was super original. Plus, like you said, all the twists.... just when I thought I knew what was going on it changed! I am dyiiing to see how it all plays out. Don't know if you read Fractured yet or not... but OMG... craziness. Can't wait for Shattered! I hate waiting!

  2. I love that this book features a good world-building, that's always so important if you have such an interesting promise. I really like the idea, so twisted! And yeay for family dynamic :) Great review!


  3. I haven't seen too many mentions of this book, to be honest. And that's a shame, because this sounds awesome. It reminds me a little of Neal Shusterman's Unwind in how teens are controlled and potentially punished for being delinquents (or really a ton of other teen-centric dystopians take this path), but this sounds creepy without being downright terrifying. Like, it sounds like a horrible possibility, but not quite as realistic as some others I've read (which is a good thing as I don't like having nightmares haha). Since the sequel is coming out soon, it sounds like I should get on reading this first one. Great review!


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