I picked this book up at the library a week or so ago without ever having read about it on a book blog or anywhere – I had never heard of it, never read any reviews, and in my mind I was really taking a chance. There are just SO MANY books that I want to read, I don’t usually take chances on things that I might not like based on reviews and such, but I was intrigued by the book blurb so gave it a shot. I was not let down. Here’s the blurb from Amazon:
Eli and his family have lived in the underground Compound for six years. The world they knew is gone, and they’ve become accustomed to their new life. Accustomed, but not happy. No amount of luxury can stifle the dull routine of living in the same place, with only his two sisters, only his father and mother, doing the same thing day after day after day. As problems with their carefully planned existence threaten to destroy their sanctuary—and their sanity—Eli can’t help but wonder if he’d rather take his chances outside. Eli’s father built the Compound to keep them safe. But are they safe—really?
When I started reading this, I got a little nervous that it would be a boring book about a family in a compound, going about their day to day. Based on the fact that it was just a family in there I didn’t expect any sort of Anne Frankish romance or anything, and there wasn’t one – which, to be honest, was sort of refreshing. It’s nice to read a book, especially a YA book, that doesn’t revolve around teen romance. I don’t think it would have worked at all in this story, and it didn’t touch on it at all. Instead, it was more about the love between Eli and his twin brother Eddy who was lost outside of the compound, and the strange and tenuous relationship that Eli had with his two sisters and parents while in the compound.
Eli finds out pretty quickly that his father is hiding some big piece of information from the family about what is going on in the world outside of the compound, and there are many tense moments when Eli is searching for information, not trying to get caught. What was more interesting (surprisingly) was the descriptions of the compound itself, and the way Eli’s billionaire father had prepared and stocked it for their duration inside. It came complete with an indoor farm, complete with livestock, and every amenity and more that you might enjoy on the outside. It was really pretty neat.
But then, there was an extremely dark twist to the story, something so (excuse me) FUCKED UP, that just made me appreciate the book even more. I say it a lot, but when I find something that is BRAVE in a story, I really admire it. I really admire the bravery this author took with what she was willing to put her characters through to get out and survive.
This was a really quick and enjoyable read, I’d recommend it to anyone who wants a break from the mainstream young adult fiction that is out there right now.