Imagine that you can only use 500 words in your daily life. These words are enough to express the basic needs and serve the simple talks. Or are they? You cannot use the word pineapple because it is forbidden; so use fruit instead! Oh and you cannot use the big words like freedom. Is it possible to be free without having a right to use the word freedom? Are the words just a bunch of letters that come together for a meaning? Can a word be powerful enough to hold the actual driving force to express the feelings, aims or even actions?
Think about the words you use a lot during the day. How would you feel that those words were forbidden? What would you do or talk if there were guardians around that listened to you and controlled what was being talked?
A distopian world that limits communication is curious enough to make you think about the words and language. Between the seriousness of adulthood and the creativity of childhood,
young adult books often take the courage to touch upon the bold and interesting topics.
It is a Young Adult book The List by Patricia Forde and it won many awards. The book is advertised as ‘for the readers of Fahrenheit 451 and The Giver’ which is pretty ambitious. The topic is also very intriguing: People living in the city Ark has to use 500 words only except the Wordsmith Letta and her master Benjamin. After Benjamin goes missing, Letta finds herself in the events of tracing her master, learning the truths about the Ark, the decaying language and the life outside the Ark. Slow pace at the beginning contrasts with an abrupt end that gives the reader the itch to read more about the ending, which is almost summarized.
Although I enjoyed reading it, I had such a high expectation about the book that I wanted more of the characters, the exciting events and details. This book is for the early young adults, so maybe the story would be more complex if the target audience were 14-18 instead of 11-14. Still I am curious about the next book The Last Word.
All in all I would recommend it for the readers who love to read dystopian Young Adult (at the youngest end) novels and discover interesting topics.
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