Author: Sue Lange
Genre: Sci-fi, Young Adult
Publication Date: 16 August 2013
Welcome to the high school of the future. The glee club is full of rock stars, the brainy kids hack permanent records, and the basketball players are as conceited as the cheerleaders. The walls are ablaze with six-foot-high logos of the hottest junk food, software, and clothing brands of the day. The popular kids are sponsored by Abercrombie, Microsoft, and Frito-Lay. You, on the other hand, can't even get a return text from Clearasil. Your best friend is a witch, your boyfriend a twerp. Your geometry teacher hates you and your mom is gleefully counting down the days until graduation. Guess it's time for another hit of iHigh.
This could be the best futuristic/young adult book I've ever read. I got this as an ARC via Netgalley, so totally pumped, but after a reasonably bad experience with the last ARC, I definitely procrastinated on this one.
On the surface, the book seems silly and shallow. The girls are hormonal and naive, the main character Elsa especially. The storyline seems cheesy and the characters are cliched. It's altogether a typical teenage coming-of-age type of novel.
But upon a more profound reading, the real story is spectacular. As an education system rebel myself, I, like Elsa, despise condescending teachers, hate elitists who base all their success on, say, getting selected for the best club in school, or get the best grades in the sciences. I loved how this book brought up all the issues about how in Norsemen society, success in science is considered more prestigious and important than success in the arts and humanities, being a full arts supporter myself. And I loved how the book pointed out the narrow-minded ness of the subject scope for the sciences and how it might alienate those who prefer different types of science and wish to explore instead of simply being taught. Because that is my problem exactly. Love science, hate the subject. I loved the character of her mother, being an idealist who preaches about non-conformity, but when it comes to her own daughter, tries to force her to conform, follow the rules, get somewhere in life before trying to do anything. Because the is exactly what my parents are trying to get me to do. And I hate it.
Basically the parts of the book that were important basically summed up my views on school and the education system of the here and now. This is exactly what futuristic writing should be used for. I absolutely loved it.
And upon further reading, I realized that the 'bad' parts of the book, the shallow-teenager nonsense, was actually intentional. The mistakes the main character makes, the stupid, shallow, naive mistakes she makes are fixed through her own character development and experiences, making you realize that this book is really getting it right. I mean, how many times have you been embarrassed for using a word incorrectly? Especially if you've used that word once too often? (Actually, don't answer that. I don't want to know how lucky you people have been if you've never gone through that.)
Even the silly, annoying guy she fell for--despite being that overly cliched, manipulative jock, his character, placed in the context of the book, reminds the reader that this sort of person really exists. And her infatuation with him was awkward and realistic and I completely loved it.
Aside from all this the futuristic writing was also incredibly good. The casual use of technology as well as the subtle developments on real-life current issues and all the little details that helped to convince me that this could be our future were just brilliant.
All in all I loved this book. Completely, utterly, loved it. The themes of this book are certainly not everyone's cup of tea, but if you hate the education system you should find this book just perfect.
Grade: A+. <3 p="">
P.S. I know I procrastinated on this and it's way late sorrysorrysorrysorry3>