I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
So alright, I don’t have to wax poetic what the story is all about. If you’re familiar with the story of Noah’s Ark then you have the basic premise of The List. Set some time in the future, Earth finally succumbed to Global Warming. The glaciers melted causing a massive flood that killed a lot of people. Fortunately, a radical environmentalist named John Noa had already anticipated the catastrophe and built an Ark. To cut the story short, John Noa and the rest of the survivors made a new world where technology was forbidden and speech regulated. Yes, you’ve read that right. Due to John Noa’s resentment and perverse obsession to protect Ark from another bout of Global Warming, he mandated that speech must be regulated. Because ya know, speech=freedom…freedom to manipulate…freedom to express…freedom to spread lies…etc. So a Wordsmith was appointed to release a List of words that every Ark citizen must use to communicate. Speaking/using words not included in the list would mean punishment.
In Ark, our heroine, Letta, was born. Despite being an orphan, her life is still pretty much easier compared to the other Ark dwellers. She was made apprentice to the Wordsmith, Benjamin, which means that she can speak words outside of the list without getting punished. Everything was working fine in Letta’s world when suddenly it turned upside down and found herself being hailed as the new Wordsmith.
Well, this was a good read although I’m still partial to the Giver. The premise alone is already intriguing from the get go. And I was highly interested as to how the author would handle such ambitious idea. Though there are still areas for improvement, I think that Patricia Forde did a good job in presenting a world where language is constrained. I especially enjoyed the dialogue where the conversationalists are speaking List. Grammar Nazis, beware!
I also liked the environmental message that the author was sending particularly that the target audience of this book is our youngsters. It never hurts to educate our young ones regarding environmental protection as early as possible. Cheers for that, Forde!
I was, however, quite turned off with the way the author is hinting a romance between Letta and Marlo because it’s not necessary. And I don’t even feel any chemistry between the two. And one more thing, that ending feels like a cop out.
All in all, if you enjoy middle-grade dystopia and still crazy about The Giver’s, then, The List is the perfect book for you.