I received a copy of the book in return for an honest review. Thank you to PR by the Book, Alessandra Wike, and Miss Lawson for this opportunity.
Synopsis via TracyLawsonBooks.com:
Tommy, recuperating from injuries sustained in a recent auto accident, is unaware that there’s a link between that accident, which killed his parents, and the chemical weapons attack that threatens him now. The antidote plagues him with hallucinations of tragedy and loss, and sends him spiraling into despair. When he discovers that working out before he takes his dose helps him feel more like himself, he defies the rules to regain his strength and his sanity. On the day of the “attack”, he meets Careen, who just might be the girl of his dreams, and tries to save her by sharing his last dose with her, even though doing so could potentially hasten his own death.
What Careen and Tommy learn about the true nature of the terrorist threat spurs them to take action, and their decisions lead them to run afoul of local law enforcement, team up with that underground resistance group, and ultimately take their quest for the truth to the highest reaches of the United States government.
How do I explain this book? For me, I can't do it without getting a little political. That being said, I am not one to push my beliefs on anyone. I will only say just enough to explain how I see the book.
The premise is one that we are actually beginning to see play out in our own politics here in the US. We are beginning to see a government telling us what is best for us, what we should and will start feeding our own children, We are being told who we can and can not sell to as business owners. For me, it hit me in the middle of my chest and deep in my intellectual mind.
Miss Lawson has created a society where the government is already controlling every aspect of the populace's lives. While some may consider that utopia, after all, the majority of the populace is on equal footing. They get the same amount of food. They are able to buy clothing at all the same stores, their food is sent directly to their homes, and terrorist attacks are controlled by the government not allowing public gatherings like concerts and sporting events. Everything is watched on television. But wait, it is actually starting to sound like a dystopian world in reality. Sometimes things look great on paper and in reality turn out to be a real nightmare.
Well, that is what Miss Lawson's story is all about. It's about a world where the government tells you what is best for you. A world where the power has totally corrupted the uppermost echelon. Of course there is a resistance. But it is really about two "sheep" who have realized they are being led to the slaughter and begin their journey to help bring this corruption down.
But Miss Lawson's story is a subtle inch worm working you through each page. You don't realize how much you really want to know what happens next until you realize it is two o'clock in the morning and you need to get up early the next day.
Careen and Tommy are two very different characters who begin to learn how to trust not only each other, but themselves for the first time. While they are learning about the true plans of the government, they are actually learning how to think for themselves. Miss Lawson is so adept at writing, that as I read I found myself becoming Careen and Tommy. I felt the wonder of learning that I could think for myself, the fear that I would actually be caught and killed for thinking for myself, but also the wonder of seeing everything new again. The simple act of processing what is going on around me and deciding on my own how to deal with it all was all brand new through Careen and Tommy's points of view.
I am anxious to see what Miss Lawson has in store for Tommy and Careen in the next book, Resist, due out in a little over 3 weeks.
Lovers of YA and Dystopian reads: this is a book you HAVE GOT to check out!