Title: The List
Author: Patricia Forde
Blurb (taken from Goodreads):
In the city of Ark, speech is constrained to five hundred sanctioned words. Speak outside the approved lexicon and face banishment. The exceptions are the Wordsmith and his apprentice Letta, the keepers and archivists of all language in their post-apocalyptic, neo-medieval world.
On the death of her master, Letta is suddenly promoted to Wordsmith, charged with collecting and saving words. But when she uncovers a sinister plan to suppress language and rob Ark’s citizens of their power of speech, she realizes that it’s up to her to save not only words, but culture itself.
If I could review this book with only one sentence, it would be: this is a perfect introduction to dystopian novels for older children. This genre of fiction is now taught in most schools through books like Brave New World and Fahrenheit 451; meanwhile, teens are willingly picking up Hunger Games and Divergent at the library. I think “The List” is a great way to introduce a younger audience to the genre.
Another reason why this is a good introductory book is to keep an element of surprise. After reading several dozens of dystopias, I could easily deduce most of the plot twists before I had 20% of the book read. Nothing of the ending surprised me, although it was a lovely and fitting ending. Still, the main character was adorable, and I grew fond of her; I wish I could have read more about her job (which was what appealed to me when I requested this book) and less about the secondary characters.
So truth be told, there is nothing wrong with the book, it just wasn’t something fresh for me… but I do believe that it would appeal a younger audience. I’d like to thank Sourcebooks Jabberwocky, as well as Netgalley, for the free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.