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7.20.2011

Review and Giveaway of Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
SciFi Element: Future, Dystopian
Pre-Order Online:  Amazon.com
Stalk the Author: Web | Twitter
Like Dark Parties on Facebook
Review copy provided by publisher via ALA2011.

PJ's QUICKIE POV:
Another trip into a dystopian landscape had me shivering at the thought of what could be. Sara Grant’s DARK PARTIES was spine tingling good with all the great anxiety ridden flavors that a psychological dystopian thriller should have. Grant’s writing had my brain churning as I was rooting for Neva to escape Homeland. DARK PARTIES was definitely a unique addition to the dystopian young adult genre and I can’t wait to read more from Grant.

REVIEW:
In Grant’s imagined future there is a place called Homeland. To escape toxins and war-caused disasters the remaining human population covered themselves with a Protectosphere, a giant shield that protects the citizens against harmful air and other nasties that exist outside. The Protectoshere is there for the citizens own good, because there is nothing left on the outside – according to the government. But, Neva’s grandmother told her otherwise…and then she disappeared. Since then Neva has kept a record of the Missing and each day it grows and so does Neva’s distrust of the Homeland ruling parties, one of which is her father. Small rebellions against the government is what Neva and her best friend Sanna set out to do, they host a Dark Party to recruit people to help them stage a demonstration. A small act of defiance – but something that will make a difference, wake people up.


Neva’s Dark Party does more than wake people up it alerts the government to her rebellious ways and Neva is questioned and other members of her rebellion become part of the Missing. Because of Neva’s father she is given a second chance but she is forced to work for her father, becoming part of the problem, a drone for the government in charge of covering up historical records. What is meant to cow her only strengthens her thoughts of escape…but Neva’s actions will become harmful to the people she loves and now it’s not just her life at stake but her friends and her family.

Grant built a very different world in this dystopian young adult novel. It was a very unique take on something that could very well happen. In the wake of wars, famine, greed and corruption - isn’t it tempting to close yourself off from the rest of the world? Hide behind a protective barrier? Then added to that interesting thought, Grant broke down the repercussions of living in a closed off society, the breakdown of technology because of the lack of production facilities. All clothing and accessories are basically hand-me-downs. Food supplies dwindle to only the food that is able to be produced within the sphere and total control by the government is enacted so the citizens will not demand release. It was a scary depiction of a closed off society and it definitely had me thinking. This isn't your action packed dystopian like DIVERGENT or THE HUNGER GAMES, this one is more like a mystery/thriller, with twists and turns that will have you not knowing which way to turn until the very end. Grant threw it all at me.

As far as character’s go, Neva was a character that I could identify with, but she was about the only character that I liked. Even Sanna her best friend I couldn’t really touch-base with because I found she was a bit too flakey for me and she was also used sometimes as the information conduit to move the plot along and that didn’t go over that well. I couldn’t tell with her. Is she rebelling or falling in love and staying out of things? I wasn’t quite sure. I did like the romantic aspect and I thought Grant put a unique twist on the whole love triangle interplay. Yet, thinking back on it and what was revealed at the end I don’t see the reasoning behind Braydon’s actions. You’ll have to read it to understand it – and if you have read it what are your thoughts?

Overall it was a good book and a nice addition to the genre. I wouldn’t rank it at the top of that genre but it is very worth your time and thoughts. A must read – because in essence it is going against some really heavy comparison. I was taken in by the plot, the world-building and the main character, moved along by the mystery behind the world and the romantic entanglements gave it the added oompf it needed, added to that the horrific discoveries that happen later on in the book – DARK PARTIES by Sara Grant made for a compelling read. I could literally describe it as a modern young adult 1984. I rated it down 1 star because of the few inconsistencies in the plot that didn’t reveal themselves until after completion (a plot trick that worked to keep the anxiety up but didn’t make sense at the end) and because I couldn’t relate to the secondary characters.


RECOMMENDATIONS:
Recommended for fans of WITHER by Lauren DeStefano, DELERIUM by Lauren Oliver and other books of that ilk. This is a dystopian young adult but there are quite a few references to sex and the characters are quite free about it since the government pushes teens to procreate, nothing descriptive though. There is also some explicit language used. Recommended for mature teens.

I enjoyed this dystopian, but don't just take my word for it. Read an excerpt and judge for yourself.






review title


Like this Like That
  1. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
  2. DELERIUM by Lauren Oliver


About the author:
Sara Grant is an American living in the UK. Born and raised in Washington, Indiana, Sara graduated from Indiana University with degrees in journalism and psychology. She now works as a freelance writer and editor for Working Partners, a London-based company creating series fiction for children. She lives in London with her husband. This is her first novel.


The wonderfulness that is LITTLE BROWN has wonderfully offered up A Book Light and copy of Dark Parties! Defeat the Dark with this prize pack!

DEETS:
  1. One Winner chosen by rafflecopter
  2. Prize: A Book Light and copy of Dark Parties
  3. Comment to win: Tell me what you think of the review. Or -- What would you miss the most if you couldn't get any imported goods? If your country closed the borders and let nothing else in?
  4. Giveaway ends 7/26
  5. Use RAFFLECOPTER to tally up your entries & extras (but still comment!)




59 comments:

SusieBookworm (Susanna) said...

Oooh, like a YA version of 1984?! I loved the psychological aspects of that novel, except the process of our world to dystopia was never really explained.

Thanks for the review and giveaway!

susanna DOT pyatt AT student DOT rcsnc DOT org

_yay_ said...

I'd FREAK if I couldn't get my caffeine fix! "Arabica" coffee beans are a MUST. Fab review :-)
sk_86(at)gmx(dot)de

Jessy said...

I love the fact that the problem in Dark Parties is something that could very well happen. I love books that get me thinking. Thanks for the review.

Findjessyhere at gmail dot com

Christa said...

What would I miss most? Yikes. Oil? lol. I know we have some in the US, but we don't really access it, so assuming we kept the same policy, I would miss oil because we rely SO much on it in our society! Otherwise, not oil related? Coffee and chocolate! I know the conditions aren't ideal for growing either here, and the shortage/vanishment of my lovely caffeine products would be HORRIBLE! : )
Thanks for the giveaway.
ambience.of.rain {at} gmail.com

debbie said...

First, I would miss some of the medicines I have to take. Many of their ingredients come from other countries.
I would miss alot of the food. I love Asian food, and we wouldn't be able to get the ingredients.
I really liked your honest review.

Peggy said...

Great review, the books is on my TBR list! Like, _yay_, if our borders were closed, I would probably miss coffee the most! I need my iced coffee during the summer! :)

Maryann Nixon said...

It would have to be certain foods, like what my mum cooks- (I'm half Asian) and banana's got to love banana's, and we can't grow them here in England!

Bethie said...

I think I would miss all the electronics that are made overseas. I loved Delirium and I think I will give this one a try.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Vidisha said...

Medicines for sure..electronics.

vidishamun@gmail.com

Tiffany Drew said...

I agree with Bethie, definitely electronics. I am a gadget girl, I need my toys!

StuckInBooks said...

I keep hearing about this book.

Medicines would be a pain.

Bailey said...

Oooh you have an awesome review of this one! I am bringing this on vacation with me and I am now even more excited to read it! Love the sound of Neva. I am interested in finding out about the love triangle twist... =)

Rain Maiden said...

The US has so much stuff that comes from China...it's scary to even think about.
Thanks for the giveaway.

Victoria Zumbrum said...

I would probably miss the starbucks and caffein. Please enter me in contest. I would love to read this book. Tore923@aol.com

Julie said...

I really liked your review. It has really made me want to read this book just to find out what the problems were and what I think of how it ends. The only thing I can think of that is imported that I like is my wine from France and Germany! I gotta have my vino!

jwitt33 at live dot com

Evie said...

I would miss my books from Book Depo ^^
Thanks a lot for the chance! I love dystopian books and now I'm excited to read this one.

Kali Burgos said...

I would miss some food like some potatoe chips that i can't remember the name right now :P and boars head ham.Lol.They don't sell those where i live.And of course i would miss the books!

wade2121 said...

If the borders were closed, I would definitely miss some candy and maybe some relatives & friends, not all but some.

wade2121ATgmailDOTcom

Bookish Brunette said...

I just tweeted twice! Am I in trouble now??? Sorry chick!

Amy @ bookgoonie said...

I love thrillers. Haven't read one since Desires of the Dead. Thanks for the opportunity.

Vivien said...

Definitely coffee...I am an absolute junkie!! lol I just couldn't deal without. I loved your review. I've been really anticipating this one!

Vivien
deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Jennifer_After_Dark said...

That was a great review,,and just the type of book that I like to read thats in the YA genre,,
thanks for the giveaway,,
and Coffee would be the worst thing that I couldn't have,,I wouldn't be able to function when I woke up,,I would definatey learn how to become a coffee bean boot legger..
Jennifer

Maria (pronounced Mariah) said...

I have no idea. I really need to take more time and pay attention to where things come from. I know almost everything is imported but I am terrible and take it all for granted!

alicia0605 said...

Toys for my son. Everything is made in china.
aliciahall0605@yahoo.com
+5

Alyssa (Reader's Refuge) said...

My computer. I would miss my computer so much! I know there are a lot of domestic computer brands, but I just love Toshiba. Great review, by the way! :)

Teril said...

this book sounds really goo, I loved the premise, now I just have to wait to read it ;)
Thank you!

Jen B. said...

Well, I try to buy local or Made in the USA when I can. I guess I would discover just how much actually came from outside the country. Afterall, a car made in the USA probably has many international parts!
jepebATverizonDOTnet

marybelle said...

DARK PARTIES looks amazing.

marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

BJ said...

I sound like an echo, but coffee, definitely. I have more coffee than blood in my veins, I think...

kaye (paper reader) said...

Thanks for the heads up that it's more of a thriller than a sort of back-to-back action scene, as I think that's more of the idea I had in mind for it. Still, I'm looking forward to it, although I much prefer the German cover!

Lieder Madchen said...

This book looks great, thank you for sharing!

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

I have been seeing this more and more around the blogosphere and I am so curious! Thanks for the chance to win it.

throuthehaze said...

I would probably miss some foods that are imported

Denise Z said...

Thank you for the review today and the giveaway opportunity. I am hearing opinions all over the place on this read. When I first heard about it I was so so, but now because there are so many varying opinions, I am genuinely intrigued. If the borders closed I would definitely have to find a way to replicate coffee - must have my coffee, or may they could deport me to a country that grows coffee :)

Hannah said...

Brilliant review! I love dystopian fiction and it being an adult novel only appeals to me more.

If my country closed the borders I would miss a lot of things.. We have local farm shops around here which we go to a fair bit so I suppose a lot of things would still be here (beef, chicken, eggs, flour, fruit, etc.) but hmm.. Rice. I would really, really miss rice. I've proven to myself that I can go without chocolate and other sweets, I can live off of water, but savoury food is now my biggest weakness, and I'm not a big potato fan so I would *really* miss rice.

Aik said...

If my country closed the borders I would miss a lot of things indeed: books written by writers all around the world, Swiss chocolates, fresh grapes, Western food, Sushi and so many more!

aikychien at yahoo dot com

Phanee said...

Great review! Dark Parties sounds like a really interesting book. I particularly liked that part where you described the society. The dystopians I've read have had quite a bit of action going on, with things happening because the ruling people are actively trying to make the societies more and more horrible. You don't get societies where people seem to have cut off from the rest of the world, creating their own small controlled city. It kind-of reminds me of Sleepwalking, a children's dystopian book, which I have loved since I first read it. In that book, there is a city where everything is controlled by the Governators, who try to keep the citizens controlled by giving them certain types of medication that make them feel empty. It really is such a good book...

I only recently read 1984 and really loved it. It was so weird and I found it really made me think... I'd definitely love to try what you describe as the YA version of it!

Thanks for the chance to win! :)

Phanee said...

Sorry, forgot to leave my e-mail address! I'm not sure if I should, but I will, just to be sure!

funnywool[at]live[dot]com

Thanks again! :)

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

Uhm, I did live behind the Iron Curtain :) The 2 things I wouldn't be able to live without now are Internet and new books. Food and clothes are overrated, you can live pretty much with anything.
Thanks for a great giveaway!
impy80(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jennifer said...

Glad you liked it. I am so curious about this book. So obsessed with dystopian. I think i would love this book. Thanks for the giveaway.

Ashley Suzanne said...

Thanks for the giveaway!

soulunsung said...

I've heard so many great things about this book. :)

Suz @ A Soul Unsung
Check out my Third Sentence Thursday!
What am I waiting on Wednesday for?
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★Leila @ Within Pages said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
★Leila @ Within Pages said...

The best dystopian are the ones that can "very well happen" they're so plausible and it makes it easier to connect.

As for what I would miss, I can't think of anything off the top of my head specifically other than chocolate...the really good stuff...that would be sad lol

Marjie Pride said...

If the U.s closed it's boarders I think I would miss a lot of stuff since half of everything we get is "made in China" or similar!!

Great review- thanks!
toreynmarjie@yahoo.com

Niina said...

Let's see what I'd miss the most? probably citrus fruits, finland isn't know for our warm climet that's for sure. ;)

Great giveaway, I'm participating. :)

Sarah said...

Living in Canada, I'd miss all the fruits that require a tropical environment to grow. There would definitely be less selection available, especially in the winter.

Jeanne said...

Great interview!
Thank you so much for the chance to win!

mendy said...

I'll probably missing eating tropical fruits.

Chi Kittie said...

Wonderful review! Thank you for this giveaway. I would so miss some of my meds I takes, and maybe certain foods and drinks.

ChiKittie(at)gmail(dot)com

Kulsuma said...

I would miss fruits such as pineapple and mango. I live in cold England.

Tara said...

I would miss all the yummy food from other countries!

Bookish in a Box said...

I would miss the gasoline. I have to drive EVERYWHERE!

MannaB said...

thanks for the giveaway!!

MannaB said...

I would miss books from the uk and australia and all the other countries!!!

Ash said...

I would miss a lot of things I imagine. Particularly books like a lot of other commenters. But I imagine very little of what I use on a day to day basis actually comes from here, it's probably all [or the majority at least] is imported. It's scary to think that everything could come to a crashing halt if those imports were ceased.

ashley.mckinsey(at)yahoo(dot)com

Cassandra said...

I will miss having various choices in books, movies, and other media if Borders closed. It's really sad.

Joni S. said...

Were we to ever be cut off, I think we'd amazed at all the little things we'd miss and how quickly we'd start missing them.

About your review, I like that you like this book despite some unlikeable characters. It's often difficult to keep reading when you are really only hooked into one character or two.

Amy (ArtsyBookishGal) said...

If the United States closed its borders, I would miss all the great books I get from The Book Depo. I would cry buckets and buckets.

As for your review, it was brilliant and humorous, as always. I wonder if we are getting too many books in the dystopian genre now...hmm...

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