Monday, July 24, 2017

Book Review | SELECT by Marit Weisenberg

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October 3, 2017
Charlesbridge Teen

“It had always been a fact of life that we were biologically different—better—and that it had to be kept secret.”  
Seventeen-year-old Julia Jaynes has the perfect life. She’s beautiful, freakishly athletic, and extremely smart. That’s because she comes from a race of highly-evolved humans living in the heart of Austin, Texas.  
In order to protect their anonymity and preserve their elite society, Julia’s powerful father forces her to suppress her abilities. When she accidentally demonstrates her super human prowess in public, she’s banished to the one place meant to make her feel inferior: public high school. Thrust into the confusion and humiliation of a normal high school, Julia is just trying to keep her head down when John Ford strolls into her life. (Read complete synopsis here.)


This book basically has that Star-Crossed-Lovers trope. Julia Jaynes was born to a billionaire family with genetically superior genes than common humans. For decades, her kind is hiding in plain sight among the populace. And despite their great fortune and efforts, they are close to extinction. Meanwhile, John Ford is your average senior high school guy struggling to get into college through a scholarship.

The book synopsis said it all. Readers don’t have to look very far and grasp that this book has all the trending YA elements:  (1) a certain group of people with inhuman abilities, (2) they need to keep their identity a secret, (3) intermingling is a big no, (4) angsty teenagers, (5) stunning beauty, and (6) a love triangle. If you are into all of that, then, this book is for you. However, I am looking for something… more. I was looking for something outstanding in the story that may trump those previous YA books. Something absolutely exciting or may shock the senses, that will remain with the reader for a long period of time.

Now, I am not saying that there is nothing great about this book. The story is really well-paced. I read the whole book for only a few hours without any back tracking. The general plot is very interesting. Julia came from a group of people who experienced genocide. Their number is small and nearing extinction. Now, that’s a huge topic to explore, given with all the issues in world today. I was actually hoping the story to explore more of this perspective, rather than the love pursuits of the characters.  And speaking of characters, I like them. They need more depth, not just their life grievances. But yes, I do like them.

Overall, this is okay. It has plenty of potentials and hopefully Ms. Weisenberg explores them all.


Book detail:
Title:  Select
Author:  Marit Weisenberg
Publication:  October 3rd 2017 by Charlesbridge Teen
Genre:  YA Fiction
Rating:  ★★★


*Thanks to Charlesbridge Teen and Netgalley for the copy.


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