Monday, January 16, 2012

Scored (YA)

Scored. Lauren McLaughlin. 2011. Random House. 230 pages.

Somerton was poor, but it was also scored, and had been for twenty-one years. It was a trial town, having signed on when Score Corp was still beta-testing the software and offering its services for free--including the smart cams, or "eyeballs," as the kids called them. Shiny black spheres two inches in diameter, they dangled like Christmas ornaments from street lights and tree branches. They weren't hidden, that wasn't the idea. You were supposed to know they were there and behave accordingly.

Imani LeMonde, our heroine, starts out with a good score--a great score actually--a 92. But the pact she made with her best friend, Cady Fazio, years before may be about to pull her down.

They made a pact to stay friends no matter what. No matter what their scores were, no matter what gang they were told to be friends with, no matter what any one thought. Friends. Forever. Everyone else is happy to stay within their peer group. Someone with a score of 98 would never ever speak to someone with a score of 92. Someone with a score of 76 wouldn't speak to someone scored 68.

Scores are required--or at least thought to be required--to function in the world. Your score determines your future. If you'll go on to college. If you'll be trained in a profession. If you'll be spending your life in the military.

It is oh-so-easy to lower your score. And nearly impossible to raise it. So they've been told time and time again.

Cady has been keeping something from her best friend, Imani, thinking that what her friend doesn't know will protect her. That Imani's score couldn't possibly be long as she doesn't know who Cady's been spending time with. So Imani is in for quite a shock...the day the newest scores are revealed.

But not everyone in town, not everyone in the school, in the system, is comfortable with the scoring system, the scoring software. And Imani's teacher, Mr. Carol, is one of them. He has his class write essays about the scores. For those scored individuals in his class, he assigns them to write about why the system is unfair and doesn't work. And for the unscored students in his class, he assigns them to write about the strengths of the system. Why the system works in society.

Imani teams up with Diego Londis, a boy without a score. And what she learns may just change her life...

I definitely liked this dystopian novel.  It was an enjoyable read. Imani was a great character, a good narrator. Her friends weren't as developed as she was. And her love interest wasn't as developed as he could have been. But. It was still a good novel, an interesting novel with an interesting premise.

Read Scored
  • If you love dystopian fiction
  • If you like futuristic stories or science fiction 
  • If you like coming-of-age stories
  • If you like novels with a school setting 
  • If you're looking for books with biracial characters where race isn't an issue
  • If the premise of being 'scored' for who you are intrigues you. 'Who are you' meaning what you say, what you do, who you hang out with, where you go, etc. The choices you make in your day-to-day life. The cameras are almost everywhere. The score is about your character, your reputation, etc.

© 2012 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


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