No wonder this book received low ratings over at goodreads, it’s not really a good book. Ok, here I go saying that it wasn’t terrible, in fact (and all things considered) it wasn’t. There’s something tolerable with the plot, I’m just not really a big fan how the plot was executed. Needless to say, it doesn’t have the appeal of other dystopian books I’ve read.
Harmony and Melody are twins, they were separated when they were babies. They lived in world where adults are barren and only teenagers are fertile enough to continue the human population. Teenagers are paid big amount of money as surrogates and sperm donors. Melody was prepped by her adopted parents to become in demand surrogate; Harmony on the other hand was raised in a tight religious community. When Harmony found out that she has a twin sister she looked for her and asked Melody to live with her over at Goodside (no really, it was the real name of the place) and leave her sinful ‘to-be’ occupation. When a huge opportunity came to Melody — she was chosen by infamous sperm donor as the surrogate — she accepted the offer… but it wasn’t Melody, it was Harmony. And she will do anything to save her from what she thought is a sinful job, even if she needed to pose as her twin sister.
The real reason why I decided to try it out is it kinda remind of Wither. You know teenagers continuing the dying population, so since there’s that similarities I decided to try it. And oh boy, it didn’t pay off. I didn’t like it. It was weak. The real nature why people are infertile by time they are adults wasn’t even discussed, which for me is a big plot hole since if it wasn’t by that situation the whole ‘only-teenagers-reproductive-system-are-working’ wouldn’t even exist. I also thought it’ll be intriguing because let’s face it, glorifying teenage pregnancy — that’s controversial. But no, it doesn’t have the convincing power I thought it’ll have.
I don’t like the portrayal of people who are religious in this book. Yes, some are like that but most of the time they’re not. Harmony gave the ‘holier-than-thou’ a different meaning. Really, it pisses me off. It didn’t come to me as sincere portrayal of people who are faithful to their…, well, faith. It was kinda disrespectful… mocking even, to describe them that way. And you know what pisses me off big time, it was (spoiler) Harmony who got pregnant. For someone who thinks chastity is a big deal – she just lost her virginity and knocked up in the process after one night. (end spoiler) Ironic isn’t it? Yeah, a lot of things in this book are really wrong for me.
I thought the romance part might save it from complete failure. I can tolerate Zen and Melody’s relationship, they have their entire childhood to know each other… and fall in love… eventually. Maybe it’s just me, but it wasn’t romantic to me (yup, the execution again).
And Jondoe and Harmony so called relationship top it all. Oh man, don’t get me started, because it was absolutely loathing. So after one day of dating, and sleeping (ok, sex) he actually claimed he loves her. What is that all about? Love at first sex? Geez, come on do you think will fall for crap like that. Just because she know or he know they both religious and shares the same things will define it as love? Sometimes reading a lot of YA which have shallow interpretation of love makes me wonder what love — the emotion — is all about.
The book is either you’ll hate or love it but I’m part of the ‘dislike-it’ group. If it has a more solid story I might like it but it didn’t have it (well, obviously from my harsh sentiments above). And frankly I don’t even consider it as YA, although it lacks the adult material it needed to qualify as such, the premise of this book is definitely not young adult in nature… well, for me it isn’t.