Thursday, June 1, 2017
Going Green by Heather S. Ransom
There's going eco-friendly and then there's what these people do. A fascinating concept in which begs the question, if you could become more than human, would you? The consequences that lead to such a decision as well as the consequences of what happens afterward. In this future world, people have the option of going Green, that is to be injected with chloroplasts that alter the cells in a person's body so that they can photosynthesize and no longer have to eat, leading to perfect figures and permanently green skin. But only the elite can afford such a treatment, leading to friction between those non-Greens who must struggle to survive in a world that favors those rich and privileged enough to go Green.
Calyssa Brentwood is one of those of age and of social status to go Green. Daughter of the man who developed the Green way of life and head of the global power AGHA, Calyssa has a pretty good life ahead of her. But when she decides to spend her spring break with a non-Green friend and her family, she learns that there's much more to life. She learns about love and family and discovers that there's more to the rebel cause that constantly battles against the citizens of her city. Calyssa takes what she learns and decides to make a stand for the rights of all people in this world and get to the bottom of possible corruption within her own home.
One thing I appreciated about this book was that the main character, Calyssa, is one of those characters who can be both spoiled and still a good person. With many privileged, spoiled people in stories, they're often shoved off in the "jerk" category and never really go beyond that. This character, however, is still a good person despite her upbringing. Yeah in the beginning of the story she does some things that one might see as being kind of jerky, but you don't hold it against her because you know there's no malice in her actions. She just doesn't know any better and that naivety gives her some leeway. As the story progresses, she does learn and she does experience things and makes good progression. Despite never having to work a day in her life, she takes to farm life with enthusiasm that's quite refreshing to see. She's excited to learn new things, eager to learn, and able to grow. She did her part very well.
At times, however, I felt the book could have used a bit of editing. The first part of the book does drag a bit in places and, while it does pick up, it just took awhile to get there. There are also times when several paragraphs in the book really should have been just one paragraph. For example, toward the end of the book there's a scene where nine (!) paragraphs, all in a row, start with the words, "I thought". That probably could have been condensed and you'd miss practically nothing. The other problem is that nobody in this book can tell a story like a normal person telling a story. All of a sudden, when they're telling a story, they're master authors with explicit details and knowing things they weren't there for and had no way of knowing. Now, for the writing parts, it's fine, but for the dialogue, it's a little silly. Oh, and there's way too much jumping to conclusions in this book. Everybody jumps to conclusions. It got old.
It also goes into a great observation about the middle ground in any kind of conflict. Both the Greens and the rebels have people who are extremists and people who are just trying to survive. Fanatics cause the most damage and everyone else is caught in the middle. It does a good job of introducing mystery and intrigue this way. When things happen, you never quite know who's behind it. Is it the opposition or could one side be attacking their own? On the other hand, I did wish that there was a bit more of that in the book. It often gets backgrounded for "How Calyssa Spent Her Spring Break" segments, which is where the development is, but not so much the excitement. A bit more balance of each is just what this book needed.
Interesting but sometimes slow. A great concept but in need of a bit of editing. Overall, a pretty good book that I'm glad I got to read. If you wanna check it out, go right ahead but wait for it on paperback.
Have you read the book? What did you think? Comment below and share your thoughts. If you have a book you'd like me to read or would like to make a recommendation, contact me on goodreads at https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/65448711-michelle-beer
Next Time: The journey to Hogwarts to restore the One Rings and save the Enterprise at District 12