So I've only been meaning to read this book for... 4 months or so? Maybe longer? Regardless of the specifics, it's been quite a bit of time since I said I was going to pick this book up and the time that I actually, you know, did. Which perfectly represents how on-top of things I am right now in life (spoiler alert: not very). But man, am I kicking myself for not reading this book earlier. This book was AMAZING. I wasn't a huge fan of the beginning but as I kept reading I realized that I couldn't put it down. Which was bad because I actually had other things to do that day... that didn't really get done. It's fine. I'm not behind or anything.
Darrow is a Red, the lowest color on the hierarchy that rules the futuristic society in which he lives. Forced to risk his life day after day in order to make the surface livable for the rest of society, Darrow is barely scraping by, but is willing to sacrifice in order to provide a better world for his children, as well as the future children of society. But when a series of traumatic events reveals that society reached the surface years ago, Darrow will stop at nothing to make sure that justice is served--even if it means becoming part of the elite that he despises so much.
I loved so many things about this book. So many things. First of all, the characters. There were a TON of characters in this book, which was a little difficult because of my toothpick memory, but they were all super original and well-written, so it wasn't like they were just stand-ins or cardboard cutouts. They had substance, they were there for a reason, and I don't feel like the story would have been the same without them. So A+ character use. And I LOVED the world as well. It's no secret that I love me a dystopian novel. It's probably one of my favorite categories within the sci-fi/fantasy genre. I've seen some comparisons to The Hunger Games (which I didn't really like), which I guess I can see, but it actually reminded me more of Ender's Game or Star Trek. But regardless of what book it resembles, I loved the world that Brown created. The whole society, the color system, the interactions between the colors, everything was interesting, made sense, and made me want to read page after page after page. It's a 3D world, one that you can almost see in your mind. I love it.
Real Talk: Darrow was not my favorite character ever. He was a little too arrogant, a little too perfect, and a little too prideful and naive. The arrogance, pride, and all that I could (mostly) forgive, but the perfection was a harder to swallow. I really dislike characters that are super perfect, but this same element was also central to the story, so it was just one of those things that you don't necessarily want to deal with, but you have to. I do think that he could have been a little less perfect and still pulled off the storyline, but I'm willing to forgive the Special Snowflake aspect because the rest of the story is so good.
So did this book have it's issues? Yup. But was it so worth the read. Definitely. And I wish that I had read it so much earlier. But hey, better late than never.
Amazon has the book available here if you wish to purchase it!
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