Thursday, April 3, 2014

Book Review: The Haven

The HavenAuthor: Carol Lynch Williams
Publication Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

For the teens at The Haven, the outside world, just beyond the towering stone wall that surrounds the premises, is a dangerous unknown. It has always been this way, ever since the hospital was established in the year 2020. But The Haven is more than just a hospital; it is their home. It is all they know. Everything is strictly monitored: education, exercise, food, and rest. The rules must be followed to keep the children healthy, to help control the Disease that has cast them as Terminals, the Disease that claims limbs and lungs—and memories. 

But Shiloh is different; she remembers everything. Gideon is different, too. He dreams of a cure, of rebellion against the status quo. What if everything they’ve been told is a lie? What if The Haven is not the safe place it claims to be? And what will happen if Shiloh starts asking dangerous questions?

“That’s why we fight. So we can get out of here. Be free. And we don’t have to be afraid anymore.”

“I’m watching you all,” he said.

Were we even worth saving?

The Haven is a hospital that was established in 2020 to protect Terminals from the Disease. The people that live inside this hospital are protected and literally shielded from the outside world. The children and young adults within the walls of this hospital are administered daily tonics that keep them alive. Decay still happens all around them, as people constantly lose limbs and many other parts of their bodies. Shiloh is our main character. Shiloh decides to stop taking the tonic and suddenly things become more clear to her. She starts to remember things that she did not while she was still taking the tonic. Then she meets up with Gideon, and the two of them together decide to solve this puzzling mystery.

This book, as you can probably tell, is dystopian fiction. These novels, as I am sure most of you have read at least one or two of, are not very pleasant. The characters, the setting, and the economy/politics are usually bleak, corrupted, and extremely forlorn. However, I will say that this book offers something a tad bit different than most YA dystopian novels. I cannot put my finger on it exactly, but this book seemed a little bit lighter than most dystopian novels that I am used to. The world left me questioning at times; I just found myself wanting more information than the author was giving me at times.

The society intrigued me, but I felt it could have been written a little better; however, Shiloh and Gideon were two of my favorite parts about this book. Shiloh’s character was awkward and strange, and others have complained about her, but I found her oddly refreshing. She was different than many other heroines I have read about lately. There were times when I did not agree with her motives, but you have to take into consideration the surroundings that she is used to. She was a curious character, and this is always something that I can appreciate.

***A free copy of this book was provided to me by the publishers at St. Martin’s Griffin in exchange for my honest review***

1 comment:

  1. great review. I am not sure if a lighter dystopian is good or not. I think it sounds interesting, can't wait to read it.