Monday, January 29, 2018

YA Pick of the Week: Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Imagine for a moment that you're in a world where humanity has successfully gained control over diseases, over accidents, even over human acts of violence. In this world, you could be immortal. In fact, the only way you could be killed is by a Scythe: a person whose sole purpose is the service of ending people's lives, keeping population numbers manageable.

In Scythe, the first book in the Arc of a Scythe series by Neal Shusterman, Citra and Rowan have both been asked to apprentice to a Scythe. At the end of their apprenticeship, one of them will be sworn into scythedom. The other one will be killed by the victor.

The idea of humans defeating death is a startling premise, and the book keeps its momentum going throughout. Neither Citra nor Rowan want to become a Scythe, nor do they want to kill anyone. All they want is the one thing they no longer can have: a normal life. Scythe moves at a fast clip and successfully builds a very clear world very quickly. While there's a suggestion of romance in it, it is not centered around romantic love at all: it is quite solidly an action book centered around death and big moral questions. It's really hard to find teen books that do not have a romance at the core; it was a really refreshing change!

If you liked The Giver, The Uglies, The Hunger Games, or Feed, you might really enjoy this book! Its sequel, Thunderhead, recently came out, and will be on our shelves soon! Get a headstart and read Scythe today!

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