Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a “score” that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored‘s reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend’s score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? Friendship, romance, loyalty, family, human connection and human value: all are questioned in this fresh and compelling dystopian novel set in the scarily forseeable future.
About Lauren McLaughlin
Lauren McLaughlin grew up in the small town of Wenham, Massachusetts. After college and a brief stint in graduate school, she spent ten “unglamorous” years writing and producing movies before abandoning her screen ambitions to write fiction full-time. Though she fondly remembers much of her time in Massachusetts—the marina, the beach, various teenage escapades—she cannot, for the life of her, remember her SAT scores, her GPA, or any of the numbers that once summed her up. You can visit her at LaurenMcLaughlin.net
“The bold, aggressive narrative condemns both No Child Left Behind-style testing and current financial policies, cautioning about what could happen to social mobility in the face of stark inequity.” – Kirkus
“Most dystopian fiction takes place within an established totalitarian regime, but Scored allows readers to witness the very first stages of a changing society.” - VOYA
“A tense and chilling look at a near future that’s all too recognizable. Scored will bring out the rebel in every reader.” -Scott Westerfeld, author of Goliath
“the most rounded, thought-provoking and pulse-pounding exploration of the surveillance society I’ve yet read.” - Cory Doctorow
I added this to my ‘to read’ list after writing a post for our library blog on the slew of teen dystopia novels with one word titles. I read this after Matched and Bumped. I felt this one was at least equal, if not better, than the others, but looking at them together, I think the cover design let this one down. The summary on the back also failed to play up the romance.
And, speaking of that, here’s what I liked about Scored:
- the relationship between Diego and Imani. I didn’t feel invested in the relationships in Matched and Bumped, but the one here was funny and enjoyable. There was a subtle repeating motif between Diego’s one visible eye (he has a carefully sculptured hair style that covers the other) and the single eyes of the cameras. Two very different gazes.
- the author succeeded in making the main character do bad things without losing the reader’s sympathy for her. This is a tricky thing to pull off, and it worked well here.
- characters come in a variety of ethnic groups and socioeconomic demographics. This is openly acknowledged, including the tension this can cause, without taking over the plot.
- Mr Carol. I’m sure Imani will look back and appreciate him some day.
- the fact that it wraps up in a single book. Major plus.
Things I wasn’t so into:
- Dystopic fiction always claims to be an account of a ‘foreseeable future’ which I find silly. Dystopias are metaphors for society as it is today. The Time Machine was about fears in society at the end of the nineteenth century; Nineteen Eighty-Four was about the post WWII years. Scored reflects the unease in recent decades around the education system and economy in the USA. This book would never have been written in, say, Finland, which enjoys one of the highest literacy rates in the world and free university education.
- Along those lines, this was a very USA myopic book, but of course it was written with that audience in mind, so I understand that. Still, I think Imani could have made a good argument against the Score by describing other country’s successful education systems in the year 2011 where being from the poorest, smallest town was no barrier to attending the best university.
- You know that feeling when you hear older generations making remarks like ‘the internet has destroyed interpersonal relationships!’ and you just roll your eyes because you are married to someone you met on Twitter? Scored has a few of those technological paranoia moments. I’m Gen Y, and they always grate with me, so I’d imagine it’s worse for the current generation of teens who have never known a world without the internet. The line from the software developer, that he’d written software ‘smarter than us’ was probably the height of that for me.
Going by the length of this review, the book certainly had me thinking, so this is a good choice for teens who like books that make them think. I thought it would be enjoyble to both younger and older teens. – Natz2-D2, Amazon.Com Customer Review
CRIMSON DAWN Book One of the Darklife Saga by Ronnie Massey
Two Women Hunting A Rogue Vampire
Vampire Valeria Trumaine must confront old demons and face new possibilities as she struggles to bring a rogue vampire to justice. Her best friend and powerful Sidhe princess, Irulan, joins the hunt. Valeria will find that Irulan’s motives for keeping her safe are not what she thinks. And soon she is faced with an undeniable attraction that makes her question everything she knew about herself. [Read More...]
We are the only country that makes guns, including military-style assault weapons, available to anyone who wants to buy them. This is not freedom. It is a tyranny of death and destruction — a tyranny of which the National Rifle Association is proud. The Washington Post
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