Title: The Registry
Author: Shannon Stoker
Source: from publisher for TLC book tour
Review Summary: A respectable addition to the dystopian craze, well written with an interesting premise and great character development.
In a dystopian America, women are listed in the registry where they are auctioned off as brides when they turn 18. Boys are considered worthless and often thrown out to survive on their own between school and mandatory military service. Unsurprisingly, not all the men produced by this brutal system are men a girl would want to be married to, as Mia finds out from her married older sister. Sheltered as Mia is, escape will be difficult even with the help of a better educated friend and a boy working as a farm hand. Especially once the ruthless man who wanted to buy her discovers she’s run away.
Although dystopian novels have been in vogue for a while, I’ve just started getting obsessed so I was very excited to review The Registry. Initially, however, I wasn’t too impressed. Our heroine is gorgeous but hopelessly sheltered making her come across as too ditzy. It also seemed as though the plot was going to be far to predictable. The minute she runs into a handsome farm hand you know he’s going to be a potential love interest and obviously the man interested in purchasing Mia is going to be a self-entitled jerk. We also got a rather thin and unbelievable first explanation for how the society in the novel developed. Fortunately, everything got better from there!
The writing was generally very good and we quickly learn that there are many explanations for how the registry system came to be. I’m still hoping for a slightly better explanation in the next novel, but as is, it’s a mystery our heroine is getting closer to solving instead of a poor explanation by the author. The initially unlikable Mia adjusts to her new circumstances quickly, becoming braver and more self-reliant. I loved the character growth, as Mia wasn’t annoying for long and changed in believable ways. The plot wasn’t complex but the action and pacing made for an exciting escape story.
At the very end, we almost get an annoying love triangle, with Mia deciding to swap spit with the first guy who is obviously interested in her, even though she likes someone else. At first, this bothered me, but I felt Mia’s actions were believable given the sheltered life she led and given her desire not to be owned. She also always knew who she liked, which saved it from the indecisiveness that makes me hate so many love triangles. Overall, this ended up being a fast paced and enjoyable read. I can’t wait for the next book in the series!