by Leyla Suzan
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Pub Date 04 Apr 2023 | Archive Date 16 Dec 2022
Pushkin Press, Pushkin Children's Books
A BLIGHTED LAND
Ever since The Darkening, survival has been a struggle. The people of the Field toil on parched earth, trying to forge a life amid dwindling resources.
As one of the Giften, Ruthie is a saviour to her isolated community: her hands hold the rare ability to raise food from dead soil. But she is also its greatest danger.
A SINISTER REGIME
In the City lurks a dark army, intent on hunting Giften to harness their power, destroying all who stand in their way. With the threat growing ever stronger, Ruthie and her friends must leave behind all they have ever known and embark on a quest that will pitch them towards the City, and unknowable danger. One way or another, a battle is coming.
Average rating from 9 members
This book is as if the author joe took the best parts of Divergent and The Hunger Games and put them together; it really didn’t disappoint!!
Ruthie lives in the Fields, a farming community struggling to get by in a post apocalyptic world where crops struggle to grow. However, there are some in the community that can make crops grow by digging their hands into the earth. These are the Giften. They are highly sought by the Ciry who are using them for a secret project. After discovering she has the Gift, Ruthie begins a journey to a dangerous and life changing revolution.
This is a YA although as an adult I did find there were themes such as murder of children that were hard to deal with for me. This was important to the context of the story however and it did highlight the theme of abuse of power especially in war torn and poverty stricken communities. The novel was written with a sensitive and caring feel although this didn’t hinder the action and I found the book was equal parts moving and exciting.
Something about entertaining what life will be like in a post-apocalyptic world is equally terrifying and intriguing. This book is no exception. A world drained of natural resources is still fiction, but grows closer to being a reality. This book does a fantastic job of using fiction to have readers face the reality of our rapidly draining resources in Earth.
Giften is an enjoyable and gripping young adult novel. I would gladly add this book to my classroom library, and appreciate the ideas it explores through dystopian fiction.
Giften takes place in a dystopian future, where small communities work hard to farm the land after climactic catastrophes have decimated the planet. Ruthie and her friends live in The Field, one such community. Unfortunately these communities are forced to hand over large portions of what they grow to the MAGs (men and guns), enforcers from the City who are also always on the lookout for certain individuals who have a special gift (Giften). Giften have the power to grow plants in barren soil, a great help in this ravaged land. Whenever they find one, the MAGs take the Giften back to the City for experimentation. Ruthie is secretly a Giften, and is forced to leave her home when her secret comes out. She begins her journey by traveling with her friends to seek asylum with the Sanctuary, a group of Giften who live separately and fight the MAGs for their freedom. Along the way, they learn about their world, and have to decide if they're willing to fight for their future.
I haven't read a dystopian novel in a while, and this one filled that hole. The idea of the Giften separates this from a lot of other stories; it's an interesting power that really fits well in a story about a planet surviving after near extinction due to climactic events. I got a sense of realism from the characters, with their emotions and relationships. You can feel everyone's motivations, even the villains. This isn't the most action packed novel, but when the action comes up, it is well done. Maybe not the most innovative YA dystopian novel, but interesting to read nonetheless.
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