Friday, August 26, 2011

Book Review: Scored by Lauren McLaughlin


Imani knows the only way for her to be able to afford college is to keep her score above the scholarship line of 90.  That means ditching her best friend Cady and only hanging out with other 90s to avoid a score drop by association.  It also means rejecting unscored Diego’s offer of co-authoring an essay that could win them a scholarship unrelated to score.  But is the score really the best thing for Imani and society as a whole? Or is it just a way for ScoreCorp to rule with an iron fist?

SCORED is one of those slippery slope near future dystopias you could actually see happening.  Set in a poor fishing town after the second great depression, the novel presents a society where your score defines everything about you – who you talk to and what you say, where you hang out and what kind of job you can get.  The score seems to offer upward mobility for the lower class – score well and you’re on your way to a bright future – but the consequences of one misstep can ruin your whole life.

Privacy is a big issue and Author McLaughlin explores it here in depth, showing us the effects freely opening up your life for public scrutiny has on a person, a peer group and a larger society.  Arguments for and against the score are presented lucidly and the plot - which pits score supporters and score haters against each other – clips along at a nice pace.  Though I can see some teens complaining that it seems too much like required reading/homework, others will be pleased by all the avenues for discussion it brings up.

SCORED comes out on October 25, 2011. Find out more about it at the author’s website.

Zombie chickens say: Well worth reading! Also, props for putting a POC character on the cover. (Imani is mixed race)

Song for the Ultimate Dystopian Playlist: It’s My Life by No Doubt. Sample lyrics: “Funny how I blind myself, I never knew, if I was sometimes played upon, afraid to lose.”

14 comments:

Bee said...

This sounds very different and original from the other dystopians. I like how relatable it seems even with the current scenario of academic associations and all that.

Beth S. said...

As a teacher, the concept and commentary of this book is all too real for me. Definitely going to read this one!

Jules said...

I completely agree with Zombie chickens opinion :)

I haven't heard of this one before but it is certainly one that I will be looking out for in the future.

Off to add this to my wishlist! :D

Thanks for all the recommendations this month! I'm going to be sad to see Dystopian August come to an end.

Amanda said...

This seems like a really unique concept. The scary thing is that it reminds me of people I know...may have to check it out.

SusieBookworm (Susanna) said...

This sounds pretty creepy, especially as I'm going off to college next year. Unique concept for a dystopia.

bermudaonion said...

That does sound somewhat close to reality! So many kids do things now just so they'll look good to colleges.

Zibilee said...

I think this one sounds kind of scarily realistic, and I can see that the plot is not that much of a stretch on how things could be if we keep heading in the direction we are going. Very interesting premise. I bet this is something I would enjoy, for a lot of reasons.

Milli said...

Dystopians always find of way of freaking me out. Especially when they're so believable. It sounds like an amazing book! Going strait to my to-read list. Thanks for the review (:

-milli
www.doodlereads.blogspot.com

Lucy said...

I like realistic dystopians and Scored sounds like it has an intriguing and relevant concept.
Thanks for introducing me to this one.

Allison said...

ooooh, creepy. Nice plot idea to open up the question of privacy based on something besides just straight technology. I'm sure that will still be a factor - but still. Awesome.

Bookgeek said...

I thought this one was very good.

Pam (@iwriteinbooks) said...

Love the song choice for this one.

Michelle said...

I like dystopia that feels as though it could actually happen to us. The creep factor is challenging and heightens the experience.

Debbie's World of Books said...

I just finished this one and enjoyed it but it didn't blow me away like other dystopians have. Still was nice like you said to see a POC main character.