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.”