I picked this up randomly at the library straight after the end of the UnderHypedReads readathon. This only had 2575 ratings on Goodreads when I read it so even though the readathon was over, I thought I’d give it a go.
I went into this not knowing anything about it other than it is a science-fiction dystopian novel and the illustrations throughout it are really eye-catching and seemed to add a lot to the story.
The writing style of this book was a little off-putting at first because it is written in first-person narration from Standish’s point of view and since he isn’t very educated when it comes to reading and writing, sometimes his sentences seemed a bit mixed up but I soon got used to it and really enjoyed the writing style overall.
The world that Sally Gardner builds in this novel is reminiscent of Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell in that the world is brutal and there is an extremely controlling government called the Motherland that keep everyone under surveillance. The world building was really well done, though a little confusing at points, and I found that the switching between past and present really built up the world to give a full picture of what the world was like.
Overall I really enjoyed this novel though there were a few things that could have been clarified a little more. The ending was suspenseful and wrapped up the story well and the play on the moon-landing was well interpreted in this story. I would recommend this to anyone who likes dystopians, science-fiction or conspiracy theories as I think this has a bit of something for everyone. This novel does contain some strong language and violence but I do like when YA novel’s don’t shy away from these sometimes and in this case it really helps to build a realistic image of the world that Standish lives in so I enjoyed it.