The Registry by Shannon Stoker

June 6th, 2013 kimbacaffeinate Review 45 Comments

6th Jun

The Registry
The Registry
by Shannon Stoker
Series: Yes
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: June 11, 2013
Genre: Dystopian
Source: publisher
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository

The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death. Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom. All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

Touted as New Adult the Registry is a fresh new dystopian by Shannon Stoker takes us to a dark and scary America. In my opinion there was nothing setting this apart from the YA genre, and while it’s dark at times it shouldn’t hinder young readers from its pages. This was an easy read for me and despite questions, and a few issues I was thoroughly entertained. Three word review: suspenseful, unique, dark.

Mia Morrissey is almost eighteen and excited to finally be registered. In Stoker’s world girls grow up to be brides and sold to the highest bidder and sons are sent off to be raised as soldiers. When Mia gets a warning from her sister and her parents are eager to rush her contract, Mia decides to escape to Mexico. The tale that unfolds is filled with danger, a psychopath and a shocking glimpse at this ruthless new world.

When we first meet Mia she is obsessed with marriage, her hair, her drop dead good looks and I quite frankly didn’t like her, but we quickly realize this is how she was raised. She is intelligent, but her education beyond sewing, clothes and cooking are severely lacking. I enjoyed watching her transform, and while some of her behavior was expected it still made me cringe. She flipped a switch back and forth between whiny brat and brave kick-ass heroine. Whitney her friend isn’t as pretty as Mia and only has a month left on the registry before she will become a ward of the state. She is strong, passionate about learning and her knowledge is broader than Mia’s. She struggles to accept the reality around her and plays a pivotal part in the plot. Andrew is almost nineteen and works on Mia’s father’s farm. With only three weeks left before he reports for his four years of military service he decides to travel. I liked Andrew, and watching him struggle with his upbringing and reality was fascinating. His feelings evolve for Mia but he doesn’t know how to handle it. Grant is in my opinion a deranged psychopath who intends to have Mia for his bride and will go to any lengths to have her. The romance thankfully did not take center stage as I had some issues with it. Strangers along the way and government soldiers all add to the tale’s suspense.

Stoker has created a dark world especially for woman. She does a good job of slowly filling in the details of what and how this Registry and US came to be. It’s been a hundred years or more since the Registry began, and I understand why it was started, but why we would allow it to continue is beyond me. She touches on both feminism and sexism. The propaganda at the beginning of each chapter shows you the depth of this governments brainwashing. The tale can be dark and at times scary, but there is no real gore, and the freaky hair-raising parts are mostly implied. There is death it’s ugly but we are spared any details, making this read more like a young YA novel rather than for its intended target. Like in the big action movies we love, there were a few miracle escapes that made my eyes roll. I didn’t really feel the romance. No I take that back, I started too but then Mia’s behavior was completely juvenile in this department and I dismissed it. The ending gives us some closure, and I was surprised to learn this is the first in a series or trilogy. I would have liked this tale to be grittier, and wish it had given us a more detailed glance at the world itself. It teased me with its dark side and I wanted more. Despite some issues, the tale flowed well and I found myself caught up in their escape.

Fans of dystopian novels will find The Registry interesting. This was an easy, gripping read that I enjoyed but don’t know if I will continue.

Two and half cups of coffee out of five
One StarOne StarHalf a Star
Copyright (c) 2011-2013 Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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45 Responses to “The Registry by Shannon Stoker”

  1. bookwormdreams

    This one didn’t really rock my boat either. I was especially annoyed with that love triangle that poped up at the end.

  2. Kimberly

    It’ a shame this one didn’t appeal to you enough to keep you reading the next book, but my oh my I have no idea how I’ve never heard of it before! I hope I like it when I read it.

  3. Michelle

    Aw I’m sad that this one didn’t turn out better for you. I loved the idea but I don’t like characters that flip flop in their personalities. It’s also disappointing that it’s advertised as NA but feels more like a YA.

  4. kimbacaffeinate

    I understand completely..I kept reading since I was curious about the world and it was hyped as this big NA book..and sadly it failed.

  5. candacerobinson

    Eh. I’m burned out on this kind of book these days. It sounds like they should have made this YA though, NA readers are going to be disappointed that it’s so ‘clean’.

  6. kimbacaffeinate

    I was excited about it I mean Na, dystopian, woman raised to be brides..and while I found aspects that were worthy, this really missed its mark.

  7. Silvia

    Don’t feel bad, it happens. Big hit or not (and so big name or not), sometimes we simply are not into a book. The most important thing is being honest about that and not being afraid to say it.
    I’m sure there are going to be lots of summer reads you’re going to really enjoy! 🙂

  8. kimbacaffeinate

    Yeah, I had issues with the premises and characters issues. It was well paced, and kept me reading but not what I had hoped for.

  9. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I still have that question about why we still allow things even today. Shaming of women still happens way too often. Feeling that way, I do think I’d have the same reaction as you did. Love dystopians but if the message fails, then I don’t think it is for me. Brilly review!

  10. kimbacaffeinate

    Well, the world fascinated me mainly because I wanted to know why woman allowed it…and the reason for the shortage of woman and the governments role was unique..but ugh the romance and characters *bangs head on desk* I understood why woman allowed it in the beginning..because of what occurred but 100 years later..i’d like to think woman would have had an uprising!

  11. Heidi

    II was so excited to read this and even thought about profiling it for Apocalypse but I have yet to read a flattering review on it. It just seems to be flopping. Have you noticed that many of the Harper Collins titles this year have not been good? What is up with that?

  12. Maja (The Nocturnal Library)

    I never even managed to finish this! As you pointed out, I didn’t understand why this world would continue as it was. I somehow doubt women would voluntarily regress in such a way. It just seems too implausible. And the whole thing was too focused on the romance and the hormones of everyone involved. I was so annoyed by the time I finished the first half, I just didn’t see a good reason to keep torturing myself.
    Great review, Kimberly.

  13. Debbie Haupt

    This a why I always come here for my daily dose of reality Kim because you’ll tell it like it is.
    Thanks for the review
    deb

  14. kindlemom1

    I had such wish hopes for this one that I admit, I felt a little let down with it as well. It had a lot of promise but there were too many…I don’t know things that just didn’t feel right in it. It was an okay read but not the stand out read I was hoping it would be.
    Great honest review Kim!

  15. Meg-A Bookish Affair

    Hrm, I’m a little bit on the fence about this. I like dystopian but your review has me second guessing.

  16. Cricket

    Great review, may give this one a chance. It sounds like an ok read.

  17. Jenea Whittington

    I have seen this, and was a little curious, but from the sounds of it, I’m not sure it is for me. Mia sounds like one of those characters that I would be pulling my hair out over. Great review.

  18. Silvia

    Didn’t hear of this until now, uhm… Thanks for your honest (as usual) review, Kimberly!

  19. brandileigh2003

    I am in the middle now so just scanned your review, but I am being really entertained too, and enjoying the characters and premsie

  20. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    I haven’t heard of this one before now, the premise sounds interesting its just a shame it fell flat & had some issues.

    A wonderful, honest review Kimba! 🙂

  21. Naomi Hop

    It is a little disappointing when you read a book that doesn’t live up to the age barrier you expected. It does sound like a good read though, but I like the swoon moments to sizzle a bit more. Great review Kimberly

  22. Christy (Love of Books)

    I wanted to read this when I first requested it, but I started feeling like I wouldn’t like it. So I decided not to read it. Looks like that was a good decision.

  23. Kristin A.

    This definitely sounds disappointing. I was actually going to start this next but er I’m a bit concerned now. I didn’t realize this was marketed NA until you mentioned it. Everything about the book screams YA to me.

  24. Lauren

    Oh no, this sounds horribly disappointing! I hate eye roll worthy escapes and juvenile behavior. It’s always interesting to me when pubs decide to market it as NA rather than YA, but it sounds pretty YA. I think I’ll skip this one after all. Thanks for your honest and thoughtful review!

  25. Trish Hannon

    I was excited to hear the mixture of NA and Dystopia and disappointed to see it didn’t deliver on that. Lots of flaws from reading your review and as its part of a series I doubt I’ll start.