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
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