Saturday, May 21, 2016

VINYL BY SOPHIA ELAINE HANSON - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, today it is Vinyl by Sophia Elaine Hanson. Thanks so much to the author for sending me a copy of this book for an honest review. As always, all opinions are my own.



I really enjoyed this book. Vinyl ended up being a really great, classical dystopian novel that was able to stand apart and be unique in a fairly saturated genre.

The book follows primarily the main character, Ronja, who lives in a world where people have devices implanted called "Singers" that distribute the "Music." There is the Day Song, the Night Song and the Quiet Song, each counteracting the emotions and feelings that the citizens feel, such as the desire to rebel. Those who have be able to overcome the Music are captured and turned into "Mutts," mutants who die slowly and painfully, becoming addicted to substances, are unable to control their emotions and ultimately passing on the mutant genes to their offspring, as sort of a warning for others. Ronja's mother is a Mutt, and Ronja feels the effects of this through isolation and prejudice.

Anyways, one thing leads to another, and Ronja is captured by the rebellious group against the Conductor, called the Anthem. One of the important members of this group is Roark. There is a bit of romance between Ronja and Roark, and I appreciated how while it was an element of the story, it wasn't the main focus. I also liked how it wasn't insta-love. Ronja is way to headstrong to jump into a relationship like that. Although there isn't much of a chance to develop it in this book, I'm hoping the next book expands more on it.

Being a dystopian novel, there was some overlap with other books I've read, but at this point, there isn't much that hasn't been done. The rag-tag team on an adventure to save family reminded me a little of The Darkest Minds, the Singer devices reminded me of Under the Never Sky and the dark, industrial, underground city of the Anthem was reminiscent of The City of Ember as well as the sass of characters in Shatter Me. That being said, this book stood out and stood on its own. The use of music was a different element than I am used to, and I really loved the concept of the Singers.

I also really loved the writing style of this book. There were times when I just had step back and appreciate the writing. You can tell that the author put a lot of work into choosing each and every word in the story, and was well aware of the weight behind them. Another interesting writing quirk was that while most of the characters were eighteen, nineteen, and older, they were often referred to as "the boy" or "the girl," never "the man" or "the woman." I don't know if it was intentional or not, but I found that these descriptions helped remind me that these characters were young, they weren't men and women hardened by life, but rather children who were forced to grow up way too fast.

Overall, this was a great dystopian with all the classic elements of the genre, but with a twist.