Friday, June 7, 2013

Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker

The Registry
by Shannon Stoker
Series: Yes
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: June 11, 2013
Genre: NA Dystopian 
Source: ARC from publisher for unbiased review
Purchase*: Barnes and Noble/Amazon/Book Depository
*purchases from buy links help support this blog


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
Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer

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45 Comments:

At July 17, 2013 at 9:31 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yeah this was a big let down and soooo no YA.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous bookwormdreams said...

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

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I may change my mind..LOL

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This would have scored better as a YA, I liked the darker aspects but even they were mild YA

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous Kimberly @ Turning The Pages said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:32 PM , Anonymous Michelle said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:38 PM , Anonymous Kat (AussieZombie) said...

I had to DNF this one, it just annoyed me far too much. I found Mia so inconsistent.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:39 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Others really liked it so read around

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous candacerobinson said...

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'.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Sadly while it has components that are good, like feminism etc, it failed as NA.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Nothing and I mean nothing about this book except that they are 18 screams NA.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

It is but it fails miserably and the characters behave more like 14 yr olds.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:47 PM , Anonymous Silvia @ Darkest Sins said...

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! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yeah I need to believe it and sadly I didn't but it was an easy read and I felt compelled to keep reading.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

you are welcome Sharon!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I hope it works out for you, I admit it kept me reading.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Melissa (Books and Things) said...

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!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

thanks Silvia, it was /is suppose to be a big hit this summer..but sadly not for me :(

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

*nods head*

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I would love to hear your take on it Cricket.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I know what you mean, which is why I read it, but it had way to many questions and doubts for this one.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Exactly!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

I try to be straight with ya :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

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!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

Yeah, big disappointment

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Heidi said...

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?

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Maja (The Nocturnal Library) said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Debbie Haupt said...

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

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous kindlemom1 said...

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!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Meg-A Bookish Affair said...

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

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Cricket@Little Library Muse said...

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

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Jenea Whittington said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Silvia @ Darkest Sins said...

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

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous brandileigh2003 said...

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

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Sharon - Obsession with Books said...

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! :)

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:48 PM , Anonymous Naomi Hop said...

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

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous kimbacaffeinate said...

This is NA but now you have me curious

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:49 PM , Anonymous Blodeuedd said...

Ya know, I keep staring at that cover...it's on some other YA book too

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Christy (Love of Books) said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Kristin A. said...

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.

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Lauren said...

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!

 
At July 17, 2013 at 9:54 PM , Anonymous Trish Hannon said...

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.

 

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