Book: For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund
Genre: YA SF/Fantasy
For: Classic Double Challenge
From: The library
With this book, I've completed one pair of Melissa's (One Librarian's Book Reviews) Classic Double Challenge. The idea of the challenge is to read a classic and then to read a re-telling of that classic. This book is a wonderful, unique and very cool re-telling of Jane Austen's Persuasion...which I re-read and reviewed earlier this year.
I feel like the trick with re-tellings is that the familiar story is there.. yet... you are still kept guessing. I love it when the "new" story is different enough that you don't know for sure what direction it will take. Yet, I also love it when you can totally recognize the original story too. It's a fine line, don't you think?
This book did that perfectly. I loved it.
It is set in a world where several generations in the past people experimented with DNA, trying to create a "better" human, to the point that it back fired and soon people were being born with major problems. At the point when the story opens, people have been divided into two groups... those that believe these experiments were totally and completely wrong and have since sworn off all technology... and those who are the result of the experiments and who have now basically become slaves of the first group.
However, enough time has gone on that now babies are being born to the "slaves" who are totally normal again. And now what's society to do with them?
But not only is it about the ethical questions all that brings up, but it's about a girl (named Elliot who lives in the big house) and a boy (named Kai who is her servant) and their sweet at first, and then intense, relationship. The narrative bounces between events of the present time, and letters that these two have written to each other in the past. So slowly but surely, we see their relationship develop.. in the past... and then we see them now when Kai has returned after being gone for years. And suddenly, their whole relationship is rocked because of the strong emotions based on the unique rules of this particular society.
Ah... am I making any sense at all? It's actually quite hard to explain! You just have to read it! And it takes awhile to "get it" even when you do read it. But then, bam... there's no putting it down.
It's a sweet beautiful love story, and a lovely coming of age story... then throw in the cool science fiction... all mixed with a beloved classic. Awesome.
Bottom line: LOVED it!
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