Mary is stuck in Section One, living with three hundred women in a crumbling hospital. She wonders what life was like two centuries ago, before the Cleansing wiped out all the men. But the rules—the Matriarch's senseless rules—prevent her from exploring the vacant city to find out.
Taylor's got a dangerous secret: he's a boy. His compound's been destroyed, and he's been relocated to Section One. Living under the Matriarch means giving up possessions, eating canned food and avoiding all physical contact. Baggy clothes hide his flat chest and skinny legs, but if anyone discovers what lies beneath, he'll be exiled. Maybe even executed.
Mary's never seen a boy—the Matriarch cut the pictures of men from the textbooks—and she doesn't suspect Taylor's secret. If she knew, she might understand the need to stop the girls from teasing him. If she knew, she might realize why she breaks the rules, just to be near him. Then again, she might be frightened to death of him.
Taylor should go. The Matriarch is watching his every move. But running means leaving Mary—and braving the land beyond the compound's boundaries.
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
But the Cleansing didn't stop the struggle for power. The Cleansing didn't end violence. The Cleansing didn't bring peace. When free to find their own way, the women are just as destructive.
In this dystopian world, a worldwide infection killed almost everyone, only a few women survived, building a new society with rules, such as not touching each other or never getting out of the complex. There are also some doctors who create humans, but only girls since boys cannot survive. There's a Matriarch who rules them all and punishes those who disobey by throwing them into the pit or even killing them.
Taylor is a new resident who joins them and he gets somehow close with Mary. The thing is that Taylor never wanted to join them, he wants to get back home and he has to be careful because his secret cannot be revealed. Somehow, he is the only living boy who is healthy and pretends to be a girl, because he knows that his secret could be fatal.
There are also Earthers, people who live out in the woods, hunting the few animals that have remained alive after the disease and an enemy to the Sections.
Taylor and Mary come close and when his secret is being revealed, she doesn't know how she should act about it. Should she reveal this to the Matriarch? Should she keep it to herself and endanger the whole section?
If I lived years ago, there would have been billions of men on the earth. I might have seen hundreds of them every day. Now there is one. Now there is Taylor.
I've been intrigued to read this book for a very long time. I was interested the moment I read the blurb, but I was also hesitant because it was unlike anything I've ever read and the reviews weren't very flattering as well. Still, I took my chance and thought that I needed to read this and figure this out myself.
Now that the book is over I can say that there were some parts I enjoyed and the whole idea had some potential, but it was also lacking. In dystopian books you need to have a good idea about the world and how exactly it works, you get questions and you need answers, especially if you need the solution about the problem.
I can't say I got my answers nor a solution. The end was rushed and therefore I didn't understand what exactly happened and if there was a solution to the 'only boy' issue. When you write a whole book, you can't leave your readers with half answers. I was reading this for days and now that I've finished it, I felt disappointed with how the author handled the epilogue. I get it ,you have a villain and your purpose is to get him out of the way, but still I don't think that was also the solution to the problem. What was the cure for the disease? Are boys going to be healthy from now on? (view spoiler)[ Now that the heroine is infected, does that mean she's going to die? (hide spoiler)] So many important questions were left unanswered and that doesn't make me a happy reader.
I don't know if those were answered and I was unable to understand. I don't know if the author plans to make it a series instead of a standalone and that's why I didn't get everything properly answered. All I know is that this had great potential, but overall it felt lacking. And something else, after reading this, I can definitely say that a world without men sucks. You can get feminist all you want, but that's a true fact!
If you need YA with a unique concept, with suspense and adventure, you can pick this up. You may end up loving it!
Thank you for the gift copy Read More Sleep Less Blog! :))