The Book That Made Me: James Mayhew 17/07/19
Publisher: Firefly Press
In the not-to-distant future earth’s surface has been drastically reduced, as the rising sea levels encroach on the land. The space and resources that remain have to be earned, and in The Territory this means all children must sit the TAA exams. Those who pass can stay and those who fail must make it alone in the inhospitable, disease infested Wetlands. Noa and her friends, Daisy and Jack, are ‘Norms’, meaning they have to study the old-fashioned way, while the rich children, or ‘Childes’, have a node on their neck that allows them to simply download all the information they need. With the exams looming Noa meets Raf, the boy with one green eye and one blue. Despite being a Childe he is not haughty or cruel, and Noa finds herself falling for him at the worst possible time.
This is a truly exceptional novel, exciting, gripping and intense, with relatable protagonists whose agonies become the reader’s own. It deals with complex moral dilemmas regarding loyalty, self-preservation and family, forcing the reader to answer the uncomfortable question: who deserves to live when spaces are limited? This is the first of a trilogy and the final cliff-hanger will leave you clamouring for more.