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Review: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Saturday, August 13, 2011
5 Stars: Incredible
Hardback: 320 Pages
Publication: August 3, 2011 by Little, Brown Books for Young Reads

Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...
Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.

The name and the U.S. cover both look foreboding. However, Dark Parties is less of a dark thriller and more of a dystopian novel. It is the future, but the general population doesn’t know it, as the news, history… everything… is censored by the government. Resolved in her belief that there is a better life out there, Neva has begun silent protests against the government. However, it seems as though the government knows her every move….

I love the symbolism behind Neva’s name, which means snowflake. Within the Protectosphere, the population has been inbreeding so much that everyone looks alike. Snowflakes look alike and yet each one has a unique pattern. It is her namesake from her grandmother, who believed in a better life outside of the Protectosphere. A belief that Neva shares.

Neva is a strong character with an even stronger voice. It takes incredible spirit to speak out against a government before which even your own parents, loyal citizens of the state, quail. She’s curious, brave, and intelligent. Still, there were some things that I thought she would have seen. That it would be impossible to get her peers other than Sana to fight the government again after their initial failure. Why the government is taking so many young girls even when they have done nothing against the government (think dwindling populations, encouraged sex, and a Women’s Empowerment Center).

Overall, the plot is really interesting. At a time with so many dystopian novels coming out, Sara Grant creates a unique world in which I lost myself. I couldn’t have guessed all the plot twists that were coming! Everything did come to a head all too quickly, and things worked out conveniently for Neva. However, she had her own losses, and she was kind of in a hurry to get out of there.

I’m intrigued as to how Sara Grant will continue from where Dark Parties left off (if she does). The government seems all-powerful within the Protectosphere, and the ending is very open, leaving us with so many questions that I hope she'll answer.

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A copy was provided by the publisher for review purposes.
3 comments on "Review: Dark Parties by Sara Grant"
  1. Thanks for sharing this. It sounds like a good dystopian and I hadn't heard of it yet.

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  2. Seen some good reviews of this recently and it does sound great! Thanks for sharing your thoughts

    The Cait Files

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  3. I have been following this book and at first was very ambivalent about it - and now I am really wanting to read it. Thanks for sharing today.

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