Author: Sara Grant
Release date: August 3, 2011
Publisher: Little, Brown
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...Dark Parties is a very unusual dystopian novel. The story is something that has not been done in previous dystopian novels and I loved that about it. It did have its flaws and there were some things that I really did not care for but in the end I really did end up enjoying this one.
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.
Neva Adams should be the perfect patriot. Her dad is the Minister of Ancient History and he is very high up in the government. Instead of making her want to be a good citizen that makes her want to rebel even more. She knows she can't do it on her own though so she and her best friend, Sanna, host a "dark party" to recruit members for their rebellion. At first things seem to be going great but then members of the rebellion start disappearing. What is really happening to all the people going missing? Is there life outside the Protectosphere or is it just a crazy dream for a bunch of people who have lost almost all hope?
The story in Dark Parties is fabulous. From the very beginning you know something is going on in the Protectosphere. People are disappearing without a trace and resources are running out. You get hints from the very beginning about what is really going on but it is not made clear until close to the end of the book. It kept me guessing and it kept me on the edge of my seat. Neva and all her friends kept getting into more and more trouble and I was sure at more than one point that they would not be able to escape. Dark Parties is definitely a page-turner.
The biggest flaw of this book, to me, was the romance. Neva gets involved with her best friend's boyfriend and I could not understand why. It's clear from the beginning that they have chemistry but I didn't see that as a good enough reason to go behind her friend's back and cheat with her boyfriend. Things were made a little more clear at the end of the book and I kind of got past the whole cheating thing. I really did like both Neva and Braydon so I hope to see more of them in the next book as well as the rest of the characters. Well, maybe not all. =)
Overall, Dark Parties is a great debut from Sara Grant and a fabulous dystopian to add to the growing list. I do have to say that this one is probably not suited for younger teens because of sexual content. I do recommend it to older teens and adults though!
First line: I'm standing in the dark, not the gentle gray of dusk or the soft black of a moonlit night but pitch-black.