Configured by Jenetta Penner
Expected Publication: October 20th 2016
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
In the future love will make you a traitor.
120 years after a virus decimated earth’s population the survivors thrive in safety, away from the death and destruction of the Outerbounds. Divided into three levels of intellect, Citizens focus solely on duty.
Due to her advanced intelligence, seventeen-year-old Avlyn Lark is separated from her twin brother at birth and raised by adoptive parents. She gains privilege, the ideal future. He dies. Avlyn barely knows him yet remains linked to his memory.
But following a string of rebel intrusions on the city, Avlyn receives a cryptic message and begins seeing visions of her dead twin. The mysterious radical who urges Avlyn to join their fight becomes her link to answers. Freedom.
Opportunity awaits, but if she says yes will she lose it all?
Configured is the first novel in a trilogy YA dystopian/light romance that poses the question: does humanity need love for survival? Fans of Divergent, Matched, and the Maze Runner will love this world of dark secrets, intrigue and desire for a better tomorrow.
I received this book as an advanced reader copy from the author herself in exchange for an honest review.
“Defiant thoughts roll around in my brain. Why is it that a few people get to decide how we should live?”
I have read a lot of dystopian novels in the past few years, and this one stands out from the masses. I loved almost every aspect of it. The plot moved fairly quickly, and you never knew what direction it was going to go in. The supporting characters were amazing, and the main character herself was decent. I did get a Divergent/The Giver vibe, but only a tad bit. I kept thinking that Affinity will show a bad side to themselves, like in The Hunger Games, but it never happened. Which I was greatful for, there already are plenty of books where the rebel cause is just as bad as the current government.
“No one should die for the right to love. That kind of freedom is worth fighting for.”
As far as world building goes, Penner does a great job of going into detail about her new dystopian world. While I don’t necessarily want a food printer, I wouldn’t mind having an EP. Who wouldn’t like to know when someone you don’t like is about to go around the corner? Elora through Avlyn’s eyes was great. In the beginning, we see how Avlyn struggles to fit in with her fellow citizens and her prejudices for Level Ones. As she transitions to a rebel for Affinity, we see how she struggles with this new idea that she doesn’t have to hide her emotions around them
“If I’m going to die, I’m at least going to try to save my parents.”
I think I enjoyed the supporting characters a little bit more than our MC, Avlyn. I thought Avlyn was a little bit of a weak character, but she was strong when she needed to be. I wanted her to have more of a backbone at least by halfway through the novel, but she didn’t develop it until near the end. It seemed as if every time Avlyn resolved that she had made the right choice in picking the rebel cause, she would grow and become more confident in her decisions. But then, the next time a mission or something comes up, we are back to square one with the indecision. This aspect was the only part of the book that I did not enjoy. I hope in the second book Avlyn will be a stronger character than she was in this one. I also hope that we find out more about Avlyns immersion power(?), she used it all throughout the book but she would only say she doesn’t know why it happens. I was hoping she would discover a little bit more about her ability at some point in the book, but maybe that’ll be in the next installment.
“‘Avlyn, this world is both beautiful and broken.’ She closes her eyes, and her breathing slows. ‘Make more beautiful moments than broken ones.'”
The supporting characters were what made the book, in my opinion! Meyer…what can I say about him that won’t give anything away? He is the stereotypical stoic guy who only treats Avlyn like an assignment, but really has feelings for her deep down. I like that Penner didn’t include a insta-love type of situation here, their feelings grew gradually and wasn’t the main aspect of the book. Sometimes romance takes over a book and the plot gets lost, I am glad to say that it did not happen here. Everyone else you had to wonder if they were a part of Affinity or not, which made it interesting to find out who actually was a rebel.
“Everyone has secrets.”
If you are a fan of dystopian novels, you should definitely check out this book. You also get a nice dose of futuristic technology, that I wish we had today! For a debut novel, Penner did an excellent job of drawing the reader in from the very beginning. I can’t wait to see what is in store next for Avlyn, Meyer and all the other characters!