Monday, January 5, 2015

Turnabout - YA Bingo

Completed on: December 28th
# of Pages: 240
Bingo Category: A Book Set in the Future
And at last, here is the last installment in my YA Bingo Challenge! This was a particularly interesting book to read, and one that's been on the shelves for quite a while and therefore has a very unique picture of what the future of 2085 will look like, so I'll walk you through what this book is about.

The two main characters are Amelia and Anna-Beth, women who in their 90's at a retirement home in 2006 signed contracts allowing doctors to administer something called PT-1. What this "treatment" did was save them from dying of old age but plagued them to from then on begin to age in reverse, the two of them along with another handful of 90-something senior citizens. The book Turnabout switches between flashbacks to around 2006 after PT-1 is administered to them and tracks the origins of what brought on a now 15 year-old "Melly" aka Amelia and 18 year-old Anna-Beth to be living away from "the agency" but still living under their protection, where officials from the agency check in on them from time-to-time and visit each girl on their birthday, when their age then decreases a year. Each time they grow a year younger, they lose key memories of that year they have lost, specifically in their first life. When the doctors first administered PT-1 to these people, who had to cut themselves off from their families and anyone that knew them in their first lifetime, they were also promised a "Cure", which would be administered at any time the patient chose to permanently freeze them at the age that they choose to live in forever. But it's proven in these flashbacks that the agency isn't always completely honest with its patients, which is one of the reasons Amelia and Anna-Beth chose to leave.

With this reverse ageing treatment that Anna-Beth and Amelia have been given, there is definitely a science fiction element to this book. What I most enjoyed about it is that we are given an in-depth look at the two main characters, specifically Amelia whose point-of-view the story is told from. As Amelia and Anna-Beth try to live apart from the agency, knowing that there will one day come a time where they will both be too young to take care of themselves, they are on the lookout for somebody to act as a parents to take care of them until they reach the age of 0 and supposedly pass away and to also be a guardian of their secret so that the world will not come to know anything about PT-1.

If I'm being completely honest, even with the flashback scenes in the first 2 parts of this book that reveal what lead to the present day circumstances for Amelia and Anna-Beth, I found that this book was very slow going until I reached part 3. Even so, I felt that this was a worthwhile read. Haddix' image of the future of 2085, with so many privacy laws simultaneously existing with so many Big Brother-type restrictions was a bit odd, but it worked to keep the story progressing the way that it did, so I can't rag on the details all that much.
It's an interesting thing, to keep track of all of the books you have read in a year - even just YA novels, and even if it's just for about 7 months. I hope all of you enjoyed taking on this reading journey with me :) Now I'll have to find another reading challenge to take on for 2015 :)

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