For Vanya, brother kidnapped by pharma company, alternative San Fransisco
A dystopia set in a parallel world in which by adolescence people lose the ability to experience emotion, 'wane', unless they use emotion-enhancing chemicals from which they can pick and choose. It's also a hard-boiled detective novel of the Dashiell Hammitt variety with Sam Spade portrayed by a teenage girl. Her brother, to whom she is irrevocably attached via something that one might suspect is love, is taken for research by a corporate pharmaceutical company that manufactures the emotion producing drugs because he doesn't seem to be waning. An interesting read that might make an interesting movie.
A Must-Read Young Adult pick. Natalia Peña has already reached the waning age. She isn’t supposed to have emotions anymore. So why does she love her little brother with such ferocity that she'll do anything to get him back after he's kidnapped by a Big Brother-esque corporation?
I am incredibly tired of dystopian YA, but I’m not even sure that’s what this book is. Regardless of what to call it, I enjoyed it a lot. The premise is that this is set in some sort of alternate contemporary world in which people’s emotions start to wane in adolescence and eventually fade away entirely. Part of what made this such interesting reading is that I kept thinking how difficult it would be to write a character who has no feelings but who is still a decent, good person, so I was constantly impressed at the thoughtful ways the author navigated situations with a character who wouldn’t react the way a normal person in our society would. Furthermore, the fact that the waning emotions aren’t the result of some sort of evil government plot made it more intriguing, too – there’s no big bad person/regime to overthrow here, just characters trying to exist in the world with the tools they’ve been granted. A lot of this feels oddly relevant to our own time, too – it’s a weird book, and one that I think will stick with me.
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