First up... LOVE that cover. However, the story... not so much.
I struggled with the writing style in this book, and found
it very hard to overlook. I felt my reins tugged this way and that way, my eyes
and ears pointed directly at events, and this got very tiring. I'm a reader who
likes to make up my own mind; I like to pick up clues like breadcrumbs, and it
doesn't matter to me that the author is dropping them quite consciously. I just
like to feel as though I'm doing some of it on my own.
The Blemished didn't allow me any of this independence, hence why I struggled.
The dystopian setting which Dalton has created is novel and interesting. The
premise here is that our society's obsession with beauty and physical
perfection has led to test tube babies, all others being classed as
"lesser" and therefore not allowed to breed; only allowed to live in
order to serve the GEMs.
I like the premise. The rest of the story sticks to tried and true teen
dystopia lines, which is not to say it's bad, just to say it's predictable.
Readers who enjoy this genre will not be disappointed; we all love books that
turn out to be just as we expect them to be.
I think that maybe without Mina's supernatural power I might have enjoyed the
book more. I think that the obsession with beauty, perfection and pageants was
enough; there was no need to have another level within the story. Without the
powers it makes the world scarily close and frighteningly possible on some
level, but then when you throw in her abilities, we are swept into the realm of
fantasy and I am left saying "Wait, what?" I'm no longer afraid for
our future, exploring the ways in which society will implode on itself, which I
believe is the strength and morbid fascination of reading dystopian fiction.
I realise that in not loving this book I am going against much popular opinion. For many of its intended audience I'm sure this book is a must-read. To see what others have said about The Blemished, click here.