Monday, April 21, 2014

[Review: Deliver Me by Kate Jarvik Birch]

"Deliver Me"
Author: Kate Jarvik Birch
Series: None
Pages: 250
Genre: YA, Dystopian
Date Published: April 29th, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury Spark
Format Read: eARC provided by publisher (via NetGalley) for honest review


One People. One Union. One Future.

Wynne’s entire life is dictated by the Union: the clothes she wears, the books she reads, even the genes she inherited. And like every other girl in the Union, Wynne dreams of being chosen as a Carrier on her 16th birthday—one of the elite selected to carry the future generation within her womb. Wynne and her best friend Odessa are certain they will both make the cut, but when Odessa is chosen and whisked off to a life of privilege, Wynne is left behind to work as an assistant, delivering perfectly planned babies for the Union.

As Odessa slips deeper and deeper into the role of Carrier, Wynne begins to see the Union for what it really is: a society that criminalizes the notion of love, and forbids words like mother and family.

For the first time in her life, Wynne is faced with a choice: submit to the will of the Union, or find a way to escape and save Odessa before she is lost forever.

My Thoughts:

An Open Letter To Deliver Me,

I didn't go into reading you thinking that you were going to be a book that swept me off my feet, in fact I didn't give it much thought, but now I can't stop thinking about you.  You posed so many questions about the human condition and the quiet strength that we all have inside of us.  You made me bawl my eyes out at one point and that doesn't happen very often.  You gave me this terrifying world and these characters that I adored.  You gave me feminine, yet strong girl power and you touched on feminist issues without being obnoxious.  You book, are going to be something I'll be thinking about for awhile.

-The White Unicorn

Okay, so this book blew my mind.  Birch has a writing style that will pull you right into the world that she's created.  Her characters are ridiculously strong and well written.  You feel like they are people that you've known forever, which makes the reality of the things that are happening to them even more heart wrenching.  Deliver Me isn't a sweet book by any means.  It's brutal and it's dark and it's full of human conditioning.  That being said, Birch manages to give us the story through the eyes of people who still hang on to hope.  People who bend the status quo and see just how far they can push it.  This book is harrowing.

Birch gives us this dystopian world that will remind readers of the Nazi concentration camps.  The men and women are separated and placed into their own barracks.  They have numbers tattooed onto their arms.  Love and families aren't something you are supposed to know about.  And a few select girls seem like they get the best deal when they are chosen to be Carriers (baby making machines).  It's not pretty and it's actually pretty darn terrible.  It'll leave you cringing at times, but it will also make you want to cheer for human resilience.  

The story is fundamentally about friendship.  Wynne does have a moment where she meets a man, but this book isn't drenched in a typical love story, in fact it barely even dips its toes in.  Instead it's a story about Wynne and Odessa.  They share this sisterly love that is huge and they've planned their lives out together as Carriers, but that doesn't go as planned.  Once the girls are separated, Wynne builds strong and lasting relationships with most of the other women that come into her path.  The relationships that Birch builds are wonderful and full of warmth, even though the circumstances surrounding them are harsh.

Wynne is one tough cookie.  The things that she sees and experience are intense, but she still manages to stay grounded.  She's continually questioning everything that's happening around her, while everyone else is just going about their lives the way they were taught to.  She asks the questions that most people wouldn't want to know the answers to and it makes her one of the most interesting heroines that I've read in a really long time.  She stands up for what is right even though she's been conditioned from birth not to doubt anything that she's told by those who are in charge.  Of course this also brings loads of trouble knocking on her front door.

I do have one little qualm with this wonderful book.  It's a slight, little thing, but it's still there.  The world building, though it's really well developed, also isn't.  Sure we see the world that Wynne lives in and it's extremely detailed, but the wide scope world building could have been fleshed out a bit more.  Though it could have detracted from the characterization and God knows I prefer that to overly detailed outside information.  Like I said, it's a little thing.

I highly suggest that this book go on your "to be read" lists.  It snuck up on me and made me take notice of all the awesome that it had to offer.

 4 Unicorns = Close to perfect!


Giselle said...

Oh wow this book sounds so good. The Nazi concentration camps kin of world freaks me out and I love these kinds of harsh and intense worlds they're the scariest and most interesting in this genre. I also like that it has a big friendship theme. I like those more than the ones concentrated on romance. Great review, hun!

Kirsty-Marie Jones said...

Haven't really heard much about this one, I've seen it but by the cover you really wouldn't guess what it's about at all. While it honestly sounds scary, I guess it's one that inflicts a lot of different emotions. But, yay for the friendship! Shame about the world-building (though I would prefer less than overly detailed, too) Glad you enjoyed it! :)

Nicole said...

oh man I haven't even heard of this book but I must read it! Sounds powerful and I like the strong focus on friendship and the fact that this book makes you think. Thanks for sharing, if you really like it, I probably will too.

aimes said...

Ah, Jesus.
I just found your blog through TTT and I LOVE your review style. Your open letters are perfect. I thought you just did one because the Break Up Artist really pissed you off, but they're like the perfect little summary to your review.
Also, I now really want to read this book. Thank you :D