Fran Knight’s ReadPlus review

Fran Knight’s review of Days Like This was published on January 10, 2012:

“Recommended. Dystopian thriller. From the cover blurb, ‘As the world grows older, it’s dangerous being young’, the reader knows that they are in for a treat, a look at a possible future where to be young means that your essence is required by the old to keep alive.
I loved the trilogy by Gemma Malley called The Declaration, where adults had to sign a form vowing never to have children, the population having access to so many pills and potions that they remained alive well past the three score and ten, but this novel takes the whole concept further. Teens are taken for their essence, it is sucked out of them in a factory which is beyond belief, until their wasted bodies disposed of.
Lily and her brother Daniel are aware that their ever young parents’ attitude to them is changing, and hacking into the computer after Daniel is taken away, Lily finds out some of what is happening to children like her once they enter their teen years. She attempts to escape before she too is taken, but she has not been allowed outside for so long she has difficulty finding her way across the Wall. But others like her are there to help her, and together the people on the other side, attempt to free those of their age incarcerated in the facility where they are sucked dry.
The view of a decimated Australia, torn apart by climate change, dictatorship and rebellion is absorbing as the teens find their way back to a deluged Sydney, across the Wall into the exclusive suburbs where the wealthy and the vain live protected by security guards.
A heart in the mouth read, this will appeal to all those people fascinated by the plethora of dystopian novels which abound at the moment, containing comment on our times and an absorbing thriller to boot.”

For those not familiar with the ReadPlus site, it is a wonderful resource for readers, teachers and parents. Reviews are visible online and you can subscribe as well. Go to:

About ReadPlus

Inspire a love of reading with ReadPlus, a collection of over 10,000 selected books and films arranged under themes for librarians, teachers and parents about books for young people aged 5 to 18.
Lists of books and films under subject headings can be generated. The books range from picture books to adult fiction and are organised into different age categories. You can search for books using theme, author, title, genre and age-range.
There are reviews and links to teacher resources, reading group guides and author sites. Bookmarks of Read Similar Authors can be printed out. There are also lists of Read Similar Books for popular books. Subscribers can request lists on any topic.

Editorial Board

Pat Pledger is a director of Pledger Consulting and editor of the ReadPlus blog. Previously, she has been a school library coordinator and English teacher. She is keenly interested in the promotion of reading and has presented conference papers about literature activities at national and international conferences. She also reviews for the South Australian English Teachers’ Association and the School Libraries Association of South Australia.

Fran Knight’s long time interest in children’s and adolescent literature was developed while doing librarianship in the early 1980’s at the University of South Australia. Since then she has been an avid reader, has developed lists, spoken at conferences and written units of work for The Literature Base. She also reviews adolescent literature for Magpies, School Libraries Association of South Australia and the South Australian English Teachers’ Association. Best of all, she loves talking about books with kids.

About alisonstewartwriter

Alison is a writer, journalist and travel writer, born in South Africa, now living in Australia. She has had nine books published - two books for adults and seven for young people. Four of them have been translated into Italian, Danish, Dutch and Thai. Her latest project, Cold Stone Soup, an unpublished memoir about growing up under apartheid and migrating to Australia has won the FAW 2013 National Literary Awards (Jim Hamilton Award for a non-fiction manuscript). Cold Stone Soup was also runner-up in the 2010 Penguin/Varuna Scholarship. Her first book for adults, Born Into the Country (Justified Press 1988, South Africa) was shortlisted for the 1987 AA Mutual Life Vita Young Writers’ Award. Heinemann Australia published her next adult novel, Bitterbloom in 1991. Her YA novel, The Wishing Moon was shortlisted for the 1995 Australian Multicultural Children’s Award and was a 1995 Children’s Book Council Notable book. Her YA dystopia, Days Like This, published by Penguin Australia was a finalist in the inaugural 2010 Amazon/Penguin Breakthrough Novel Award in the YA category. Alison worked for years as a news and feature journalist. She is now a regular travel writer for The Sydney Morning Herald and Melbourne Age and online Fairfax Media publications.
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