Monday, June 9, 2014

Mini Review: Banded

ISBN: 1497542790
Pages: 342
Source: Reading Addiction Blog Tours
In dystopian Manhattan, society is divided into six zones, with each one representing a citizen’s benefit to society: Stalwart (strength), Astute (intelligence), Collusive (greed), Radiant (beauty), Quixotic (no life direction), and the Altruistic (willingness to help others). On a citizen’s sixteenth birthday, a computer suggests a new zone for them based on their inherent benefit to society. When Kalenna Slater is sorted out of her home zone Quixotic and into Altruistic, she thinks things can’t get worse. Life looks dismal until she meets Gavin, a boy also just sorted into Altruistic who becomes the light needed on her cloudy days.
During sorting she receives a device known as ‘The Band’. It’s a large watch-like device that never comes off, and it measures a citizen’s karma on a scale from one to one hundred. If a citizen does good, they gain points. If a citizen does bad, including breaking laws, they lose points. When your number reaches zero, the band acts as judge, jury, and executioner, and you are injected with toxins that kill you within minutes.
After sorting, recruits are taken to a three month long mandatory school named HQ. It’s at HQ she meets new friends from different zones, and finally begins to feel at ease. Everything goes well until a rare trip home makes her discover that her father, who has been missing for a decade, may have taken part in a terrible program that stands to shake the fabric of society.

Hi everybody! Today's review takes place in a dystopian Manhattan where everything is regulated by a single silver band each citizen receives on his or her 16th birthday. Welcome to the world of Banded :)

Okay, that was a tad bit cheesy and unneeded, but whatever. So if you've checked out the summary, you'll discover that Banded sounds remarkably similar to Divergent. In fact, it's almost identical, except for the Band, the different faction names, and the main character being a different person. When I first started reading it, that was pretty much my thought process and it took a lot of effort not to just ditch the book right where it was. I liked Divergent so I wasn't exactly looking for another version of it. Needless to say, Banded is pretty much a Divergent twin. It has a lot of similar aspects with Divergent, but at the same time, it focuses on a different idea. (There's no Four in the story.) Our main character, Kal, was placed in Altruistic. Not exactly what she was looking for since she hoped she'd be placed into her home zone Quixotic. Nonetheless, Kal was definitely an interesting character to read from the perspective of. She has a strong sense of loyalty to her friends and family as well as a kickbutt attitude towards others who mess with them. At the same time, she has a fiery temper that can sometime get the best of her, especially when a certain creepy warden is involved. Once you overlook the similarities, Banded becomes its own sort of story. The government is looking for something, they have tested on some things and they don't want the secret getting out. From that aspect, I feel like the whole "program" that potentially resulted in the disappearance of Kal's father wasn't as prominent in the story as I had thought it'd be. It sort of mentions the box, then goes on to describe Kal's life at HQ. Fine, I'll let it go since this is the first book and it wasn't bad that a majority of the story was dedicated to Kal discovering life outside her zone at HQ. But for me, there wasn't enough conflict or action to really get me sucked into the story. Other than that, Banded is definitely unique by itself and while it does sound and read as incredibly similar to Divergent, it's got its own interesting story. It's got its own set of character that you grow to like: Kal's pretty cool, Gavin is adorable, Jericho is really funny, Jasmine is SUPER kickbutt, and Ivan is such a nerd (that's a compliment) and it also reinforces the whole idea of how unjust society can be. :)
3 out of 5 stars

Foreverly Obsessed,

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