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Thursday, 12 January 2012

Review: Dark Parties by Sara Grant

Title: Dark Parties
Author: Sara Grant
Publisher: Indigo
Publication Date: 22 Dec 2011
Challenge: BBC

Synopsis from Goodreads

Sixteen-year-old Neva has been trapped since birth. She was born and raised under the Protectosphere, in an isolated nation ruled by fear, lies, and xenophobia. A shield "protects" them from the outside world, but also locks the citizens inside. But there's nothing left on the outside, ever since the world collapsed from violent warfare. Or so the government says...

Neva and her best friend Sanna believe the government is lying and stage a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. But as Neva begins to uncover the truth, she realizes she must question everything she's ever known, including the people she loves the most.


Dark Parties is a very unique dystopian world, an entire society created in what can only be described as a plastic bubble called the protectosphere.  Not much insight is divulged as to why the protectosphere was created. History has been re-written within the sphere, government corruption and  nefarious plots abound. Adding to the tension and world building within the narrative. Nothing appeared to be what it seemed.

Written in first person narrative from Neva's perspective. The daughter of a government official she has more freedom and protection than most. Yet her actions come under scrutiny due to her grandmothers escape from the protectosphere. Even though the general population is lead to believe that the land outside of the protectosphere is dangerous.

The writing style is beautifully tactile and enveloped the senses. Working with teens I see the strive for individuality on a daily basis, even if they do all end up with the same hairstyles (especially the boys) the way in which that individuality has been striped from society was poignantly portrayed. I just cannot imagine a world/society where everyone looks the same, in every way. It is quite chilling to think about and had shades of  what Hitler was trying to achieve came to mind especially with the name Homeland used. Resorting to marking themselves via scars and permanent marker in order to stand out. As Viv from Serendipity Reviews points out in her review (HERE) the symbolism of the snowflake is very striking within the story-line. Each snowflake is completely individual yet the society within the protectosphere all look the same *shudders*

The characters and their interactions worked really well together. Begging the question - how well do you really know someone? People do not always do what you expect them to do. Self preservation generally takes the foreground.

The plot has a number of surprising twists that really kept me on my toes. I still have a lot of questions about certain aspects and would really like to see a second book to deal with these outstanding issues. I really enjoyed the glimpse into Neva's world but would really like answers to certain aspects of the plot, as I keep mentioning. My rating reflects my need for answers. A truly unique dystopian.


  1. I love the word 'tactile'. I don't use it enough. Fabulous review as always. Individuality is so rare amongst kids between the ages of 10 to 17. Sigh.

    1. Just testing out your comments... :)

  2. awesome review, I definitely want more questions answered with this one! :D x

  3. What a fantastic review Emma! I love you describe it as tactile, it makes sense...I'll have to remember it :D

  4. Ooh! sound interesting, fantastic review (as we have come to expect :D)

  5. I haven't read this yet but have it, need to bump it up my tbr list. x


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