“…The Handmaid’s Tale meets Magic Mike”
As a future leader of the female-led regime her grandmother fought hard to establish, Alice Kearns is no stranger to pressure. But at least now that she’s turned eighteen, she has a place to blow off steam: Ali is finally allowed into the Choice Clubs.
Filled with an enticing mix of music, drinks and gorgeous guys, the Choice Clubs were founded to ensure that smart girls wouldn’t get distracted in their real lives by anything as trivial as a pretty face. Choice guys are fun, flirty, and the perfect eye candy, but Ali would never dream of actually falling for one—until she meets Tag.
Tag McPhail is Top Choice. With his mischievous grin and chiseled abs, he is exactly the kind of boy that Ali’s mother believes needs to be kept contained. But after he kisses Ali at the Choice Club, she suddenly sees him everywhere—and she’s surprised to learn that there’s more to him than his perfect looks. Tag is smarter, funnier, and sweeter than Ali ever expected… and, she soon discovers, he’s also dangerous. Because Tag leads a double life: when he’s not working at the Club, he’s part of a rebel group trying to overturn the girl-power society that the women in Ali’s family have worked so hard to put in place.
Getting closer to Tag upends everything Ali thought she knew. But will she betray everything she was raised to protect for a guy she’s not even sure she can trust?
Plot: Captivating from start to finish, McAloon's novel draws the reader into an exquisitely rendered world. As the story builds toward its climax, the violence increases and the stakes grow ever higher. Readers will find this nearly impossible to put down.
Prose: Tightly written and highly polished, McAloon's prose shows very fine craftsmanship; her characters' flirtatious dialogue casts a spell with its pitch-perfect blend of humor and intimacy. The author is at her best, however, when her descriptive prose lingers on the beautiful.
Originality: It takes real talent to make a YA dystopian tale feel original these days, but McAloon pulls it off and sticks the landing. And, she challenges the reader with real questions about gender, power, and violence.
Character Development: McAloon's characters quickly reveal themselves as deeply believable young adults struggling to reconcile authentic inner conflicts. Alice is relatable in her dawning awareness, and her growth unfolds with masterful precision.
Blurb: Captivating and nearly impossible to put down, McAloon's twisted but beautiful world comes alive on the page.
Date Submitted: April 09, 2018