A brief overview: Perry Road is a futuristic dystopian novel set in 2132, in which people are given job assignments based on their aptitude for such jobs--taking away not only their freedom to choose, but also their ability to fail.
Now, of course, that's just a brief, brief overview because there is so much more that goes on in this novel. The main character, Erianna Keating, goes through so many changes, so many revelations, that it's hard to even think about them all at once without overloading my brain.
So, anyway, it definitely gets five stars. Now let's go to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Just kidding. There was no ugly. None at all.
Let's talk about characters for a minute. I mean ... wow. I know I've said that already, but this book put a new spin on emotional overhaul. Seriously, Erianna has gotta be one of the strongest characters I've ever read about. How can one person go through everything she goes through--her mother's anger, registration, discovering her job assignment and then being told to refuse her assignment, just to name a few.
And the stubbornness. I had never believed until I read this book that anyone could be so stubborn. Stubborn, and yet, Erianna still manages to be a gentle, kind soul to those who need her, giving advice that she doesn't even know is great. She doesn't believe in her own abilities because, being brought up in the American Union where everyone learns not to question, she believes that no matter what she thinks her abilities are, during registration she could be told they're entirely different. A little brain-washed? I think so. Anna, as she goes by, clings to these beliefs for nearly the whole book, even when her many are telling her she's wrong. Stubborn, as I already mentioned. I could talk more about characters, but I swear, even just bringing Zane or Hadley, or even Brie into it would make me go on and on forever, so I'm going to leave it there.
So, pacing and interest, then. Most of this was great. I was intrigued from the start. What invitation is she waiting for? What's registration? What's her job assignment going to be? Why does this Zane guy keep reappearing and saying weird stuff that makes no sense? The story progresses at such a quick pace, it's easy to keep reading, but it slows down when it needs to. I have to say, the pacing in it was quite good.
And for my final discussion of the good, I'm going to talk briefly about just the whole concept. I mean, I can't say it enough, but ... wow. I mean, I've read wonderful dystopian concepts before, but I never get over the amazing ideas these authors have come up with. If you read dystopian, or even if you don't, I seriously recommend picking up this book. It'll keep your attention all the way through with just the intrigue of the new and futuristic world.
There really wasn't much. The book held my attention very well, however, there were about two or three scenes where I found Erianna's main character flaw (her stubbornness), got in the way of progressing the plot. At these times, I found myself drifting out of the context of the novel as I read. Now, having said that, I don't want it to deter anyone from reading this book. There are so many other good things going on that I seriously don't think, in the whole scheme of things, that it affects that major plot in any way.
Perry Road was a unique and rather interesting read. But what makes it most interesting of all is the realism it provides. The concept is quite close to home and the question "Could this happen in the future?" was prominent in my mind as I read through it. I found some of the intrigue, of course, came from my curiosity about the world, about the characters, the tension, the plot, but alongside that, I had interest in the main problem overlooking the novel: will we, as a society, one day become like the American Union?
But seriously, guys. Read the book.