Sunday, August 25, 2013

Scored

By Lauren McLaughlin

About Scored (from Goodreads):
Set in the future when teenagers are monitored via camera and their recorded actions and confessions plugged into a computer program that determines their ability to succeed. All kids given a "score" that determines their future potential. This score has the ability to get kids into colleges, grant scholarships, or destroy all hope for the above. Scored's reluctant heroine is Imani, a girl whose high score is brought down when her best friend's score plummets. Where do you draw the line between doing what feels morally right and what can mean your future? Friendship, romance, loyalty, family, human connection and human value: all are questioned in this fresh and compelling dystopian novel set in the scarily forseeable future.

Review:
WHO IS WATCHING YOU?

At first, I was so excited to get Scored, and initially I couldn't put it down. I absolutely love the YA dystopian genre, and most of the time the authors fully think through the storyline, but sadly this book let me down. McLaughlin creates a very possible future dystpoian reality with the score system. This is a system where teens are constantly monitored by video cameras. Their actions (or inactions) are put into a computer which analyzes their ability to succeed in life. Then each student is scored. The score determines what universities a teen can get into and their future job opportunities. As a side effect, the score also determines friendships and cliques.

Readers see both sides of how being scored can be a blessing and/or a curse. Imani struggles to stay loyal to her friends and not let the score system dictate who her friends should be. When she tries to go against the system, readers get to see the fallout. No, wait, I take that back. Readers don't get to see any of the fallout becase McLaughlin ended the book too soon. She created a realistic world, and built the story up to an interesting climax and then ends the story without a resolution. There were so many questions left unanswered and readers are left unsatisfied.

***POSSIBLE SPOILERS ENDING QUESTIONS***
What happens from the outcome of Imani playing both sides? Was her final score improved or did it drop drastically, and how does that affect her future? How has Imani's deceit with Diego Landis play out in their possible future relationship? What about her dad? Imani tells him to wait wait for her so he can hear what she has done, but readers don't see his reaction. There are many other questions too, but I won't delve into those.

A true epilogue or second book would have been better than the letter that McLaughlin includes. This book had/has a lot of potential and is worth reading, but just know that you will be scratching your head at the end wondering what happend.

Has anyone else read this book?  What are your thoughts about it?

Book Trailer: