Tag Archives: dystopian

2018.51 – All Rights Reserved

This book (for me, audiobook) was nuts. I love love love the concept!

In a world where every word and gesture is copyrighted, patented or trademarked, one girl elects to remain silent rather than pay to speak, and her defiant and unexpected silence threatens to unravel the very fabric of society.” – Book Description via Goodreads

Such an interesting idea. We already copyright quite a bit. So, what happens when that gets taken too far?

In Speth’s world, people can sue each other for the most minor infractions and offenses, all from their cuff–a device placed on their wrist to track body movement, record and charge for words, and make transactions. At age 15, all individuals must give a Last Day speech, which marks their transition into adulthood. After her friend dies by suicide, Speth is unable to make herself speak, sparking a resolve to stay silent until there is societal change.

She must learn to subtly communicate without sound or gesture, as she carefully navigates her world.

There are so many twists and turns, it was hard to put this book down (or rather, hit the pause button). Not only was it a fun dystopian YA novel, but also it makes me think quite a bit.

And, I’m so excited the sequel, Access Restricted, comes out on August 28th!!

2018.15 – Rebel Seoul

This book has been staring at me from my shelf since it arrived at my door last September. This one is a little extra special–it’s written by my friend Jennie’s cousin, I saw her post about it on Facebook, and instantly pre-ordered it. How can I resist?

Rebel Seoul, by Axie Oh

Starting it kept getting interrupted by library holds with deadlines. It kept yelling, “read me! Read me!” every time I walked past. I felt so guilty knowing awesomeness was waiting for me.

Last week, I got to read Rebel Seoul by Axie Oh. Finally!

It’s set in 2199 in Neo Seoul, part of the Neo State of Korea (NSK), a dystopian world that separates low tech Old Seoul from high tech New Seoul by the Dome. Lee Jaewon is from Old Seoul and attends a military academy in Neo Soul. After doing exceptionally well in his senior test, he receives a job placement at the Tower, the government’s center of military and operations. He is paired with a specially trained soldier named Tera, and must gain her trust. Their world is in an endless war, and Tera has been created to pilot a God Machine, a gigantic piloted weapon. Jaewon finds himself falling for Tera, as he must confront his troubled past, choose who to trust, and decide on his future.

This book is a phenomenal read. I felt like I was immersed in their world, hanging out with friends. Best book feeling ever! And, I appreciated something that’s not USA/Euro-centric. I’m especially grateful for the glossary at the end that defined Korean terms and customs. I love the added bonus of reading and learning, which turns into YouTubing to learn even more.

Coincidentally I started Rebel Seoul during the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang. I watched a brief news segment about soju & food customs (specifically how to receive food from others) and observed Jaewon taking food with two hands. Also, I heard/saw Korean athletes called by last name first name, something I’ve either never noticed or has not been done on big sports broadcasts before. It was interesting that the NSK-born characters were called by last first, while non-NSK-born (but still Korean) characters were called by first last.

Many of my students are obsessed with K-pop, and I know they’ll love this book too.

One thing that makes this book even better is that Axie Oh is also a UCSD graduate! Go Tritons!