Young Adult Annotation
Scythe by Neal Shusterman
Scythe takes place in the future; a future where we have conquered many things, including death. Nanites in the body are quick to heal and repair and even accidental death can be reversed. There being no natural death means a certain population control problem. So, the position of scythe was created. Scythes alone have the authority to glean (kill) to control population growth. Sixteen year old Citra and Rowan are selected by the Honorable Scythe Faraday to be apprentices. However, only one of the teens will be chosen to be a scythe. The Honorable Scythe Faraday chose Citra and Rowan because of exceptional personal qualities he saw in them - like bravery and compassion. He, himself, approaches his position seriously and is a compassionate man. However, not all of the scythes are like him and the two apprentices are soon split apart and pitted against each other by the uncompassionate scythes. Scythe takes place in a Utopian world; disease, crime, poverty, war and even death are gone, but what does this mean for humanity? Can there by joy without pain? What significant accomplishes can humans have if they want for nothing? What meaning and purpose would remain? Scythe is a chilling book but also asks the reader to consider these deep questions.
Characteristics of YA Books found in Scythe
- The main characters are teenagers.
- While the story has many unrealistic aspects the teen characters still face challenges and issues that teens really face - like self-identity, fitting in, friendship, interest in the opposite sex, family issues, etc. These issues are not belittled or devalued - even in the face of a serious issue like planned killings.
- The story has a fast pace.
- Although it is science fiction it maintains YA characteristics.
Chilling, disturbing, suspenseful, thought-provoking, World-Building
Title Read Alikes
Croak by Gina Damico
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore