Summary (via Goodreads): The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.
Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.
All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed the book, despite some of the problems that the book in regards to the story. I liked the concept of the book, how the setting reinforces gender roles and is perceived as gender norms. Girls are raised to be wives and boys are raised to be soldiers. Girls have to be pretty while boys are taken from their families and trained to be soldiers and have no identity given to them. I like how each chapter starts with a quote from the The Registry Guide for Girls or Boys, which specifies the roles each gender has to oblige to.
I thought the characters were really good, but could have used some development. Mia, while she comes across as the average “Disney princess” who wants something more, I see the reasoning why she wants given to what happened to her sister. Andrew, the person who works at Mia’s family farm is a good character, but not as developed as he should be. He has to enlist in a week, and is at first reluctant to help Mia escape. Grant, Mia’s “fiance” is sort of the average bad guy who thinks women should be seen as property, I would have liked to have seen more development from him, and maybe a little on his backstory and upbringing. Whitney, Mia’s friend could have used some more development, instead of just being the stock friends character. Carter, someone who Mia and Andrew meet on the way to Mexico, has good character in him but was kind of wasted on the forced romance and love triangle.
If their is a negative that the book has it is the love triangle. The love triangle feels like it was forced in because authors think it will make the book better, but it kind of weakened the book. Both Andrew and Carter has good characters to them, but he love triangle brought them down. It also highlighted one of my bookish pet peeves which is when the plot stops just to address the love triangle and how boys pine for her really brought the story down.
I would have also liked to have seen the world and how they deal with the gender roles, rather than just the point of view of the main leads. I would have also preferred first person narration instead of third person just so you could know how the characters feel and what they are thinking. I also felt that the ending was a little rushed and ends sort of on a cliffhanger. While I know other books are published it would have been nice to have a clear ending.
In the end, I thought it was solid story, brought down by a forced cliched YA romance. I will read the next book to see where the story goes.