Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Stupid Perfect World
In this dystopia, diseases have all been cured, war has been eradicated, hormones no longer run wild, and the world is generally a better place. But just so students don't forget how easy they have it, there is a class called Scarcity. In this class, students must choose an old affliction to deal with for two weeks. Some selections include the common cold, hunger, using traditional transportation instead of teleportation and blindness. Maria chooses to forgo her hormone balancers while Kieran decides to sleep 6 hours per night. Together, they discover that the old ways might have been better as both unlock feelings that they didn't know existed.
I bought this on a whim for $2 on my Kindle. I love Scott Westerfeld and I honestly think that his Uglies series was dystopian before dystopian was cool. (Just to note, he also did vampires before vampires were cool. He's way ahead of the trend, and speaking of trendspotting, he wrote a book on that too.) It was well worth the $2 price tag to read this story. It's quick, it says much more about our society and future societies in under 100 pages than most dystopian trilogies, and it was funny.
The thing about Maria and Kieran is that they are not really more than friends before this experiment, although you can tell that Maria would like for Kieran to see her that way. Then once both of them are addled due to their assignment, their feelings come out. When Kieran teases Maria about writing poetry because of her hormonal state, then she not only writes poetry, but starts thinking in poetry is just too much. And that she learned that you can in fact die from walking around around in the freezing cold with wet hair was also funny. There were just so many light-hearted parts of this story that make me smile when I think back, plus if I want to read it all again, it will only take about a half hour-totally worth it!
This story originally appeared in the anthology Love is Hell, so if you would like to seek out this title in print form, there you go. I would recommend that if you are a fan of dystopias, and need a palate cleanser, or if you are a Scott Westerfeld fan, then you should read this novella. Even if it's not your favorite, it's only 30 minutes of your time.
Wait-there's more! I forgot to tell you that I received my latest batch of review books! I receive four middle-grade sports biographies-all from the same series-and a book/CD kit by a very minor celebrity. My hopes are not high, but I do hope to get them out in a reasonable amount of time. Here's hoping I check back in a few weeks with a big, I'm done!