Review Blog

Jan 10 2012

Days like this by Alison Stewart

cover image

Penguin, 2011. ISBN 9780 14 320654 5.
(Ages 14+) Recommended. Dystopian thriller. From the cover blurb, 'As the world grows older, its dangerous being young', the reader knows that they are in for a treat, a look at a possible future where to be young means that your essence is required by the old to keep alive.
I loved the trilogy by Gemma Malley called The Declaration, where adults had to sign a form vowing never to have children, the population having access to so many pills and potions that they remained alive well past the three score and ten, but this novel takes the whole concept further. Teens are taken for their essence, it is sucked out of them in a factory which is beyond belief, until their wasted bodies disposed of.
Lily and her brother Daniel are aware that their ever young parents' attitude to them is changing, and hacking into the computer after Daniel is taken away, Lily finds out some of what is happening to children like her once they enter their teen years. She attempts to escape before she too is taken, but she has not been allowed outside for so long she has difficulty finding her way across the Wall. But others like her are there to help her, and together the people on the other side, attempt to free those of their age incarcerated in the facility where they are sucked dry.
The view of a decimated Australia, torn apart by climate change, dictatorship and rebellion is absorbing as the teens find their way back to a deluged Sydney, across the Wall into the exclusive suburbs where the wealthy and the vain live protected by security guards.
A heart in the mouth read, this will appeal to all those people fascinated by the plethora of dystopian novels which abound at the moment, containing comment on our times and an absorbing thriller to boot.
Fran Knight

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