The loneliness of distant beings by Kate Ling
Hodder and Stoughton, 2016. ISBN 9781510200166
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Multi-generational space exploration leaves no room for love. With a eugenical system in place to provide mission security, the people of Ventura live a life of structure and control. They are carriers for the next generation and the generation after, who may discover a life-supporting planet.
As part the third generation of a seven hundred year round trip, the children of Ventura are responsible with continuing to produce optimal offspring for the completion of the mission. On her graduation, Seren's worst dream is realised when she learns that her life partner will be Ezra, Captain Kat's more arrogant son. Seren's discomfort and reluctance for the partnership is attributed to hereditary mental illness, and so she finds herself with even less decision-making power than ever before. As the son of Captain Kat, Ezra, and his future bride, must share in her limelight - any wrong doing open for public scrutiny. As if things couldn't be worse for Seren and her precarious mental state, she meets Domenigo, one of the fish-boys in production. Just a year age gap, the two are drawn to one another and things quickly heat up. Facing a future of persecution on discovery, Seren knows she must make the right decision. She must marry her life partner. But can she after she has experienced the pure love of Domenigo?
Having thoroughly enjoyed this novel, I would highly recommend it for teenagers fourteen and up. While primarily a sci-fi romance, the novel's focus is on Seren's feeling of powerlessness in the face of societal expectations, and the disadvantages of eugenic systems.
Kayla Gaskell, 20