Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Book Review: Scored, by Lauren McLaughlin

Scored is a 1984-type dystopian that takes place in the not-so-distant future providing a lot of food for thought about the economic inequality and technological possibilities that we are experiencing right now.

Everything is about your score. Imani, our main character, is scored very high. The "eyes" that watch her every move are always on her mind. Everything she says or does can affect her score, which can affect her dreams for her future. Her friend, Cady, is low-scoring, which means Imani shouldn't even be associating with her. And, in fact, this association does cause a drastic drop in Imani's score, which means she will be ineligible for a college scholarship.

Diego is one of the "unscored." His parent's haven't signed him up to be scored, so he is considered an outcast at school, and certainly no scored person would want to have anything to do with him.

When a school assignment throws Imani and Diego together, Imani is uncomfortable, especially given the fact that she's questioning the reasons and effects of the scoring system. Learning about Diego's beliefs isn't helping those feelings.

It doesn't sound that bad -- if you work hard, you will be rewarded. Everything is objective, based on a sophisticated computer program that computes your score. The idea is that  The Score will eliminate the poorest -- only those people who are lazy and deserve to be poor will be in poverty. Wealth will be more evenly divided, because everyone has the opportunity to excel.

But...is friendship more important than your score? What about freedoms -- such as freedom of speech -- that are being squelched by the score? There's a lot to think about here, and it's wrapped up in a quick, well-paced story that teens will enjoy. McLaughlin has done a good job with the "characters from the opposite side of the tracks" as well as the "controlling corporation" themes. We've seen it before, but this is a nice addition to the pool.

Recommend this to your dystopian fans who enjoy a political bent to their stories. Both boys and girls will be able to relate to the characters, and the book is relatively fast-paced, exciting, and short which makes it appropriate for the reluctant reader.

Published by Random House, October 25, 2011
Copy won from Random Buzzers
226 pages

Rating: 3/5





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1 comment:

  1. This dystopian sounds very realistic. Thanks for sharing.

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