by Sam Mills
What is it about:
I am on the run.
The police are chasing me
Because they think I'm a terrorist.
The trouble all began when my Dad hid the writer of a book called The Exploded in our house. It inspired a terrorist attack on London. That's why it's a BANNED book.
We live in dangerous times. The state says books have to be sweet and pleasant, so they don't inspire teenagers to commit violent crime. Get caught reading a banned book and you go to jail.
I thought the state was wrong.
How much harm can a book do?
Then I read one.
Now I'm about to commit murder.
Now I know better.
What did I think of it:
This book is a big mess!
It seems to have a message to tell about banning books and censorship, but what message? It keeps contradicting itself and sending conflicted messages.
Some books are being banned because they would lead to people acting in a certain unwanted way.
- The father of the lead character explains that books don't set you up to do certain things, and the lead character agrees.
- The lead character reads a banned book and immediately acts in the way the government says people will act after reading it.
One of main rebels in this book is for freedom of speech, but only when what being said/written doesn't offend him.
Another rebel tells how at first the censorship was a good thing (O_o), but then it went to far.
- The government is painted as oppressive and cruel.
- Most of the rebels are painted as radicals and cruel.
- The lead character's father giving up the name of a rebel when being tortured is logical and perfectly ok: he's just saving his own life. (O_o)
- One of the rebels kicking the lead character out on the street to save his own life is wrong!
- A few banned books being published and distributed in secret can't change the world.
- The book the lead character writes however apparently can.
I could go on and on with naming things that felt contradictory. Half the books seems to want to tell us banning books and censorship is wrong, the other half is making a case for censorship.
I kept reading in the hope this book would pick a side, and let me tell you I hoped it would pick the side of freedom of speech. But it kept wavering and contradicting. It kept painting those in favor for freedom of speech as radicals and even told that having a society that is being oppressed, is because apparently the oppressed society wanted it that way...
All in all this book really got on my nerves and left a very bad taste in my mouth.
Why should you read it:
Maybe you won't mind all the contradictory stuff in this book and want to read about a 16 year old boy taking on everyone and being the only one who's right in the end.