Review of Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Ah! time for some dystopia! I like YA/juvenile dystopian fiction. Is it just me, or has there been a huge increase in this kind of fiction for a while now? keep it coming. I love this stuff!
Luke has never been to school. He’s never had a birthday party, or gone to a friend’s house for an overnight. In fact, Luke has never had a friend. Luke is one of the shadow children, a third child forbidden by the Population Police. He’s lived his entire life in hiding, and now, with a new housing development replacing the woods next to his family’s farm, he is no longer even allowed to go outside. Then, one day Luke sees a girl’s face in the window of a house where he knows two other children already live. Finally, he’s met a shadow child like himself. Jen is willing to risk everything to come out of the shadows — does Luke dare to become involved in her dangerous plan? Can he afford not to? (From Chapters Indigo)
For such a thin little book, there was plenty to read. It was a bit of a slow starter at first and you immediately feel for Luke all through the book. Although his family loves him, he’s always been the third wheel in everything. It’s an interesting setting even though nothing really happens until Luke meets Jen (which is a little further along the book.) I’m not sure why it’s a slow start. Perhaps it’s to reflect the dreary monotonous daily life Luke has to go through because he can’t even get out of the house so there’s really not much to do.
When he does meet Jen however, things do pick up and get more exciting to read. I really do admire her enthusiasm and her determination to change the system although it does get predictable as to the outcome of her idea. Nevertheless I liked how the story ended and I am curious as to what Luke is going to do now.
I’d say pick this up for a quick read. It’s not the greatest book I’ve read that covers dystopia, and not the most different (the idea of the Population Police is now pretty commonplace in this kind of literature). Yet because it’s so quick and can be finished within a day, give it a try. Perhaps the books following this one will be better.
I give it a 6 out of 10.