Wednesday, October 12, 2011


THE PREDICTEDS, by Christine Seifert, looks like a dystopia.  I mean, check out this cover:

This pixelated girl screams, "I'm being controlled by the government, get me out of here!!"
It sounds like a dystopia.  Look at the Goodreads summary:

"Your future is not your own...
"We wanted to know what makes a good kid good and a bad kid bad. Can you blame us for that? We found an astoundingly, marvelously simple answer: The brain isn't so much a complicated machine as it is a crystal ball. If you look into it, you will see everything you want to know."
-Dr. Mark Miliken, senior researcher at Utopia Laboratories
Who will it be?
Will the head cheerleader get pregnant?
Is the student council president a secret drug addict?
The whole school is freaking out about PROFILE, an experimental program that can predict students' future behavior.
The only question Daphne wants answered is whether Jesse will ask her out...but he's a Predicted, and there's something about his future he's not telling her."

So if it looks like one and sounds like one, is must be one, right?

Not exactly.

THE PREDICTEDS is a little more complicated than that, and that's part of what I enjoyed about this book.

First off, there's Daphne.  She's a strong, independent protagonist.  I felt like she almost had a Nancy Drew quality to her.  She felt sneaky and fierce.  And who doesn't enjoy a little romance?  Jesse had a lot of qualities that I look for in my book romance interests.  He was a little emo--he totally shed a tear or two, if not on page, then definitely off-page.  And I could totally see his going all wandering minstrel to get a girl back, carrying around a guitar and serenading her from the street.  BUT, he didn't.  Which I also appreciated, because as much as I love me some emo boy, it can get old pretty quickly.  Instead, Jesse was equal parts tough and broken, which made for an interesting read.  Also, I really appreciated Seifert's secondary characters.  I felt like many of them had a dimensionality (is that a word?  It is now!) to them that often goes by the wayside, especially in dystopian-esque books where there's so much world-building and plot-moving that needs to take place.

Secondly, there's the setting.  How clever is it that the town is called Quiet, and it's where the kerfuffle goes down?  SUPER clever, is the answer.  Also, it made for some unintentionally funny lines, which I appreciated, such as going to the Quiet movie theatre.  Ha.  Get it?  But seriously, Seifert did an excellent job of sculpting this tiny town into a very real place.  Even though I grew up just outside of a major city, I recognized pieces of my own high school experience--having the local diner be the place to go on Friday night, the allure of the college kid parties--it all felt real to me.  And while setting is always a key element to a quality novel, it felt extra-important to me in THE PREDICTEDS, because I needed to believe that Quiet was a town where this could happen in.  And I definitely did.

Finally, I loved the concept of being predicted!  Seifert starts her book off with a bang--literally.  There's a shooter in Daphne's school (thankfully no one is hurt), which hurtles the reader into a town and a school plagued by fear, doubt, and the need to "fix" the problem.  Enter, of course, the testing procedures that had already been done in order to create a list of the predicted students.  It was so interesting to me reading how the school deals with this list, and the students, and what the fallout of a situation like that looks like.  Working in a school, it made me look around at the middle & upper school kids around me and wonder what would happen if testing like that was done in real life.  Seifert did a really great job of showcasing mob mentality, and how hard it can be to stand up for what you believe in, even if your belief isn't popular.

THE PREDICTEDS is out now, so definitely go check it out!

(Sidebar: I received a review copy of this book from Sourcebooks, who are v. nice to do so.  Sadly, they do not give me money or even chocolate to write this review.)


  1. Saw the cover for this at the book store and thought it looked interesting. Now I definitely want to read it! Thanks for the review. :)

  2. Great review! I will definitely put it on my TBR list.

  3. I'm so glad you liked it, I've been considering picking it up as well. It sounds really good! I like independent and sneaky protagonists in my books, plus the setting and this whole idea of being predicted sounds very interesting. Great review, I'm adding this book to my TBR pile as well!:)


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