Retro Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Angie of Angieville and "focuses on reviewing books from the past. This can be an old favorite, an under-the-radar book you think deserves more attention, something woefully out of print, etc."
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Publication date: September 2002
Source: Library book club set and I own a copy, cause I love it so much!
Matteo is not your typical child. He's a clone. He spends the first years of his life alone with Celia, a servant, oblivious to what he is. But, when he meets the family in the big house, he begins to learn just what being a clone means. He's not human and no one treats him like that, except a very few people, including El Patron. But, does El Patron treat him like a human because he is one or because of a more sinister interest in Matt?
Things I Liked:
I've loved this book since I first read it several years ago and this reread for my book group solidified my love. There so much to discuss and think about! I loved all of the ethical thoughts and questions that arise, simply because of the subject matter - human cloning. Not only does it have these issues that make it interesting, but the story is fast-paced and you can't put the book down because you have to know what happens to Matt. He is such an interesting character because you feel for him and all that he suffers, yet you also see he is flawed and makes stupid choices just like everyone else. The world that slowly unfolds in the pages of the book is so interesting, because it feels real, like this is where our world is heading, which I think is a mark of a very good futuristic/dystopian book. Great story, great characters, and our book group had a LOT to talk about. It was a hit. I think I like this one even more than The Hunger Games, which is really saying something! All those shiny award stickers on the cover? Totally deserves them. One of my favorite parts:
What Matt hated about the creature was everyone's assumption that he and Furball were the same. It didn't matter that Matt had excellent grades and good manners. They were both animals and thus unimportant. During Easter vacation Tom said good manners were no harder to learn than rolling over or playing dead. Matt threw himself at him, and Maria ran shrieking for Tam Lin. Tom was sent to his room without dinner. Matt wasn't punished at all. Which was okay with Matt, except that Furball wasn't punished for his crimes either. He couldn't understand the difference between right and wrong. He was a dumb beast and so, apparently, was Matt. p 85Things I Didn't Like:
The beginning is a little slow, but picks right up after a few chapters. I really wish we could have gotten a wider view of the world Farmer envisioned. It seemed like there was so much more going on than just what happens in Opium and Aztlan (Mexico). I'd really like for her to write another book set in this time and place (which I've heard is in the works).
Unwind by Neal Shusterman
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
BOOK CONTENT RATINGS:
they talk about affairs, but nothing happens on page
there is some rather frightening stuff, not much physical violence
Overall rating: *****
What's your most highly recommended futuristic/sci-fi/dystopian book?
If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage