Plot: Rachel lives with her mother on The Property owned by Ms. Moore, who grows and sells orchids for a living. The Property skirts the Line, put in place by the government after an atomic attack on the Unified States. The Line acts as the border between Away, a place where nobody is allowed to come or go, and the Unified States. The Line is patrolled by guards at all times, except out at The Property because nobody really visits their. Rachel thought she was safe living at Ms. Moore’s estate, but she couldn’t be more wrong. After going into town with her mother and witnessing an Identification she discovers the truth about her mother and father’s past. She then finds a recorded message next to the Line asking for help. Now she is left with an incredibly hard decision to make and she must make it fast in order to survive herself and help others.
Review: This is a wonderfully captivating book that will keep you wanting more. After discovering some horrible information from her parents’ past, Rachel is faced with the decision of her life. She must decide if she should cross the Line, an invisible border between Away and the Unified States. Nobody enters Away and nobody comes back from it, there are a lot of horror stories circulating about Away. Rachel is both frightened and interested in what she will find in Away. Hall had me hooked from the beginning. She adequately captures a normal teenager who is then faced with a troubling decision. Her straightforward language of a teenager will help young readers get interested in the science fiction genre. And when they reach the cliff-hanger at the end they won’t be able to wait for the next book.
Genre: Science Fiction/Dystopian
Reading Level/Interest Level: YA/11+
Similar Materials: The Giver by Lois Lowery, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Reader’s Advisory: Winner of the Children’s Choice Award for 2011. I think this a good science fiction novel for those readers who don’t usually read science fiction novels. It is easy to follow and has a bit of suspense to it that makes it hard to put down. I look forward to reading the sequel Away.