Monday, May 28, 2012

City of Ember

DuPrau, J. (2003). City of Ember. NY: Yearling.
Young YA Lit / Fiction / Dystopian
Fun story that relies on a lot of things just working out - lots of improbability, but it's an interesting premise, the main characters are interesting kids, and the writing is well-done. I enjoyed it and think younger kids would really like it -- after all, you complete your schooling, choose your job and start working at age 12!  Everyone's well-rested because when it's lights out for one, it's lights out for all.  (No reading under the covers with your flashlight 'cause there aren't any!) Light is not individually controlled and when it's dark, it's pitch black. And the lights are starting to fail from time to time.

******* SPOILER ALERT ***************
******* SPOILER ALERT ***************  ******* SPOILER ALERT ***************
There are a few things that bothered me. One was the lack of response to Lina's grandmother dying. This is all the family she and her baby sister have left, and there doesn't seem to be much grieving. Another bother is that the kids left a note and told everyone how to leave Ember, and they just did it.  I know there was some desperation among the people, but this seems weird to me. We're talking about adults. Wouldn't they send a scouting party first? Wouldn't there be much discussion? A vote? I dunno, that was just a bit hard to swallow. It definitely makes it convenient, but I think it would have been interesting if it were clear that not everyone left and that there was some divisiveness back in good ol' Ember.
There are a few things that bothered me.
 ******* END OF SPOILER STUFF *************** 

I continue my roll of having the books I read connected by some common thread. Here, the main character's parents are dead. . .the book I'm reading now, Skinny - the main character's mom is dead. . . and several of the books I read prior, including Rotters, Glitches, A Monster Calls, and Wonderstruck the main character's mom (and dad) is dead (or dying).  Is this a YA Lit thing or sorry coincidence?

I read this one electronically on my iPad, borrowed from my library. I'm starting to enjoy reading this way, but it's so frustrating that my library doesn't have any of the sequels available for download.  I'm too cheap to pay for a copy, so I'll wait my turn at the library for the hard cover, I guess. Or maybe just never continue the series. So many books, so little time. 

Here's a link to the movie trailer, though I have no idea if it did the book justice.

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