Wednesday 1 February 2012

Review: Dark Parties - Sara Grant

Sixteen-year-old Neva plots to escape her world, where everyone looks the same and no one is allowed to leave, in this compelling thriller about identity, trust and freedom.

Neva keeps a list of The Missing - the people like her grandmother who were part of her life but who have now vanished. The people that everyone else pretends never existed.

In a nation isolated beneath the dome of the Protectosphere - which is supposed to protect, but also imprisons - Neva and her friends dream of freedom.

But life is becoming complicated for Neva. She's falling for her best friend's boyfriend - and she's learning more than she ever wanted to know about what might be happening to The Missing...

Visit Sara Grant's website for more information

Neva and her friends have been brought up inside the Protectosphere, a dome that isolates the Homeland from the rest of the world to protect them all from lethal toxins.  Well that's what they've always been told anyway but are they really being protected or is the dome really their prison?  Neva doesn't believe everything that the government is telling them all but is she brave enough to face the consequences of finding out more?  Can she discover what is happening to The Missing, people who vanish from their lives never to be spoken of again?  What price is she prepared to pay for freedom?

Sara Grant has created a frightening world where the government can't be trusted and history is constantly re-written.  People inside the Protectosphere have been isolated from the rest of the world for so long that they have started to lose their physical individuality, everyone looks the same and they even wear the same clothes.  Neva and her friends want to be different from everyone else, they have each created their own identifying mark that they have on their bodies somewhere as a form of rebellion.  It was easy to relate to Neva and her need to be her own person, it's hard to imagine living in a world where everyone is so similar and it isn't something that I'd like to try.

Dark Parties is a dark story that has some quite horrific events as Neva looks into the disappearance of her Grandmother and several other people she knows.  The story took some very surprising turns and I was never able to guess what would happen next which kept me on the edge of my seat while I was reading.  It raises all sorts of interesting questions about personal identity and forms of oppression that will leave you thinking long after finishing the book.  The only thing I wasn't so keen on was the romance between Neva and Braydon, I never really felt there was much of a connection between them and I was annoyed that Neva was prepared to go behind her best friend Sanna's back to be with him.  I really can't stand it when characters cheat on their friends and / or partners so it's something I hate to read about.

I think the scariest thing about Dark Parties is how realistic it feels.  It was easy to imagine that this could become reality but it certainly wasn't a world that I want to live in.  I also really liked the fact that this holds it's own as a stand alone story.  As much as I would be happy to revisit the world and find out what happens next with Neva and her friends I wasn't left feeling like I'd only read half a book which is something that seems to be happening more and more recently.  If you're looking for a dark and twisted dystopian story with strong characters and a frightening world then you can't go far wrong with Dark Parties.  I can't wait to see what Sara Grant comes up with next!

Source: Received from Orion in exchange for an honest review

Other Reviews:
Live Otherwise
If you have reviewed this book on your blog please leave a link to your review in the comments & I'll add the link here.


  1. Great review. I thought the attraction between Braydon and Neva was utterly understandable - forbidden fruit and all that. I recall those teen hormones as being terribly confusing things!

    I've reviewed it too:

  2. Excellent review, I have this next on my reading list. x

  3. @ liveotherwise - I could understand the attraction of forbidden romance but I still didn't feel much of a connection between them & I really don't like characters who cheat or go behind their friend's backs, that's just something that really bugs me though so I'm sure not everyone would find it as irritating as I did. Overall I still really enjoyed the story though :o) I'm just about to go and read your review!

    @ Susan - I hope you like this one as much as I did, I'll look forward to your review :o)



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