The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow

I think everyone knows by now that dystopian YA has had its time. For a while it was great, then it turned sour with knock offs and unoriginal ideas. As the reading community, we decided it was stale, and so, we moved onto the next big thing. Contemporary. But, I have exciting news. The Scorpion Rules is dystopian Young Adult’s triumphant end. Just when I, and nearly everyone else, thought there were no original dystopian ideas, Erin Bow wrote a zinger.

The Scorpion Rules has all the makings of the dystopians we loved, such as The Hunger Games, Divergent, and even The Maze Runner. A completely unique idea (more on that soon), a likeable heroine, and great writing. One of the more unique aspects of The Scorpion Rules is how Greta, the main protagonist, explores her sexuality. Of course, this isn’t exactly unique for a contemporary, but a dystopian? Not so mainstream.

Greta Gustafsen Stuart, Duchess of Halifax and Crown Princess of the Pan-Polar Confederacy is a hostage. Along with every child destined for the crown, she is held hostage by a robot. Based on a war strategy the goes back centuries (yes, in real life. Look it up), the children are the only things keeping peace. See, if your country goes to war, the monarch’s child is killed by the peace-keeping robot, Talis. If your child makes it to eighteen without your country going to war, your child becomes the ruler. It’s a well oiled system, with almost no flaws. Greta’s chances of survival are next to none. Her country is on the verge of war, and she’s resigned to the inevitable. Then Elián arrives. He’s everything Greta’s not. He’s bold, rash, and a rule breaker. As he begins to bond with Greta and her friends, he plants an idea in their head. Is this system really working?

Okay, I know. It’s sounding pretty clichéd. But, I swear, it’s not – and I am not going to spoil it. The ending is completely unexpected and Greta and Elián are much deeper than they seem. Mark this release on your calendar, this dystopian is not to be missed.

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