I am one of those irrational people who sees a book by a young author and immediately wants to read it. Amelia Atwater-Rhoades in all her incredible. Christopher Paolini during the hype of the initial release. Flavia Bujor and my short-lived obsession with her story the Prophecy of the Stones (that sequel has been 4 years in coming). You get the picture. So, of course, when I read that Isamu Fukui was only 17 years old, I commandeered the library copy of Truancy as soon as I was possibly able. The cover art didn’t hurt much either. I’m a sucker for brooding colors and silhouettes.

Tack is a victim of the system. Just another kid going to school within the confines of the experimental City. His main concerns have to do with increasingly difficult exams, the usual brutality and unjust actions of teachers, and his mysterious new friend from the abandoned District 19. But there are far more sinister things happening in the City. A group of school-hating, gun-slinging, ex-students have gathered one banner of Truancy and pose a challenge to the safety of the city’s adults and Enforcers. The despot Mayor will stop at nothing to put an end to the uprising and keep it a secret from the people of the City. And how better to challenge the Truancy than to threaten the welfare of the very thing they are trying to change- the school children. A new No-Tolerancy policy is put in place and the changes begin. But nothing seems all too real to Tack until his sister dies as an innocent in the underground conflict. Near mad with grief and anger, he breaks loose from all he has known and turns to Truancy.

I had heard a lot of negative reviews on this book. Too violent. Too young. Too ill thought out. But I really didn’t think it was that bad. I actually enjoyed it. I don’t claim to be an expert on books, but I’m glad that I wasn’t put off by all the grumpiness circulating about it.

The characters were almost type cast, but managed for the kind of slam-bang dystopia audience that this book will appeal to.  The plot was interesting and the dialogue quick. The action was constant, but with sufficient background. My only shared complaint with much that remains of the blogosphere was in the violence. There was a lot of it. Some scenes were definitely not for the weak of stomach or easily disturbed. Hardly Lord of the Flies, but little frolicking was attended to in the course of events. Still, I was intrigued for the outcome and only moderately disappointed at the violence.

Not a deep book, but a promising start. Rumor murmurs of a prequel sort of publication buzzing about that I would like to get my hands on. 4.7 out of 7 Ninja-Like Assistants. Decent.

Not skipping school- merely putting off homework by reviewing,

Aella