Thalli was just marked for death. She is sitting in the room full of fake flowers and their fake aroma to await a "humane" death. As if annihilation could be humane.
Thalli is not ready to embrace death yet -- she just discovered the truth about her world. The Scientists, the only ones to survive the apocalyptic nuclear war, created her small world and supposedly made it better by removing emotions from the population. Yeah, very humane.
The Scientists were her idols, including their newest apprentice and Thalli's childhood friend, Berk. But then Thalli slipped and showed her creators that she was an "anomaly," also known as a human with actual feelings. That is why she is scheduled to death and Berk, her precious friend is just going to watch it happen.
I finished this book not knowing exactly how I felt about it. Anomaly
started with a strong dystopian plotline, but then deterred into religious undertones. There were frequent references to "The Designer" and Bible verses were quoted. If you do not like to have religion in your books, then this is not going to be your cup of tea. Although, the religion aspects were forced, I still like the diversity it created. Personally, I am open to reading any kind of book, no matter what the reigning belief is.
Now that we got that out of the way, the review can start.
I needed to gradually adapt to the writing style. The writing was short and blunt, not at all the long, flowing sentences that characterize dystopians to me. I believe to fit the premise that the world is full of emotionless humans who are not allowed to think freely, McGee decided to shorten and simplify Thalli's thoughts. I have to admire that dedication.
I liked Thalli's world so much that I slugged through the unfamiliar writing just to know what happened. I am glad that I did. As the book progressed and Thalli started to think on her own, the writing was not as forced (or I just got used to the style) and started to flow better.
The plot made for a rather light dystopian novel. At first, it seemed rather simple, but, thankfully, it complicated as the book went on. The plot was not packed full of action, and I found myself waiting for something to happen at some points. I got my wish during the last quarter of the book. All of the mystery and intrigue that was created in the slow exposition finally paid off. The ending was unexpected and I enjoyed it.
As for the characters, I only really connected with Thalli. The secondary characters were mostly overlooked and not elaborated on. I would have loved to see more of Thalli's friends and less of her rambling about Berk. The romance was a little overbearing, but much better compared to other books in the YA genre.
If you can adapt to the writing style and want to try religious themes in literature, then Anomaly
is the book for you.
This review and many others are posted on my blog, Crazy for YA