The Predicteds by Christine Seifert
Release Date: September 1, 2011
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Age Group: Young Adult
Parental Warnings: none
Buy It On Amazon:
Recommended for Ages
12 and Up
Daphne is the new girl in town and is having trouble fitting in. At least she has Jesse... sort of. He wants to be more than "just friends," but there's something he's not telling her about his past. Something dangerous. When a female student is brutally attacked, police turn to PROFILE, a new program that can predict a student's capacity for drug use, pregnancy, and violent behavior, to solve the case. As the witch hunt ensues, Daphne is forced to question her feelings for Jesse-and what she will do if her first love turns out to be a killer.
Before I found this book at Inkwood for review, I had only recently seen it popping up on many In My Mailboxes and I was curious about it. The premise of the book reminded me of Matched in a way, with a different twist. Instead of pairing up couples, it was set in the present and it only predicted what people were going to do.First of all, Christine plunges you into the action right away. The book starts off with a heavy scene that you instantly know is going to be a big part of the book. That sets up for the rest of the story.It took a while for me to get the hang of what was going on. Plunging you straight into the action both gave us the advantage of reading a fast paced book and the disadvantage of making you slightly confused. However, I must say that Christine did a pretty good job of coming back around and explaining what was going on and not just leaving you with no answers.Once we got past the beginning, the book went rather slow, but there was an unspoken tension of PROFILE behind the characters' cavalier attitudes. The entire book revolved around the PROFILE results and how they would affect the community, but we didn't find out who was predicted until a long way through the book. That did disappoint me a bit, but I enjoyed how a lot of buzz was drummed up about it.Although there was a really slow middle section, that is where we get to know a bit more about Daphne, Jesse, January, and the small town of Quiet. Daphne navigates friendships, love, and politics with ease and there's always the question "is he or she predicted?" when I ran into a new character.It was like a mystery: there were lots of clues alluding to maybe a certain person being predicted and lots of clues to hint at who attacked the student. The characters were skillfully written with great dialogue and expression behind them.This book was surprisingly political. I wasn't expecting it to be like that. It wasn't necessarily good or bad, but PROFILE definitely affected student's perceptions of each other. There was the constant question: should the scientists put their morals aside? Could people change?A lot of this book was affected on morals and whether it was right or not to inform kids of what other students were capable of and if it was okay to let them mingle with the other students. Parents had uproars about the predicteds and keeping their children safe, and people were wondering whether it would have been okay to let nature run its course.In science class at school, we always talked about Nature vs. Nurture. That was the one element that kept popping into my mind when I was reading this book. There was lots of evidence backing up both sides and it made you wonder whether it was the KNOWLEDGE of knowing that you were going to commit a crime making you commit it, or whether with the proper care and attention, you could avoid that future all together.It was a very curious, fickle book. It played with my thoughts and really made me wonder about the capabilities of people. It did mess with your head a bit, thinking about the future and how people can change and such.Daphne was an okay narrator. She didn't seem to have a very distinctive voice, but she conveyed the big issues very well. I loved the clear dialogue in this book. I did like how she was willing to look past what people said others were like and see them for what they were. I also liked how she didn't automatically trust Jesse. She needed to have some reassurance that she could trust people, and didn't automatically fall for him and believe every word that poured out of his mouth.It was refreshing to read in a YA novel because a lot of books like this are built on the fact that the heroine blindly accepts whatever the boy tells her. I mean, it's a necessary element, because otherwise paranormal romances probably wouldn't exist (and you know how I love my paranormal romances) but it is nice to meet an independent character.Jesse was mysterious, to say the least. He reminded me of Owen from Sarah Dessen's Just Listen. He was quieter, and understood things, and was slightly alienated by the rest of the high school. He made strange decisions and didn't tell Daphne why, which kind of made me mad for a little while at the beginning. I agreed with his choices once he explained them though, so it was all good. He was pretty realistic for a book like this and I could definitely see him and Daphne together.The one thing that I didn't really understand about this book was why Daphne kept spending time with her "friends". They didn't listen to what she had to say, only cared about what would keep them on top, and were shallow, to say the least. The least shallow of them was probably Dizzy, and that wasn't saying much. I found some of their traits ridiculous. Their names felt stereotypical and not realistic: Cuteny, Dizzy, Lexus. My jaw probably fell open when one of them called their father and their conversation was basically "Daddy, I need you to sue somebody for me" because it was an act of "discrimination".I would have liked to hear more about Lexus. There was a mention of her that was very surprising to everybody in the book and I wished that Daphne would have had at least one conversation with her. This wasn't important exactly to the book, it was just my little wish :)In about the second half of the book, the pace started picking up. The book started off fast, the middle was slow, and the end was perfectly paced. Everything was tied up and neatly ended. The ending was good. It was nice and solid, perfect for the book.Overall, The Predicteds is a solid book. Good writing, a great premise, and well-written dialogue added up to a clean and enjoyable read.Recommended for anybody who loves: Matched; Just Listen; Virals; Kiss of Death; etc,.Possible book club questions:What do you think about Nature vs. Nurture? Melissa refused to work more for PROFILE because of her morals. How did this decision affect the book?How did January change throughout the book? Do you think she "deserved it"?Why did January's mother cut her brother out of the photos?Do you think this could happen in reality?Did the ending surprise you?Do you think that Daphne would have made different choices if she had hung out with different people?Do you think PROFILE could predict good choices?etc,.