Title: Death Thieves
Author: Julie Wright
Publisher: Kindle Press, 2016
Genre: YA Dystopian, YA Science Fiction
**I received a copy of this book free from Ebooksforreview.com and the author in exchange for an honest review**
So I requested this title from Ebooksforreview back in August, and I have to admit, I love the amount of time they give you to review a book! I get busy and forgetful and I have lots going on, but having 90 days to review a book is incredibly generous. So I go back to the time and time again. And I have yet to be disappointed!
Summer Dawn Rae and her sister Winter are twins: Winter is the achiever and Summer is the one who performs under the radar. Unfortunately, Winter isn’t the one who dies…Summer is. Well, she is supposed to die, but Tag saves her. He comes from the future to bring her with him, and leaves a body in her place. Since she’s supposed to die, history is not altered. The only problem is that Summer doesn’t go anywhere without her twin.
She fights Tag and ends up screwing up the window of time for them to return to 2112: Tag’s time. He wants to bring her to the future because infertility is preventing new births, and civilization will die out if it continues. Summer’s been picked to be a New Youth…essentially one of a couple hundred people who are not infected with infertility from mutated STDs. The mutation has led to a race of Crazy people, and once a child turns three, if they don’t pass an evaluation, they are euthanized.
Summer doesn’t want to be a New Youth; she just wants her sister. She already lost her boyfriend in the car accident that supposedly claimed her life, and Winter is her other half. But after spending some time with Tag, she realizes that she can’t go back…because all of her loved ones think she is dead. While waiting to return to Tag’s time, Summer slowly realizes that Tag isn’t that bad…but he is infected, keeping him off-limits as anything even remotely friendly.
Will 2112 be the wonderful future that Tag has described? How can it be if babies are being put to death? Where does a chronic underperformed belong in a future world? And can she share her future with Tag, even though she could get him killed for fraternizing with a New Youth?
Is It Classroom-Appropriate?
Yes. It really is. I love finding standalone books that can be used in a classroom! This one has a great structure: moral implications, well-developed characters, and time travel (who doesn’t love a good time travel story?)…I can see so many fun prompts for this one already. Tag’s future has benefits and drawbacks, and though it appears they are trying to create a utopic world with the New Youth, there are people in the future separated by class and wealth. The government controls everything (just like a good dystopian world) and babies are born in public nurseries to try to prevent this “crazy” disease.
I can imagine discussing the class system, the idea of thieving people from their natural deaths, the moral quandary of killing children…the text is rich with options. I am definitely keeping this one on my list for classroom-use!
Though the book isn’t “popular” enough to warrant a Lexile score, I would estimate a good age range at 12 and up. There’s no sex, no swearing…the protagonist is very relatable (she has habits like saying, “Stupid!” to herself when making a mistake, she accidentally calls people crazy in a world where calling someone crazy is like accusing them of being a witch, she has natural insecurities that most young people have), and the story is fun and imaginative. I really enjoyed this one and would give it to my niece to read. I think she’d like it.
Here’s the author, Julie Wright:
I give Death Thieves ★★★★☆. I would actually give it four and a half but of course there’s no half-stars in my world. Maybe in the future? Lol. But seriously, I would recommend this to fans of dystopian lit that like standalones (I was satisfied but I’d be happy with more!) or like something easy to get into. Death Thieves was a truly fun read and it stuck with me. I’m going to read more of Julie Wright’s books and see if I can find another winner: I already subscribed to her blog!
Happy Reading, everyone! Check out an indie book ASAP and help self-published writers out! So many good stories get left by the wayside because they aren’t published by huge publishing houses…I say give em a chance! 🙌