Kyla has been Slated—her memory and personality erased as punishment for committing a crime she can’t remember. The government has taught her how to walk and talk again, given her a new identity and a new family, and told her to be grateful for this second chance that she doesn’t deserve. It’s also her last chance—because they’ll be watching to make sure she plays by their rules.
As Kyla adjusts to her new life, she’s plagued by fear. Who is she, really? And if only criminals are slated, why are so many innocent people disappearing? Kyla is torn between the need to know more and her instinct for self-preservation. She knows a dangerous game is being played with her life, and she can’t let anyone see her make the wrong move . . . but who can she trust when everyone is a stranger?
Finally! A book that is actually a dystopian novel in the classic sense of the word (in which society tries to be an utopia, but with a major flaw,) and not another one of those “let’s just call it dystopian and claim its the next Hunger Games while we’re at it” novels. In Slated, children under sixteen that are deemed detrimental to society (e.g. criminals, terrorists, rebels) will be given a second chance by having their memories wiped and living with a new adoptive family. Slaters are then required to wear a Levo, a bracelet that monitors happiness and negativity. When the user drops too low, the bracelet shocks the user before they can harm society. At first it seems that all is good, until more and more citizens disappear for trivial misconduct and citizens fear government is abusing their power.
Slated reminded me of why I love the dystopian genre: its speculative nature is thought-provoking and a great starting point for ethical discussions. However, as much as this futuristic dystopia excited me, the novel as a whole did not. It’s not that Slated by Teri Terry had many faults, but just that it didn’t stand out and felt slightly heavy-handed at times. The slow pace also failed to hold my attention. However, I still think it succeeded in raising important questions like self-identity (without memories, who are you?) and the nature vs. nuture debate.