Community 17: A Dystopian Novella

James Cardona
SJI (2015)
ISBN 9781943696000
Reviewed By Arianna Violante (age 20) for Reader Views (01/16)

“Community 17: A Dystopian Novella” by James Cardona presents to readers a realistic future society which introduces concepts and issues which fill our current times. Isaias is a young man filled with aspirations to become a citizen. Being a citizen will not only get him all of what Society has to offer, it would also give him a life with the girl of his dreams. As a pleb from Community 17, he was at the bottom of the food chain. His only chance was to pass a test to become a citizen. However, his life, and dreams all change when Edra blows herself up in front of him. The story continues as Isaias juggles the Agency and the group of Free Thinkers suicide bombers in this suspenseful drama sure to keep young readers on the edge.

James Cardona does an excellent job introducing such complex current issues as suicide bombers, and social programming to young readers. His writing style is definitely geared to tell the story to a young crowd who have not yet been exposed to politically complex topics. I did wish there would be a little more of showing and less telling, but because of the age group and the complexity of the plot and topic, I believe the amount of telling can be justified. I did find the dialogues to be genuine to the characters but I did find few spots where I wished there would have been a different format when writing a character’s thought, as it did get confused with actual dialogue. In general, though, I believe it was written in tune for the age group and the story flowed perfectly, keeping me hooked, turning each page, and making difficult to put down.

I found “Community 17: A Dystopian Novella” by James Cardona to be a suspenseful and thought provoking read for young readers. Awesome story!

 

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