The Registry by Shannon Stoker

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Title:  The Registry
Author:  Shannon Stoker
Published:  June 11, 2013
Series:  The Registry #1
Genre:  Dystopian
Format:  Kindle
Source:  Purchased

The Registry saved the country from collapse. But stability has come at a price. In this patriotic new America, girls are raised to be brides, sold at auction to the highest bidder. Boys are raised to be soldiers, trained by the state to fight to their death.

Nearly eighteen, beautiful Mia Morrissey excitedly awaits the beginning of her auction year. But a warning from her married older sister raises dangerous thoughts. Now, instead of going up on the block, Mia is going to escape to Mexico—and the promise of freedom.

All Mia wants is to control her own destiny—a brave and daring choice that will transform her into an enemy of the state, pursued by powerful government agents, ruthless bounty hunters, and a cunning man determined to own her . . . a man who will stop at nothing to get her back.

The Registry had so much potential, but I just didn’t like it. I mean, it was basically about dystopian sex slavery and mail-order brides. Every feminist bone in my body was literally bristling with anger…and then the emotion was gradually killed by bad writing, poor execution of 3rd person omniscient voice, and the fact that this book was stuffed with literally every YA love story cliche in existence.

Mia is a beautiful, but incredibly sheltered, girl who is brought up with one purpose: to be sold to the highest bidder through the Registry. She thinks nothing of her fate until one day, her older sister runs away from her abusive husband, only to be returned to him by their parents. Then, all of a sudden, Mia becomes gung ho about women’s rights and independence, not wanting to be someone’s “property,” and not wanting a romance. Granted, she’d just had a traumatic experience, but it seemed like a rather dramatic change for someone who had been brainwashed their entire life.

Another flaw that bothered me was the involvement of Mia’s mother in arranging her marriage. Wouldn’t it bother her to sell her daughters into the equivalent of slavery? If it hadn’t been that way forever (women had been free at one point), how does such a practice come about without a fight? It all seemed improbable, even accounting for brainwashing. Mia’s mother wasn’t even portrayed as being upset; if anything, her father seemed more upset about her marriage to Grant than her mother did.

I hate pointless love triangles. In a story that was already on the crazy train, there was really no need to introduce Carter into the picture just to take up more pages. So she kissed a boy—it didn’t really add to the story for me, and I would have been happier with a quicker conclusion.

Last but not least, just why are the grooms so evil? Grant has no reason to be such a jerk other than he just is. He really needs to change up his morning cereal because I think someone spit in it.

I would give The Registry two and a half out of five stars, and I would tentatively recommend it to readers of dystopian fiction. I think it had a good premise, and I may have liked it better if it weren’t for poor execution. You may like it better than I did!

2 star review

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