I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Unsame Ones by Stephanie Skeem
Narrator: Stephanie Skeem
Series: Stand Alone
Published by Independent on March 25, 2016
Genres: Dystopia, Young Adult
Length: 14 hours
Format: Audiobook, eBook
I stumbled my way to a review copy of The Unsame Ones. I’m not even accepting review books right now. But this one’s concept really grabbed me. So I made an exception. This concept and message was so good, but (and I hate that I have to say but) the execution was lacking.
IMAGINE A world where Everyone was exactly the Same, including YOU, BECAUSE Same was Safe.
The Unsame Ones, is a riveting story of an ordinary January whose Same life takes an extraordinary turn, when something Different throws her off of her Same track, and propels her into the forbidden realm of Unsame. Where once her life revolved only around the clock, and listening to only its sound, she starts to hear something different, something real, something powerful, and spell-binding that ignites a fierce desire to overcome the pull of Same, to know the truth, and to discover the vibrant power of music, even at the deadly cost of being infected with the Unsame virus, and losing her place in the world of SAME FOREVER.
The Unsame Ones is a gripping story that will appeal 7th to 12th graders, music enthusiast, kids, and individuals who have trouble fitting into the "in" crowd.
*Back cover blurb*
I was born in January.
So I am January, and everything that it entails. I bear the same name as a million other Januaries just like me, the same look, the same genetic makeup, the same job, the same face, the same goals, and the same dreams.
I am and will be a secretary for the rest of my life. I am good at what I do, I was made for my job, and my job was made for me.
I am Same.
I have lived the Same as every other January like me for seventeen years.
And a year from now, on the first of January, I will die from the same genetic defect every January has died from. No January has ever lived past eighteen.
No January has ever wanted to.
I believe I have been infected with the Unsame Virus. My head aches, throbs, and pounds
without ever stopping. Before now, I never felt pain. I know I must turn myself in. That is the only logical thing to do.
It all started with the hideous Unsame One who crossed my path, and thrust a strange object into my hands. It is he who is to blame, and it is I who must fight this. I cannot shut out my master, keeper, and overseer, Time---nor disobey the clock. I will forever march to its dictates, and remain true.
I am a Same One.
I was born Same.
I have lived Same.
And I will die Same.
I am January.
I am Same.
I liked The Unsame Ones enough that I had to read to the end – I could not, would not DNF. But it was tedious at times, not because the story was bad but it needed editing. There was a LOT of repetition and telling instead of showing. Sometimes I tried to excuse it as the author’s way of showing how “same” looked, felt, etc. But it continued into the sections where we’re supposed to be moving away from Same.
I also am someone who’s all about characters and unfortunately much of The Unsame Ones is devoid of characters – because it has to be. This is where I guess I wanted a bit more same… same type of book I normally read, with rich characters. But the ones we do have are flat or, conversely, melodramatic. It was either not enough or too much. I hate to feel this way because within the story I do get the sense that the author is talented and with some editing could really write a book I’d love. I would be willing to try this author again.
On a side note, the author’s narration was okay. I used whisper sync and I have to say I enjoyed the book more when listening. I do think a professional narrator would have been a better choice, though, because the narration sometimes added to the melodrama in a negative way. I never lost the sense that I was listening to narration. But it was not a bad read – I’ve listened to professional narrators that I couldn’t keep going and that was not the case here.
Sorry I didn’t love it, but had a good message and maybe someday I’ll read something else from this author I like more.
Berls review of The Unsame Ones left her wanting a bit more... #Review Click To Tweet