From School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-Evelyn Winters's life is just about perfect-or so she's been brainwashed to believe. As Daughter of the People of Elysium, an underwater utopia, she seemingly lives a life of luxury. The Leader of the People, her Mother, is training her to take over one day and manage the isolated community. When Gavin, a Surface Dweller, infiltrates Elysium, everything Evie's ever been taught begins to unravel. Her memories can't be right. Her life, her Law, her world, isn't perfect. Scores of people who have created "problems" are simply killed-and Mother is behind it all. Evie has to escape. Renegade is a creepier, underwater version of the Society in Ally Condie's Matched (Dutton, 2010). Souders creates an unsettling tone with the repetition of Evie's rote internal dialogue. First in a trilogy, Renegade is another dark and exciting YA novel about how striving for perfection leads to murder and manipulation. The love story between Gavin and Evie is lackluster, but the action mostly makes up for it. A solid recommendation for fans of dystopian fiction.-Emily Chornomaz, Camden County Library System, NJα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
In the underwater utopia Elysium, 16-year-old Evelyn Winter’s life is “nearly perfect.” After all, she is the coddled, trained, and admired Daughter of the People, chosen for her ideal genes to lead Elysium’s inhabitants. So why does Evie occasionally have strange, disjointed flashbacks and the feeling that she is often forgetting something? When surface dweller Gavin Hunter accidentally stumbles upon Evie’s world, everything that Evie thought she knew about herself, her land, and the woman she calls Mother is turned upside down. Will Evie’s training help or hinder her quest for the truth? The romance between Evie and Gavin falls a little flat, with an unlikely speed to their relationship and the unnecessary inclusion of a mild love triangle. Still, Souders’ exciting, suspenseful, and action-packed debut novel will be a welcome addition to any library’s dystopia collection. Hand this to fans of Suzanne Collins, Veronica Roth, and Scott Westerfeld. Grades 8-11. --Candice Mack