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The Forever Contract (A Dystopian YA Novella) [Kindle Edition]

Avery Sawyer
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In the very near future, the country is plunged into drought and unrest. Scarce resources and constant heat are making life completely miserable. Casey doesn't think she can stand slugging back another gel pack or working one more shift at the wells. Fortunately, there's a solution: anyone over the age of seventeen can sign the Forever Contract and enter a utopian paradise. While people's minds take a permanent vacation, their bodies get warehoused and hooked up to a complex array of sensors and feeding tubes. As Casey's brother says, "You upload your consciousness to the system and you're free to live as long as you want, however you want. No more pain, no more heat, no more awful dust, no more work. Just pure thought. It's what our species has always been meant for. Suffering is for philosophers. Not for me."

Casey's ready to sign--a permanent vacation is just what she needs. There's only one problem: her boyfriend James doesn't trust it.

Told from his and her perspectives, The Forever Contract is a 17,000 word (60 page) novella suitable for readers in grade 8 and above.

Would you sign the contract?

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Under the pen name Avery Sawyer, Laura Schaefer is the author of Notes to Self, a young adult novel about a teen with a traumatic brain injury, and The Forever Contract, a young adult dystopian novella about escaping from hardship by loading one's consciousness into a digital paradise.

Schaefer is also the author of The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2009), The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011), and Planet Explorers Travel Guides for Kids. Learn more about her by visiting and Look for Laura on Twitter: @teashopgirl

Product Details

  • File Size: 170 KB
  • Print Length: 56 pages
  • Publisher: Planet Explorers Publishing (July 30, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008R9DDZ0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,030 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish it had been longer! August 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
What a refreshing read! Loved the characters, the dystopian world, and the Forever System! It seems like such a cool place to be, until you find out the truth.

Then you dont want to be there at all.

It had some nice unexpected surprises in it.

I just wish it had been longer, that we'd gotten a deeper look into the world, characters and what happens after the end.

I really hope the author continues this!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars unrealized potential November 27, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
This is a short novella in the burgeoning YA dystopian fiction genre.

There are some really good ideas here. The underlying main concept is fantastic. A world where you can choose to have your consciousness uploaded into a virtual world. Still being able to interact with those in the "real" world via computers screens is fascinating. The idea of watching those you know in their self-created virtual worlds. Even the reasoning behind why this is happening works - water shortages that cause wars, arid land that won't support crops. Then throw in an undercurrent of suspicion. A few that don't believe everything they are being told. The set up and the background are great.

Where this novella lets the reader down is in the execution.

Perhaps it is because the concept is too large to be contained in a novella, but the entire story feels rushed and lacking.

The bare bones are there but nothing is given depth or fleshed out. The main characters, Casey and James, are mere facades. They are not real people yet who encourage the reader to become attached. The potential is there.

Casey is a young woman about to make a huge life altering decision. Her boyfriend James is facing the same decision. But the entire tension between their differing views is played out in grade school type dialogue that is far too simplistic for what should be complex and deeply layered emotions.

The same happens in what should be climactic moments. They end up falling flat because the reader has not suspended that disbelief and embraced the world Sawyer is trying to create.

This disappointed me. I wanted more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very quick and enjoyable read! August 10, 2012
By Jeraca
Format:Kindle Edition
**I won this eBook novella from the author through the LibraryThing Member Giveaway free in exchange for my honest review.**

For years now, there has been a drought that has not let up.

Water is timed per month - if a household uses too much water in a month they will lose their water until the first of the next month. Instead of having water bottles to drink, they have gel packs to conserve water.

Food is bland and nothing tastes well. No citrus food at all.

Clothes are dusty and heat stroke is a very common way to die if people aren't carefully when they are outside during the day.

Fortunately, there is a way out of this miserable life. At the age of 17 or older, anyone can sign the Forever Contract, where they get to live in their own virtual world. Wherever they want to live - in the city, country, beach, small town - they will be able to go there in a blink of an eye.

Water and food are there with the very thought of what you want. You will not want anything in Forever - it is a virtual heaven.

Casey is turning 17 soon. She wants to sign the Forever Contract and join her older brother, Ben, who went there a few years ago.

Casey's boyfriend, James, is forbidding to sign the contract. He says that no one is living in this virtual world. They are actually dying in this world.

James knows things that Casey doesn't about the Forever Contract. Things that will make him try to keep her from signing it no matter what the cost is.

But will James stop Casey in time from joining the Forever Contract world? Will anybody listen to James's pleas? Read The Forever Contract by Avery Sawyer to find out!

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Matrix meets Coma August 10, 2012
By AlanBes
Format:Kindle Edition
Matrix meets Coma. I read this in a single sitting and it is a great read. The story ended a little too abrupt and I would have liked it to continue - and that's probably just a sign of how much I was enjoying the story. A personal comment, especially as a teen read, is that blasphemy in a couple of places is unnecessary and is more distracting than what it adds to the story.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What if the Matrix were created and run by humans? August 2, 2012
By ZGail
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This novella incorporates themes that are recognizable from The Hunger Games and The Matrix trilogy, but asks harder questions about one's own choices. If you could "plug in" and have the most perfect life you could imagine for yourself, would you willingly leave your body behind? More importantly, why are you being given that choice? What aren't they telling you? This was well written and compelling, and I can't wait for the next installment. (I'm assuming there will be a next installment.)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An unique premise November 12, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A seeming utopia where not everything is not as it seems. You know the saying if it's too good to be true? This would be the case here.

At the age of 17 you are given a choice, leave the hard life and go into a virtual reality where your environment is made entirely by you. The perfect utopia...

The story had a very unique premise, one that kept me turning the pages. One that kept me very interested.

The characters were wonderful, the supporting cast were equally well thought out. I was highly enjoying the short story.

It had a wonderful pacing... until about last few pages where it fell extremely short, it was very anti-climatic, with loose ends.

*I received a copy through Library Thing's Member Giveaway in exchange for a honest review*
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars so-so
My favorite part of reading dystopian stories is to see the high spectrum of ideas and theories as to how the world as we know it might end, and what happens after. Read more
Published 22 days ago by izzy lardner
3.0 out of 5 stars great story but then it stopped
This was an interesting concept. Great a Sci-fy details and good plot. But as we approached the main conflict, it was only resolved partially and then it stopped. Read more
Published 27 days ago by Jennifer M. Corder
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great purchase. Worth every penny.
Published 1 month ago by Amanda L. Twitchell
4.0 out of 5 stars Downloading you SELF sometimes is not worth it!
To be able to download your self into the internet forever would be awesome if it didnt mean your body was just a casing holding on until you were fully downloaded. Read more
Published 1 month ago by April Reynolds
4.0 out of 5 stars Not sure how to rate it!
It's a very strange premise! In a million years you would never guess what the contract is! I found it very slow for almost the first half of the book - it was like the author... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars give me more
Interesting, but way too short. Would love to read more about these characters.
Published 2 months ago by Sharon B
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible purchase... Thank goodness it was cheap...
I really didn't like this short dystopian book for kindle. It was relatively interesting and I liked the imagination it DID have... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Rachel
5.0 out of 5 stars such a shame that this is only a novella
I wanted more! it was such a quick and exciting read. I hope the author expands the selection and her collection. I see stars in her future.
Published 4 months ago by van
5.0 out of 5 stars Want More! Please More? Please?
OMG!! This is the BEST book that you'll want more, more, more of!! It's basically a short story, but it whoomps a biiiig punch, and again-leaves you wanting more! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Alicia S.
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste:(
The story had just got interesting and it ended?? The beginning was a slow start, and just as it felt the story was flowing good, the author seemed to rush the story along to... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Rv
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More About the Author

Under the pen name Avery Sawyer, Laura Schaefer is the author of Notes to Self, a young adult novel about a teen with a traumatic brain injury.

Schaefer is also the author of The Teashop Girls (Simon & Schuster 2009), The Secret Ingredient (Simon & Schuster 2011), and Planet Explorers Travel Guides for Kids. Learn more about her by visiting and Laura is also on Twitter: @teashopgirl

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