Contract City Hardcover – March 15, 2015
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From School Library Journal
Falkin creates a near-future world that is at once terrifying and uncomfortably familiar, one where corporations have consumed entire cities and history is scrubbed away, even as it happens. His feisty, film-making protagonist, torn between her pre-fabricated suburban life and the troubled world outside her comfort zone, trains her camera on this censored world, revealing its fissures and provoking a confrontation between perception and reality. From the first page, Contract City is an enthralling, white-knuckle read that is enriched by its heroine: an ordinary girl with extraordinary guts. --C.F. Yetman, Author of The Roses Underneath
Contract City is an intelligent YA dystopian novel set in the country's first fully privatized city, Tulsa, Oklahoma. I use the term dystopian lightly because the world Falkin created is so realistic that the story balances right on the edge between sci-fi and reality. Set in the very near future, Tulsa has become the first city to become completely privatized, with services such as police, hospitals, and schools run by private corporations. But more is going on than meets the eye. Sara, a teenage documentary film-maker, begins investigating some graffiti that shows up everywhere--the tag WH2RR??. What starts as an interesting documentary subject to help her break into the film scene becomes a deeper and darker mystery, and soon she is hunted by the private police squad as they try to obtain her footage. Contract City strikes the perfect balance between intelligent and action-packed. The world, the characters, and the story are smart and timely, but that doesn't stop Falkin from creating a fast-paced and exciting story. I loved that he wasn't afraid to create a dystopian world that's both subtle and realistic a believable glimpse into a real, near future. But my favorite thing about the story was Sara. She's a wonderful, strong YA protagonist. The young artist is brave, clever, curious, and cares about the world around her. At one and the same time, she is strong and vulnerable, which makes her relatable and easy to root for. Although tackling big, real issues, she also has to navigate the challenges of youth, such as finding her place in the world and experiencing a first love. I was on her side from page one. Teens and adults alike will appreciate the intelligence and reality behind this story, and will be rooting for Sara along with me. I enjoyed drinking in every page. --Sharon Bayliss, Author of Destruction and Watch Me Burn
- Grade Level : 8 - 12
- Item Weight : 1.13 pounds
- Hardcover : 280 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1610881443
- ISBN-13 : 978-1610881449
- Product Dimensions : 6.15 x 0.79 x 9.34 inches
- Publisher : Bancroft Press (March 15, 2015)
- Reading level : 14 - 17 years
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #4,114,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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I never liked Billy or anything he was trying to do, so my empathy for him as a character was never as much as I wanted it to be. In some instances Sara felt pulled along rather than driving the story, which as the protagonist, I would have liked to seen flipped. But other than that, the story held my attention well and I looked forward to it every day when I got it back home. The ending was quite a shocker, i was mad that it ended the way it did only because i wanted the mother get more of a comeuppance than she did. But I guess that's up Falkin on what just desserts he gives to his character! Otherwise it was a fun story and well worth your time.