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"This book was AMAZING!!! It kept me on the edge of my seat for the entire 200 pages." ~booknerdinhighschool
"WOW. I was absolutely blown away by this book. This book is like if Legend, Across the Universe and The Borrowers had a love child, and called it Five-Seven-Five! I really do recommend this book for anyone that loves books with a twist!" ~sunstormsandthunderclouds
"If you like The Borrowers, The Twilight Zone, and C.E. Wilson's previous novel titledTo Nowhere, you'll enjoy the first installment ofThe Boy With Wordsseries titled Five-Seven-Five. ~never-anyone-else
"4 out of 5 stars! Five Seven Five was a very short read and I finished it in just a day!"~labookdreamer
"I loved the main character, White. Her admiration for the world was refreshing, and made me feel like I take the world for granted. It really was aneye-opener."~afrolicthroughfiction
File Size: 1013 KB
Print Length: 204 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1517527651
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Live and Love the Fantasy Publications (November 18, 2015)
I recently read C.E. Wilson's previous YA book To Nowhere. The story was about a girl named Lyris who wandered through some kind of portal into a world of giants who sell humans as some kind of exotic pets. I gave the book five stars for its unique plot, characters with clear objectives, and strong themes of communication, trust, and people being pretty much the same all over. I enjoyed the book thoroughly, so I was thrilled when her newest book, Five-Seven-Five (The Boy with Words #1), recently came out.
The first-person narrator of this story is White Frost, and it’s clear that she’s somewhat disillusioned by her life. All she’s ever known is the dark passageways where her society lives. Only the “Chosen Ones,” of which her cousin Shade is one, are allowed to venture beyond their zones to retrieve the supplies they’ll need for the month—without taking more than needed or anything that will be missed. This society lives in fear of being seen by their Creators, or at least that’s what their President insists.
Except that White’s not fully buying it. Her cousin has been giving her thick papers with scribbled words on it. She wants to know what some of those mysterious words—sky, rain, clouds—mean.
Sounds like this society’s dystopian, doesn’t it? Nothing wrong with that. In fact, the world White and her people inhabit is described well enough for the reader to come up with plausible theories borrowed from some other YA dystopian novels. Some sort of war or other event that made the surface inhabitable? Though she doesn’t explicitly say they’re underground in the beginning, it seems that way. Unless you’ve read enough of Wilson’s other works, you’ll be just as surprised as White is when you learn the reason, so I won’t spoil it.
White chooses to leave after her life is upturned. Another girl had wandered to the outside through a crack in a wall, and the Chosen Ones (including White’s cousin) went to retrieve her to tragic results. Though the exact details of this event are not revealed, the tone indicates the horrific nature of it. Knowing what’s outside, I can imagine a few grisly scenarios.
After getting some information from her cousin’s colleague Salt (who harbors a crush on her), White ventures through the crack of light beyond Zone Eleven—the farthest district in their society—and discovers a much larger world than she ever imagined existed.
It’s there where she meets a boy named Kes, and it’s here where I’m going to stop summarizing the plot. You just have to trust this review and get yourself a copy and read it. You may think you have it pegged as just another YA dystopian novel, but it is SO MUCH MORE THAN THAT.
But I can talk theme and overall impact. As much as I enjoyed Wilson’s previous work, this one is much more strongly developed and executed. White is a wonderful narrator, and seeing this story through her eyes is such a pleasant, inspiring, and profound experience. She’s innately curious. She’s not afraid to go after what she wants. She has a believable vulnerable side. But most of all, she views this new world outside with so much wonder and awe that it’s difficult to come away without feeling like we take our world for granted. The way White describes mundane, everyday experiences—and the way Wilson writes it—is simply brilliant and beautiful. This is an impressive collection of words.
Words. The name of this series is The Boy with Words. I won’t tell you what that or Five-Seven-Five mean, but the power of WORDS is a recurring theme in the book. Just as the book made me feel that we take the world for granted, the book also made me think we take words for granted. Why is it called rain? It seems like a somewhat arbitrary term, but someone (or several someones) assigned it that word long ago. Now that word has power, and it can conjure up images or memories. String several words together and you’ve created stronger, deeper images. Seeing White develop her appreciation of words is just as enjoyable as seeing her develop an appreciation for the world outside, and this is a great way to show her character growth.
My only quibble is that the story isn’t over. There’s a heartbreaking cliffhanger at the end, so be prepared for it. I’ve mentioned in other reviews about cliffhangers being earned if there’s at least a closed story or character arc. I’m not sure if there really is, but in this case, I don’t mind it the least because it really is a strong enough moment to make me desperate for the sequel. I want to know more details about the tragic incident. I want to know more about the Creator’s “scriptures.” And I want to know all the details—no spoiler here—about how Kes and White’s societies diverged. There’s a lot of directions the sequel could go, and I can’t wait for it.
This book has a great heart, mind, and soul. You’ll feel and think. On a scale of five stars, I’d like to give it seven, so Five-Seven-Five has earned its FIVE stars.
"Because you've never seen these things before. You'll be able to describe them in a way I can't. As human beings we take things for granted so much because we're too used to seeing everything."
Imagine living in a world where you never see the sky, never smell the rain, never hear the thunder. Imagine living in an environment where "the Chosen ones" are the only souls allowed to leave the safe haven to grab supplies and food. Imagine living in a place where everything you know now, such as how you live your everyday life, is only a dangerous thought to a colony.
Meet White Frost - a girl who lives in the dark and is only comforted by the scraps of paper with words that feel like a puzzle to her. Her cousin and only source of genuine human connection, Shade, loses his life to the unknown of the "outside" world. His friend, Salt, continues to help White gain more pieces to the puzzle of the world she longs to understand and observe. When White finally gets past the zones her people created to protect them, she gets more than she bargained for...including the source of the words she later learns to be haikus.
Wilson creates an interesting world that makes a reader wonder what we all truly take for granted. The little things matter; perception being one of them. Overall, a wonderful read.
I was so excited to get my hands on this book and read it. Even with my already high expectations, it was even better than I imagined. The author takes you to a place where we can see our own world with fresh eyes. She makes you excited about the daily and amazing things we take for granted. The dynamic between characters is refreshing and new. A creative story that totally pulled me into this new world. I absolutely cannot wait for book 2!
A very well written story, cleanly edited and captivating right from the beginning. There's much focus on huge size difference (about 1:40 I guess), which might not be everyone's cup of tea - but if you're into this and appreciate beautiful, detailed descriptions, then I would definitely recommend this book. The ending comes rather sudden, but no worries, looks like there will be a sequel.