Review: Riot – Sarah Mussi.

riotIt’s 2018. The population is maxed out and cuts have exacerbated everything. The solution? Forced sterilisation of school leavers without secure future prospects. Naturally, this isn’t accepted – riots start, teens revolt, and then it all goes awry.

And, man, I was reading this first chapter or two like What a good concept. Obviously, it’s ludicrous, but the protest of ‘My body, my rights’ isn’t barely a stone’s throw from the public protests we see worldwide today, and ‘EVE’ is the Anonymous of 2018. It sounded quite exciting.

Then, that excitement dissipated quickly. Tia (Eve) is paired with Cobain Reilly in the offskirts of anarchy and they’re on the run but, surprisingly, they become super boring, and even her father – the story’s antagonist – doesn’t really live up to his hype after the build up.

There’s little attempt to create a full background, and Tia as a character is really flippant and doesn’t seem to take into account the efforts others go to for her, and the damsel-in-distress tinge when it comes to her dynamics with Cobain from time to time were off-putting. Action finally crept over the horizon, but it proved too little too late.

There’s also some weird judgmental tones in Mussi’s writing that were unsettling, including: I never thought yobs knew anything, except how to collect benefits and Like getting off your head and sleeping about with randoms is better than being a caring parent? I get the latter in relation to the plot, but the shade cast on sleeping around is far too typical with the slut-shaming commentary I see time and time again in this stuff.

It’s a shame because it started off, at the very least, interesting. Being watched had tones of Orwell’s 1984, the tones of teenage rebellion touched The Hunger Games, and I really thought it could go somewhere.

It didn’t.

Pub: 1st May 2014 | Hachette Children’s Books

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