Tuesday Teen Review (and Book 1 of 25 of the Hub Reading Challenge) : Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Scythe is a novel set in a futuristic utopia, where all diseases have been cured and people can reverse their age when they become old. No one is dying naturally anymore. That is where the Scythes come in.

Scythes are seen as noble. They curb overpopulation by killing...ahem...'gleaning' a certain quota of people per year. And the mega super computer that rules...I mean manages the world, the Thunderhead, has issued a need for more Scythes.

Citra is an overachiever. Rowan just tries to do the bare minimum to get through life. They are both chosen to be apprentices to a Scythe. But Citra and Rowan must decide for themselves if they agree with the practice of gleaning, and if they really want to become Scythes at all. And they must contend with a group of Scythes who have seemingly turned to the dark side.

Scythe is a fast paced book that will hook you immediately. The book not only switches between the perspectives of Citra and Rowan, but it also has a few brief forays into the minds of other characters as well. This gives the book a thoughtful quality, allowing the reader to see from the perspective of humanity in a way.

Although there were holes in the believe-ability in the premise of the novel (like, why didn't people just stop having babies to curb population growth?), that wasn't what the story was really meant to be about. Shusterman created this world as an impetus for this thought provoking novel, which plumbs the unanswerable question of the meaning of life and the meaning of death as well. It is also a quick read that is fully engaging and fun. It broaches deep subjects, but is an easy read.
I would highly recommend this book and I look forward to the sequel.

~Stephanie, Teen Librarian