The List by Patricia Forde

The List by Patricia Forde

The List starts out with an allusion to Noah’s Ark. This came as a surprise, as the premise makes no references of this. The premise is more about the limits on words. Although Noah’s Ark can not help but be a biblical reference, it feels more of a sign of rebirth and growth for this society. It sets it up as more than just a dystopian world, it creates a tone of growth, hope and faith in each other and what the individual can do for the group.

After only the first chapter, it is apparent that this world is not the one that the biblical Noah imagines for his followers. The contrast that it draws is not about smite for those that do not follow God, but shows the conflict between science and religion. In this new Ark, science and religion have melded. Freedom and control have also melded into oppression. In this new Ark, they are starting fresh, in the old world, everybody had all the words that they wanted, and that ended in the Melting, so they are trying it with only 500 words. Maybe this time humans will not mess it up so bad, according to Noa. This is what Letta believes, until she encounters someone who has a different opinion. She has never heard his side of the story and the more she listens, the more her world views start to slide away.

I found this to be a new take on dystopian books, because the world has already fallen, and a new government has already been set up. This also had a much more radical approach to the confinement of language. Most books that involve this type of oppression try to hide it, I found it interesting that the community goes along with it because they believe it is right. As a whole, this book took me longer to read than it should have. The book was fast paced, but it was easy to separate myself from what was happening in the book and my life. Even in the middle of the battle, I was able to just put it down and come back to it a few hours later. I think this has more to do with the characters than the plot. I really liked the plot, but the character development was very small and it made it so the plot drove the book and the characters were along for the ride. The lack of urgency within the characters might be part of what made it not engaging. I would recommend this as a good book for middle grade and up and it does a good job of starting discussion about the importance of free speech and language.


(as of 27-12-2017 00:37:41 UTC - Details)