Monday, April 23, 2012

The Annihilation of Foreverland by Tony Bertauski




When kids awake on an island, they’re told there was an accident. Before they can go home, they will visit Foreverland, an alternate reality that will heal their minds. Reed dreams of a girl that tells him to resist Foreverland. He doesn’t remember her name, but knows he once loved her. He’ll have to endure great suffering and trust his dream. And trust he’s not insane. Danny Boy, the new arrival, meets Reed’s dream girl inside Foreverland. She’s stuck in the fantasy land that no kid can resist. Where every heart’s desire is satisfied. Why should anyone care how Foreverland works? Together, they discover what it’s really doing to them


As I was reading this book I could not stop picturing the movie Boot Camp (2007) Staring Mila Kunis.
But this story is an all boys camp, and the reason they are there is more devastating that I would have ever imagined.
The story was darker than I thought it would be. It is defiantly a thriller and part horror story. The very beginning with get your mind whirring about what kind of cell/building are the characters in, what is happening to them and is this a form of torture or medicine (could be the same difference in some situations)
The first couple of pages the MC is in a dark room with no light, a fan with some sort of needle attached to it and the Dr like person keeps saying that it's needed to help him get better. Is the MC in a hospital of some sort or a torture chamber? (possibly the same difference as well) He continues to resist because of a memory he has of a girl that tells him to resist the needle, if he resists then they will be able to be together again. But the man keeps telling him that they have implanted false memories into his brain and that the needle is the best thing for him, the sooner the better.
As the story gets going it splits into two different boys stories getting told. We get perspectives from both Danny Boy and Reed. The boys in this camp are confused, their memories and what they are being told don't quite match up. They keep referring to the dark place referred to as The Haystack where the needle room is, they get stripped naked and put through some awkward and bizarre situations.
I think both of these MC's represent different angles to the story, Reed who is fighting back, resisting. And Danny Boy who seems to be the most flexible and accepting boy in the camp. This made for a great story to get these different perspectives to what was happening to both of them and the other kids in the "camp"
if you passed the tests than you got "smoked" (which is a good thing?)
It's a dark novel, but as it is written for teens it's probably something that will not give you nightmares, anymore than the Escape from Furnace or the Maze Runner would.
I know I have not gone into details because it's easy to spoil this one. The best I can do is hint at the situation and hope that something I say may peak your interest. I enjoyed the story, giving it 4 stars I think it's something I will read again.

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