from goodreads: Nine is the ninth female born in her batch of ten females and ten males. By design, her life in Freedom Province is without complications or consequences. However, such freedom comes with a price. The Prime Maker is determined to keep that price a secret from the new batches of citizens that are born, nurtured, and raised androgynously.
But Nine isn't like every other batcher. She harbors indecision
worries about her upcoming Remake Day -- her seventeenth birthday, the
age when batchers fly to the Remake facility and have the freedom to
choose who and what they'll be.
When Nine discovers the truth about life outside of Freedom
Province, including the secret plan of the Prime Maker, she is
pulled between two worlds and two lives. Her decisions will test
her courage, her heart, and her beliefs. Who can she trust? Who does she love? And most importantly, who will she decide to be?
What an amazing debut by Ilima Todd! I loved this book. It's one that I couldn't put down. I liked the entire premise of the book. The book mimics real life--there is pressure in our society (like Nine's) to look a certain way and to appear perfect. There are even surgeries available to fix things we may not like about our appearance. But I love that the overall theme of the book is that we are so much more than what we look like--that a remake can involve more than physical attributes, but more importantly, our character. The story stuck with me long after I finished it. The themes are that powerful and thought-provoking.
Todd's writing is flawless. She is very skilled at creating deep characters and developing relationships between those characters. I felt invested in their story, and was immediately drawn into the world of Freedom Province. Todd sets up a very interesting and unique world, and Nine seems content with her life until she finds a different society living outside the province. I liked how Nine was able gather information from the two worlds and make her own decision about where she wanted her life to go, and what she wanted to become.
I also loved the theme of family. The book strikes an impressive contrast between the world of Freedom, with no families, to the world on an island, with families. Ilima Todd mentioned at her book signing that the idea for this book came from wondering what a world would be like if there were no families. Seeing a family function through Nine's eyes made me realize that family is something we often take for granted, but it's truly one of the greatest gifts we have.
In a world where the lines between genders are becoming more and more blurred, I appreciated that this book took an honest look at the strengths and weaknesses of each gender. I like the cover, and its clever play on the gender signs. While I felt this book could be a stand-alone, it is actually the first of a trilogy, and I can't wait to read the other two books! I'm curious to see where Nine's path takes her next.