Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Review: Fast-Tracked by Tracy Rozzlyn


Title: Fast-Tracked    
Author:
Tracy Rozzlyn
Genre: YA dystopian

Where I got it:
E-book giveaway from LibraryThing

One sentence:
Their lives are dictated by how they score on the assessment test; when Alexandria is elevated to the fast-track class and her best friend/boyfriend is assigned the lowest rank, Alexandria does whatever she can to save Byron from a life of hardship and misery.

Themes:
Romance, dystopian society, class conflict,  

Main character:
The first couple chapters didn’t give me much to go on with Alexandria, and I wasn’t sure that I would like her at first, but I ended up enjoying how she decided to make the best of the situation she was in, and yet still retain her own morals and beliefs in such an extravagant society. She had just the right amount of virtues and flaws so that she was down-to-earth and likeable; went through emotions and feelings and confusion, without being helpless.

Secondary characters:
I thought the character of Avery was actually very well developed, Autumn was useful in her part of the “queen-bee” without being completely unlikeable, and Wendy was sweet, kind, and ready to push Alexandria back into place when needed. However, I didn’t have enough time to feel that Byron developed as a character, as I didn’t see very much of him through the novel. When I did see him, I didn’t understand his actions, like pushing Alexandria away.

Writing style: I have to admit, I opened up this book and didn’t think I was going to be able to get through it. As cool as the concept was, the opening scenes didn’t grab me, and there were definitely some writing characteristics that I didn’t like. For example, I didn’t understand why Rozzlyn used Byron’s mother’s compliments to form Alexandria’s physical description: “Why, that lilac dress is the perfect color for your alabaster complexion and your lovely ebony hair. I swear it just makes those sapphire eyes of yours just pop right out.” However, once the novel really started moving, it smoothed out some of the stylistic problems I had- whether I just didn’t notice them or they lessened in frequency is still undecided.

Plot:
The concept of the book was really cool, although the idea of being assigned to a class based on a test or assessment is really nothing new. What I found interesting was how Rozzlyn combined this dystopian/science-fiction concept with the upper-class lives of the fast-trackers, which reads like it could be an account of the lives of the Upper Manhattan prep-school kids.

Best scene:
The scene where Alexandria is taken shopping is every girl’s dream! I was literally drooling.

Positives: 
New spin on an old plot, romances, strong female protagonist, entertaining and believable backstory.

Negatives:
Avery’s motivation?, some of the writing style, the beginning (started out a little slow on the uptake), Byron, the cliffhanger ending.

Ending:
Ahhhh! Such a cliffhanger! I’m so mad, now I’m hooked and have to read the sequel!

Verdict:
Entertaining, fun, blew my expectations out of the water.

Rating:
7.2 / 10

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