I was browsing through NetGalley a few days ago looking for some new reads when I saw a cover that blew me away. I love a lot of covers – there are some amazing ones out there – but not often am I stopped in my tracks. I didn’t even read what the novel was about, I requested it based on the cover alone.
How’s that for judging a book by it’s cover? I better let you see it, huh, so that you can understand where I’m coming from.
Isn’t it stunning? I love the colours, I love the babies in bubbles, I love the font but most of all I love the depiction of the main character. True to the novel, she is not white skinned. She is stunning and those designs on her jaw are beautiful. This cover has impact. It’s gorgeous and it made me want to read this book. I can’t verbalize how wonderful and refreshing it is to see a model of colour on the cover of a book – kudos to the publisher (Lee & Low Books, Inc). Maybe the terrible white washing that’s been happening is finally coming to an end.
To make things even better, the book is very good. I’m only about 15% of the way in, but so far, I’m loving it! I said I wasn’t going to read any YA for awhile, but this cover convinced me to change my mind.
Best friends Kayla and Mishalla know they will be separated when the time comes for their Assignments. They are GENs, Genetically Engineered Non-humans, and in their strict caste system, GENs are at the bottom rung of society. High-status trueborns and working-class lowborns, born naturally of a mother, are free to choose their own lives. But GENs are gestated in a tank, sequestered in slums, and sent to work as slaves as soon as they reach age fifteen.
When Kayla is Assigned to care for Zul Manel, the patriarch of a trueborn family, she finds a host of secrets and surprises—not least of which is her unexpected friendship with Zul’s great-grandson. Meanwhile, the children that Mishalla is Assigned to care for are being stolen in the middle of the night. With the help of an intriguing lowborn boy, Mishalla begins to suspect that something horrible is happening to them.
After weeks of toiling in their Assignments, mystifying circumstances enable Kayla and Mishalla to reunite. Together they hatch a plan with their new friends to save the children who are disappearing. Yet can GENs really trust humans? Both girls must put their lives and hearts at risk to crack open a sinister conspiracy, one that may reveal secrets no one is ready to face.