review ~ the twenty by claudia carozza

The Twenty (Barronlands Trilogy, #1)
Title: The Twenty (The Barronlands Trilogy #1)
Author: Claudia Carozza
Pages: 233
Published: April 10, 2012
Genre: YA, Dystopia, Science Fiction
My Copy: Kindle edition for review
Average Rating: 4.00 / 5.00
My Rating: 4.00 / 5.00

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Goodreads Synopsis

Imagine living in a time when infertility runs rampant and babies are no longer being born. The world is crumbling around you as people start talking about the end. This is the world Hazel DeSales grew up in. After her mother dies from a mysterious cancer, Hazel finds herself taking care of her younger sister Netty and alcoholic father.

It's not until twenty women, known as the Elect, become pregnant all across the Barronlands when things start looking up. Hazel and Netty apply for jobs working as domestics in the Antioch Center where the Elect will be taken care of and protected. Hazel feels change in the air and her outlook for the future starts to improve.

But she soon learns that change is not without consequence. Rumors are brewing about a government cover up and Hazel finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time. So begins the unraveling of secrets that uncover things from her past and, threatening her future. Hazel is determined to seek the truth and promises herself to do whatever it takes to succeed.

My Thoughts

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review through the Making Connections group on Goodreads.

As soon as I read the synopsis, I knew I had to read this book, and I was not disappointed! The concept behind it seemed so plausible, it gave me chills just thinking about it. Cancer affects so many people, both survivors and victims, and many women are affected by infertility. In my mind, it wouldn't be a stretch for cancer and infertility to run rampant one day. That's why the idea behind this book is brilliant and at the same time scary. It seems realistic, something that could really happen, and if it did, would our society become like the one the main character, Hazel, faces?

I fell in love with Shane right away! When he rescued Hazel from a group of dangerous men in the first ward, it only endeared me to him even more. I liked the easygoing, natural relationship that blossomed between Hazel and Shane. He hates the Officials, and he is rebellious. He brings up ideas and thoughts to Hazel that open her eyes to the way life is for them, but she also seems to accept things the way they are and goes on. He wants change. He wants to do something about the conditions they all live in. And he wants Hazel to be by his side taking action along with him. I admired that.

Hazel is hired as a nurse while her sister Netty is hired to work in the kitchen taking care of the twenty pregnant women. I worried just as much as Hazel did about Shane forgetting her while she was away doing this job because he hates the Officials so much and wasn't exactly supportive of her new job. While I loved Shane right away, I found myself liking Lukas but also feeling wary of him. He and his friend Chris work for security, and I was skeptical of security being needed for the Elect because the building seems to be really secure as it is. I had a feeling security was more for the workers and the pregnant women themselves--in case anyone got out of hand or discovered something he/she wasn't supposed to know or find out about. I didn't always trust Lukas and Chris.

Elise is eighteen, and the girl to whom Hazel is assigned to care for. Elise's character was a surprise--she has a certain vulnerability but is also strong. I would like to think I could be as strong as she is, but I'm doubtful. She finds herself in a situation I couldn't even imagine, and I don't think I would've handled myself as well as she did. She and Shane are definitely the two characters I found myself drawn to.

Throughout the book, there's an undercurrent of sinister plans for the girls and the babies they are about to have. Will the babies be taken from them? Will they be tested and/or experimented on? I loved the suspense and action--I had all kinds of theories as to what is going on. I love it when I'm reading a book and I know that absolutely anything can happen.

The only thing keeping me from giving this book five stars instead of four was my disappointment that the summer months were skipped over, but there's always the chance of flashbacks in the next book. I think skipping three months was jarring to the story and some momentum of the story was lost. I can't wait to read the next installment of this trilogy and find out where the story will take me next!

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About the Author

Claudia CarozzaClaudia Carozza graduated with a degree in Writing Arts. She writes YA & New Adult fiction.

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