Author: Georgia Blain
Publisher: Random House Australia
Pages: 320 pages
I am a Lotto Girl.
I should not be here.
Why haven't they come for me?
Fern Marlow is alone, datawiped and in hiding. Her movie says she's Delia Greene, a ReCorp refuse sorter. Every day she question for work, to earn just enough to stay alive. Every night she dreams of the past and the life she's meant to be living, back at Halston, an exclusive school for those wealthy enough- or lucky enough- to be genetically designed.
Her rescuers said her former life was a lie, that she can trust no one. They also said they'd come back for her, and they haven't. Fern doesn't know who to believe. To uncover the truth, and save herself, Fern must answer one question she can't face. Is she special?
Thoughts on the book: Special is a fantastically written dystopian story that tells the story of Fern Marlow and is told in both past and present POV. Fern Marlow is a Lotto Girl, this means her parents were lucky enough to be able to pick some traits that Fern could posses when making her even though they were not well off with finances and their living arrangements. This also allowed their daughter to basically live the good life in a struggling neighbourhood. Fern was allowed the best food, medical care and schooling while the rest of her family struggled to put food on the table. Upon turning five Fern and three other girls start at Halston, a school for the wealthy people of the world. Here they were given the finest education but not all was as it seemed. Suddenly the girls find themselves ripped from the school, datawiped (meaning their identity has been wiped and a new one replaces it) and separated. Fern finds herself in the slums of the city again, on barely any food supplies, with little water and actually having to work. The people who sent her here said that it was for her own safety and they would be back for her soon, by its been over a year and they still haven't come to get her.
I hadn't really heard much about this book before its release but thought I would give it a try and I am so glad that I did. I loved the futuristic feel that we get when reading Special and it gives you an insight, as with a lot of dystopian books, of what could happen to our world. I found Fern to be a great main character and could really identity with her and where she was coming from and how she was feeling. I could understand why she was so confused with everything that was happening and why she didn't trust anyone easily. It would be a huge life change to adjust to and I think she coped really well with it, a lot better than what I would.
I'm currently reading Split Infinity by Thalia Kalkipsakis and noticed a few similarities: the Mobi that they use in Special is kind of like the compad in Split Inifty and the data that you earn and trade in Special is like the credits used in Split Inifity. I will say though that, like a lot of other people's reviews I have read have felt the same way, I didn't like the ending. It seemed like the last 50 pages or so we're very rushed and things seemed to happen so quickly that you are kind of left sitting there wondering what was going on. The first 250 odd pages of the book are very detailed and seem to really extend the time that is being explained, so for the ending to be so rushed it was kind of a let down. Also the book just seems to end. It kind of feels like there would be another book attached to this but as far as I'm aware this is a stand alone novel, which is kind of a let down. I don't think the story was wrapped up very well and I know I have plenty of questions left that are still unanswered. But don't let this put you off reading it.