Monday 16 June 2014

A Girl Called Fearless

Finished June 15
A Girl Called Fearless by Catherine Linka

This teen novel is set in the present, but a different present that what we live now. It begins in California where Avie lives with her father in a gated community and goes to a school with other girls like herself. Ten years or so ago, women started getting cancer and dying at inexplicable rates. By the time they finally traced it to a hormone in beef it was too late and all women past puberty and before menopause who had eaten beef were dead or dying. At first, it was just dealing with the grief, but now women's lives are becoming more restricted and when Avie discovers that not only are U.S. colleges closed to women, but her own father has arranged a marriage contract for her that will save his business. Avie finds that she has been sold, and there is nothing she can do about it. Or can she?
Childhood friend Yates has become a student revolutionary and he is urging her to escape to Canada. Avie wants to listen to him, but is that just because she has stronger feelings for him than that of friendship?
There is a lot going on in this book. It draws from other dystopian novels with women losing rights, echoes of novels like The Handmaid's Tale show here. But it also speaks to the limited lives of real women in many countries now, where the men in their lives control what they can do and where they can go and what their futures hold. Avie has definite challenges, but she is luckier than many, having an education, connections, and training to make a real stand for herself.

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