Title: Crazy House
Author: James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet
*** 1/2 out of *****
When Becca Greenfield becomes the 9th teenager in their restrictive farming community to disappear, “good” twin Cassie’s search for her wayward sister leads her to a secret maximum security prison for teens awaiting the death penalty.
What I liked: It’s great that the twins have their own voice. Initially the sisters are portrayed as being polar opposites, but the reader–and eventually the girls themselves–discover that they also share similar qualities themselves. As it’s a new series, the romance is not in the forefront, but I do like how it’s not another love triangle as each sister is given a separate love interest.
What I disliked: The unoriginality–too much like The Hunger Games. In the world of United people are apparently segregated by race into communities where its citizens work to send the fruits of their labor to a centralized city. The population is carefully regulated whereas prospective parents must have permission to reproduce, and can only do so when a citizen dies.
The book is a bit graphic in describing the violent death matches the teens are forced to fight in the arena and the corporal punishment for under performing in their duties. Overall I enjoyed the book and will probably read the inevitable sequel (although I’m not breathlessly waiting for it).