The Murder Complex by Lindsay Cummings
Release Date: June 10, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Keywords: dystopia, murder, family
Format Read: ARC
Book Depository | Goodreads
I'd heard a lot of cool things about this one, and I was stoked (wow, haven't used THAT word since my angsty high school days) to finally be able to read it. And it was good, don't get me wrong, I just felt a bit "Haven't we seen this before?"
It may be more of an "it's me" case, in that I think I'm done with dystopia for a while. There was a pretty interesting question that started the whole thing. The basic premise is what happens when our super smart society eradicates disease entirely and no one dies ever? The solution, for them, was the murder complex, and there's a whole lot of explanation that comes later in the book, but all Meadow knows at the beginning is that people are murdered in the streets on certain nights and she has to hide with her family and keep them alive to avoid being killed.
The concept was really interesting, but there was quite a bit of the insta-connection-love stuff (like, the guy sees her once, and thinks he may love her even though she's crazy and murderous and won't talk to him). This kind of turned me off to that plot line, and since I wasn't a big fan of Zephyr anyway, it was hard for me to root for them since it was such a sudden love interest.
I really loved Koi (her brother) and (her sister, but I'm forgetting her name, someone help me please!), and I loved their family dynamic. Koi failed to get a job earlier in his life, and this causes a lot of stress for him since he's older and supposed to be providing for his family. There was another character, Orion, whom Meadow meets on the job, and she reminded me of Jane Lynch's character in Wreck It Ralph (anyone who's seen it and read this book, tell me it's so right. That's what I was picturing the entire time). She's a hard ass who doesn't take shit from anyone and whips Meadow into shape, and I loved having her around.
There were things I liked, which is why I want to say this was a good book. It was. But with my personal blinders on now, I think I need to take a break from dystopian books for a while because they seem to have all the same qualities. Teen girl chosen to overthrow crazy government society who thinks they're helping but actually they're not, plus a romance thrown in for good measure.
Read When: If you're into dystopian, this is a good one to pick up. It's got some fun characters and a lot of fast movement. But, if you're like me and a bit tired of this strain of books, hold off for a while until you're really ready for it.