Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker

June 11, 2013 Dystopian fiction, Review, William Morrow, YA 3

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks; Original edition (June 11, 2013)
  • ISBN-10: 0062271725
  • Source: Publisher

Years ago, The Registry saved the country from potential collapse. Girls are groomed to be perfect wives and are sold for the highest bid to their potential husbands. Mia Morrissey is about to turn eighteen years old and eligible to be registered. Her childhood was spent preparing for this very moment yet when she receives a warning from her sister who was recently married, her dreams of a fairytale future are destroyed.

Essentially, women are treated as property. They are not allowed to have their own opinions, speak unless spoken to, and must clear every action with their husbands. They are not formally educated, other than instruction on how to sew and cook for their husbands. Marriage is no longer based on love, instead focusing on what the young girl, a piece of property, can give to her husband.

When a husband is found for Mia, she suddenly decides that the life that has been arranged for her is less than ideal and she runs, taking her friend Whitney. Whitney has only a month left on the registry before she’s turned over to the government, living the life of a slave for its bidding. The two enlist (blackmail) Andrew, one of Mia’s father’s farmhands, to aid in their escape. Andrew just has a few weeks left before his mandatory four-year enlistment in the military and he intended to travel around the country, taking advantage of his last days of freedom.

Running from The Registry is rare and deadly, to both the potential wife and any accomplices. Mia’s husband, Grant, will stop at nothing to get Mia back, even if it means killing anyone who stands in his way. While the trio attempts to escape to Mexico where the registry doesn’t exist, Grant uses his influence to track down Mia, leaving several dead in his wake.

While I was intrigued about the premise of The Registry, I couldn’t get over a number of issues that tainted my opinion of this book. No one seems to know much about the origin of The Registry, other than it has been in existence for nearly a century. What was once the United States is now broken up into regions. Young girls are led to believe there is nothing beyond the area in which they reside, not realizing there is an entire world free of The Registry.  Granted, the life that we lead presently is so far from this dystopian world, yet I found it hard to comprehend how and why a nation would continue to practice such archaic beliefs.

Additionally, I found the main character, Mia, uninteresting and frankly quite annoying. She quickly alternates between a strong and independent young woman and a whiney teen who seems to lack in common sense. I felt no connection with her and only found myself rooting for her because I strongly detested the future she was destined to fulfill.

And then there was a love-triangle. That, too, was cheesy, over the top, and immature.  This title definitely leans a little bit more toward the young adult than I thought it would and this could potentially be why I was able to connect or have any vested interest in the characters and storyline.

The Registry is the first in a planned series, the second book due out in Winter 2014. While I can’t say I won’t read it (for I am truly interested in learning more about the origins of The Registry) I won’t rush out to buy it on release day.

I received a copy of this book as part of my participation in a tour with TLC Book Tours.  Check out the other stops in the tour…perhaps others will have a better opinion of this title.

3 Responses to “Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker”

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