Author: Laura Bynum
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket (1/5/2010)
Summary: Harper Adams was six years old in 2012 when an act of viral terrorism wiped out one-half of the country’s population. Out of the ashes rose a new government, the Confederation of the Willing, dedicated to maintaining order at any cost. The populace is controlled via government-sanctioned sex and drugs, a brutal police force known as the Blue Coats, and a device called the slate, a mandatory implant that monitors every word a person speaks. To utter a forbidden, Red-Listed word is to risk physical punishment, or even death.
I finished Veracity last week the day after the publisher sent it to me. It was a book that made me stop and think about many things: freedoms, family, love, friendship and sacrifice. I noticed on the back cover that it was compared to George Orwell's 1984, and I can understand the comparison, but I don't quite agree with it. It's a 1984 with more hope and less defeatism. In some ways it reminds me of an Ayn Rand book with a spiritual element. Then again, I could just tell you that it's a story of our society in the future where words are controlled, and people are forbidden to sing, love or speak as they wish. It's a cautionary tale; one that the author makes us believe COULD happen in the right circumstances.
I find with books like Veracity there is a danger of the lessons or messages taken precidence over the character development and/or plot. Author Laura Bynum however, did not make this mistake. The characters are vibrant, and reach out of the book to make us either care, fear, hate or cringe, depending on who they are. I'm sure each reader will find a character to identify with as they read Veracity. These characters aren't warriors in the traditional sense of the word, but yet they are just as compelling.
The other amazing thing about Veracity is the author's ability to write this story for all readers, not just those with a particular viewpoint. Whether the reader is liberal, conservative or middle of road they will be able to take something away from this book. I also think teenagers, mature 16 years olds and up, can read Veracity. It will make them ponder how they feel about love, sacrifice, government, religion, loyalty, friendship and making a difference.
The publisher has allowed me to give away a copy of Veracity to one lucky reader! I'm making it extremely easy; leave a comment letting me know if you've read 1984, Animal Farm or Lord of the Flies. I had to read all three when I was in school, and thought Veracity was more thought provoking and readable. Have you read any of those titles?
If you don't have an email linked to your blog, or maybe you aren't a blogger, please leave your email in the comments. You can write it as brenda (at) standbesideher (dot)com if you wish. The contest will end on January 31st, 2010.