Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Review: The Registry by Shannon Stoker

Release Date: June 11, 2013
Published by: William Morrow
Page Count: 336 pages
Source: ARC provided by Edelweiss
Author Links: Facebook | Goodreads

Everyone knows The Registry saved America from collapse. Which is why girls are raised to be brides auctioned off to the highest bidder, and boys are raised by the government to be hardened soldiers. Everyone accepts this as their patriotic duty, except for two girls who are determined to find a way out.

Mia has been dreading her eighteenth birthday for as long as she can remember. It marks her coming of age and the time for her appraisal as a potential bride. She's one of the pretty ones, and she passes her appraisal with flying colors. She's what every man desires-beautiful and sheltered. Snapped up in record time with her parents' blessing for more money than she ever imagined, Mia will not succumb to this life. She escapes with her best friend Whitney, who's been on the marriage block with no takers for a year and will end up a slave working for the government if no one chooses to marry her. After tricking Mia's father's farmhand-with his dark, stormy eyes-into helping them, the three are soon running for their lives, with government agents, bounty hunters, and Mia's intended hot on their heels. They'll make it to Mexico, where a free if uncertain future awaits-or die trying.

The Registry is a fascinating, page-turning novel featuring a young woman seeking her strength and independence against a society that has been overwhelmingly successful at oppressing its women. 

Mia, the protagonist, is a character with many flaws. She has lived a very sheltered life and has little knowledge of the world around her. Her parents never considered it necessary to provide her with an education because her looks were enough to land her a husband that would provide her with everything she needed.

She is the youngest of her sisters and a stunning beauty. She carries pride in knowing that her appearance will provide her with a comfortable life and a fortune for her family when she is purchased by a wealthy groom. 

She is accepting of the illusion that her beauty will buy her happiness until the night that one of her sisters returns. The truth of the Registry and the reality of her life leaves her frightened. But it isn't until she meets her intended groom, a man who is cold, arrogant, and intimidating, that she makes the decision to run away. But she can't do it alone. With no sense of direction or any street smarts or survival skills, an RAG agent would have her returned before breakfast. So she manipulates her best friend, Whitney, and her father's farmhand, Andrew, into joining her in her escape to Mexico.

In the beginning it may be hard for some readers to relate to Mia's character. She comes across as helpless, manipulative, and a bit selfish. But her determination and willingness to adapt and learn are admirable and as the story progressed I grew more and more fond of her character.

Throughout Mia's journey we are given glimpses into Grant's point of view, the man who intends on marrying her. His constant pursuit of her added to the intensity of the overall story line. We learn how ruthless and clever he really is and how he experiences a twisted sort of enjoyment in hunting down his future bride. 

Along with the concerns of being chased, possibly captured, needing money, and Andrew's deadline to return in time to take his place in the military, they also have to be cautious when dealing with the outside help they receive. 

Overall, I thought The Registry was an interesting debut and I'll definitely be on the lookout for what this author will deliver next.


Ashley @ The Bibliophile's Corner said...

Hmmm. I can't decide how I feel about this one. I think it sounds promising but I really have a hard time with books where females are married off. As long as there is a relative happy ending and a chance for change, I'll give it a go.

Great review.

Anonymous said...

I hadn't heard of this one, but it sounds interesting. I'm happy to hear the heroine grows in the story and chooses to open her eyes to the world around her. Great review, Cat. I'm looking forward to this :)

Addicted2Heroines said...

Thanks, Ashley! It's not often that I come across books where the female characters are married off, but I could see how that would bother you. Hopefully you'll like this one though.

I hope you enjoy it, Neyra!

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