Book Review: Dark Parties by: Sara Grant

Rating: 3/5

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Publish Date: August 3, 2011

Origins: From Publisher for Review

Format: Hardcover

Order From:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: I've lit a fuse and I'm waiting for the explosion.

All her life, sixteen-year-old Neva has lived in Homeland, completely cut off from the rest of the world.

All her life, she has been told everything beyond is an unlivable wasteland.

All this time, the government has fed her nothing but lies.

Now, Neva keeps a tattered notebook under her mattress and fills it with the names of The Missing, who have vanished with no explanation. Now, she and her best friend, Sanna, plan a "dark party" to recruit members for their underground rebellion. The group begins to uncover horrifying truths. But can Neva break through the secrecy that has shrouded her whole life? Or will she and her friends become part of The Missing?

Romance, politics, and faith converge in this suspenseful and thought-provoking novel from talented debut author Sara Grant.

Review: Dark Parties is set in a dystopian future where society lives under the Protectosphere. Within the Protectosphere it is a world of absolute control by the government. It is also a world of similarity, grayness, and recycled things and people. Everyone is starting to look alike and the only real importance of a woman is to bring forth the new generation. History is re-written and altered time and time again. Everyone believes that there is nothing safe or alive outside of the Protectosphere. Or do they??

Neva and her best friend, Sanna, want to know the truth. In an attempt to make people think, not just act like sheep, they host a dark party. A dark party is where you can find your true self and do anything you can dream, including starting an underground rebellion. In the midst of the dark party, Neva finds herself doing something she thought she never would…

Aside from hushed conversations and scraps of printed information, not much is told of the Protectosphere and why it was chosen by the leaders as the best option for survival. A society living with disinformation, lies, and a corrupt government is nothing new, but I wished we would have learned more back story. I hope a ‘prequel’ is written to help explain the origins better.

I felt as if some of the relationships were a bit one-sided and lacking depth of connection and feeling. As well, some of the characters lacked depth, also. There’s a sense that we’re not being told things just as Neva isn’t because it’s “for our own good”. There were a lot of half- or unanswered questions which would entice me read the sequel (if there is one), but at the time they left me frustrated with the story and characters (and such an abrupt ending).


  1. I agree. The characters are surface characters. In the end I felt I still didn't really know any of them.

  2. I'm sorry to hear you didn't like this one! I thought we weren't given much backstory because Neva wasn't -- it was supposed to be a mystery? I don't know. I definitely have plenty of unanswered questions for the sequel!


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