Thursday, May 6, 2010
Review: Nomansland by Lesley Hauge
Author: Lesley Hauge
Publisher: Henry Holt & Company BFYR
Pub. Date: June 22, 2010
Genre: YA Dystopian
Main Themes: pop culture, societal control, no men
Plot (from GoodReads):
Sometime in the future, a lonely, windswept island is populated solely by women. Among these women is a group of teenaged Trackers—expert equestrians and archers—whose job is to protect their shores from the enemy. The enemy, they’ve been told, is men. When these girls come upon a partially buried home from the distant past, they are fascinated by the strange objects—high-heeled shoes, teen magazines, make-up—found there. What are they to make of these mysterious things? And what does it mean for their strict society where friendship is forbidden and rules must be obeyed—at all costs?
The entire premise of the novel is intriguing. A world without men, depending on my mood, sounds both horrifying and amazing. As I was reading I just kept thinking, imagine if were were a country run by a dictatorial female leader who just happened to be completely fed up with men and she decided to move us all to a secluded island, banishing men and threatening any who tried to approach. It would be insane.
One of the things that I didn't like about this novel was the lack of explanation. I felt like the reader never really got the whole background story, which is often my favorite part of dystopian novels. Finally discovering what cataclysmic error occured that caused this dystopian environment is often the moment that brings the entire novel full circle.
Fortunately, there were many aspects of the novel that I loved. First and foremost, the discussion of pop culture by the girls of Nomansland. There confusion over models and present day fashion drove home many interesting points, causing me to look at many modern day practices and ideas in a new light. Even things like birthday cards are foreign to these future girls, especially thing like the signature Love, Dad.
Overall, NOMANSLAND was a quick, interesting read, but I have read better YA dystopian novels. If you love dystopian novels, I think this novel is worth a read, but I would wait to buy it.
I'm not really sure how I feel about the cover. I don't feel that it particularly fits the novel and it doesn't really draw my eye, but I can't really think of anything that would suit the novel better. I do like the darker color palette though.