First I want to say that Sarah Govett is so lovely! M’kay. I did short review of this in my mass review post here where I also reviewed Purge by Kat Ellis, Unboxed by Non Pratt, The Deviants by C.J. Skuse, Contagion by Teri Terry and Saint Death by Marcus Sedgwick. Here is a synopsis of the book and my full review!
The Territory by Sarah Govett
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The year is 2059. Noa Blake is just another normal 15 year old. Except in the Territory normal isn’t normal. The richest children can download information and bypass the need to study. In a flooded world of dwindling resources, Noa and the other ‘Norms’ have their work cut out to compete. And competing is everything – anybody who fails the TAA exam at 15 will be shipped off to the disease-ridden Wetlands, to a life of misery, if not certain death.
But how to focus when your heart is being torn in two directions at once?
I loved the style this book was written in. It was almost like diary entries detailing the life of Noa as she got closer and closer to her TAA exams, the exams which every child has to take when they’re 15 to determine whether they can stay in the Territory, or are shipped off to the disease-ridden wetlands to die. It made me feel connected to Noa, like I understood what she was feeling and thinking, what was motivating her actions. The narrative gave insights into this dystopian future that were terrifyingly believable. Each of the characters were different and well developed. I was often surprised as they deviated from what I expected them to do. I don’t want to go into too much detail as I want this to remain spoiler free.
Sarah pulled out all the stops and I was shocked and surprised MANY times, I was in tears by page 5 and there were a few other times this book hurt my heart.
The story was driven and compelling, with a need to know what was happening next. I genuinely was wrong SO many times about what I thought was happening, which was amazing! The story left us on a bit of a cliff hanger which made me SO eager for the next book I can’t even.
The themes this book explores are some of my favourites and are definitely worth thinking about. What will those in power decide for us when there are really no good decisions left? Who gets to live and who has to die when the land is running out disease is spreading? It makes you question what you would do, to save yourself or your family. Would you leave? It also brings up the theme of genetic modification, which has been explored many times but The Territory took it to a new level! And of course something that is ever relevant: prejudice of those less or more fortunate than us.
5/5 I definitely recommend you all go and pick this up before the sequel comes out in October!