The Predicteds by Christine Seifert has a very interesting premise, so I was definitely looking forward to reading it. It still ended up surprising me! Insightful, realistic and engaging – definitely a story that’s hard to put down.
Daphne and her mother have recently moved to Oklahoma. During her first week of school, a school shooting occurs. Then it comes out that the students have all been evaluated by a program called PROFILE, which will determine which students are mostly likely to commit violent acts. Those students are then basically treated as lepers – they even have to start attending separate classes! Daphne struggles with whether the new system is right or wrong, she has lots of conflicts. Like: her mom was the original creator. Plus, her new boyfriend is a “predicted” and now accused of beating another girl with a baseball bat.
The plot was awesome. Constantly entertaining. The moral struggles with PROFILE are treated masterfully; everything was so easy to imagine. The students just fell in line, immediately willing to treat the “predicteds” as dirt. Definitely easy to see high school kids acting that way. Speaking of: the characters were also all so realistic. None of them acted 16-going-on-45 like in so many young adult books – they acted like the kids they are. Drinking, flirting, petty cruelty, shallowness were all rampant throughout the halls of Quiet High School. I loved it for being so real.
Daphne and Jesse definitely acted more mature than most, but they too had their moments. Most of the times they spent acting ridiculous were when they were navigating their new relationship. Very fitting. I really love the way things ended up with them. (Also, I had a character interview with Jesse earlier this month, check it out here.)
Basically, I have one complaint:the setting. I’ve had it before. It is magnified here though, since the book is set in Oklahoma (where I live), I’m probably being pickier than I should be…but still. The town of Quiet is constantly referred to as being a small town. Yet there is a mall, numerous restaurants are mentioned, there is a university campus big enough to have several large frat houses…so on and so forth. Y’all, that ain’t no small town in Oklahoma. In fact, there are only like two or three cities in the entire state large enough for all that. It kept bugging me all through the story. Another thing – the characters kept wearing sweaters and coats and so forth – but then the next day would be described as “the hottest day of the year.” Whaaaaaat? That would mean it is like 110 degrees outside. Do you really think folks walk around bundled up when it is hot in Oklahoma? Let me tell you: they don’t. (Anyway – I did at least love the mentions of the truly amazing OKC Bombing Memorial Museum and the craptastic amusement park Frontier City.)
So other than being annoyed by some of the issues I had with the setting, I thought this book was awesome. The plot and characters are both excellently executed, and I’m definitely going to be waiting to see what Christine Seifert does next!