Thursday, December 22, 2011
Scored by Lauren McLaughlin
In “Scored”, society has gone through some rough times. The richer have become richer, the poorer poorer. You know..kinda where we’re headed now. Frighteningly familiar stuff. To help even out the playing field and allow people to rise above their initial place in society, a software company has created something called the “Score”. Every moment of the day the children of society are watched by cameras, called eyeballs that evaluate their every move and will decide what their final “score” is at the end of their high school education. In the meantime, your score can fluctuate and where you are determines your friends, your future options (from a free ride to college to being demoted to janitorial work), everything. The story follows Imani, a scored student who is drastically demoted after her friend falls in love with someone the system doesn’t deem worthy. This fall and the assignment of an essay where she has to oppose the score open up a new line of thought for Imani. What if the score isn’t fair after all? How did the score come to being and is it worth not living life for?
Ms. McLaughlin’s commentary on societal issues like standardized testing, privacy rights, etc are entertaining to read. She creates a very plausible world with a naive character who finally removes her rose colored glasses. The reader discovers the truth of their society along with Imani. It’s an interesting tale of self discovery in a world that could very well be where we are headed. I love how the Score isn’t ever truly demonized because, really, when is anything in life ever truly black & white when it comes to what is good for society. We all have different priorities, different morals... so it’s all gray, at least that’s how I see it.
ANYWAYS, I digress. It’s an interesting book full of politicial and social commentary that even those who aren’t usually dystopian fans will find entertaining. It does have some sweet romantic moments, but that is not the focus of the book. It’s a tale of discovery and learning that right & wrong are never as cut and dry as they appear.
I was provided with a copy of Scored by the publisher. It is published by Random House Books for Young Readers and was released in October of this year. You can find it on shelves everywhere. Be sure to tune in to Authors are ROCKSTARS! in 2012 to hear Ms. McLaughlin talk about “Scored”. If you have any questions for her, please feel free to leave a comment here. :) Happy holidays everyone!