by Lorie Ann Grover
As her male initiation approaches, Tiadone knows every eye on the community is on her, and desperately wishes to belong and finally be accepted. But at every step, traditional feminine gifts and traits emerge, and the bird she’s been twined with is seen as a sign of evil.
Worse, as Tiadone completes her rites, she finds she is drawn to her male best friend in ways that are very much in line with the female gender.
Confused and desperate, Tiadone tries to become what she must be while dealing with what she indeed has become: a young woman who may be able to stand up to her despotic rulers and uncover her real purpose in life. (Description from Amazon.com)
So, when I read the description for this book, I was thoroughly intrigued. I thought the premise was really cool and I love dystopians so I was pretty sure I'd love this book.
Sadly, what started out as a really great idea for a book fell short for me. This author's writing was what often gets referred to as "purple prose." Overly descriptive language, analogies that don't really fit the context, etc. I was so distracted by the actual writing that I would find myself losing track of the story sometimes.
Secondly, I found parts of the story oddly disturbing. The story begins by letting us know that Tiadone is around 13, ready to do her year of service to the Madronians. This girl, who to this point has never gotten her period, has not thought about or talked about sex, suddenly starts LUSTING, and I mean like full-on adult sounding descriptions of lust!, for her best friend, Ratho. I was really uncomfortable when I read parts of the story. There was such a huge discrepancy between her stated age and the way that she acted in several aspects of her life, I'd start thinking she was in her late teens!
One thing I did really love in the book, though, was Tiadone's relationship with her rapion, Mirko. They had a sweet, loving relationship and I loved seeing their interactions.
While I wanted to like this book and still think the idea for it is great, I just found myself disappointed when I finished.
Full disclosure: Audio book reviewed for Audiofile