Title: The Seclusion
Author: Jacqui Castle
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult, Dystopia
No. of pages: Paperback, 300
Publication Date: September 4, 2018
Date Read: December 13, 2018
In the year 2090, America has walled itself off from the rest of the world. When her father is arrested by the totalitarian Board, a young woman sets out to escape the only country she’s ever known.
While on a routine assignment scouting the viability of dwindling natural resources outside the massive urban centers most American citizens call home, Patricia ‘Patch’ and her co-worker Rexx discover a relic from the past containing dangerous contraband–unedited books from before The Seclusion. These texts will spark an unquenchable thirst for the truth that sees Patch’s father arrested by the totalitarian Board.
Evading her own arrest, Patch and Rexx set out across a ruined future United States, seeking some way to escape the only home they’ve ever known. Along the way, they learn about how their country came to be this way and fall in love. But their newfound knowledge may lead to their own demise.
Many thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to read this book in exchange for a review.
I’ve been trying to make it through this book for months. So many things kept popping up that had to get done and this book just happened to be the one to suffer. I wish it wasn’t and I had gotten a chance to read it sooner because what a freakin’ ride. The Seclusion is definitely a book that should be on your TBR is you’re a fan of 1984, Fahrenheit 451, and The Giver.
This book follows Patricia, otherwise known as ‘Patch,’ who lives in America One, a remnant of America that is run by a totalitarian government known as ‘The Board.’ Everyone is given their assignment, everyone is taught that the outside world beyond the borders is dangerous, and everyone is watched and followed via cameras and id chips. Patch is a rule follower as she’s seen one of her best friends taken due to being a traitor to patriotism. But when Patch and her best friends, Rexx, discover a hidden, overrun van in the middle of the nowhere while on a work assignment, Patch begins to doubt what she’s been taught. As she begins to question if The Board has been telling the truth, things begin to fall apart and Patch and Rexx have to flee for their lives. Hiding away on a cargo train, they make it to the Pacific Northwest in search of the Northern border. Once there, a domino effect happens and Patch and Rexx are helpless to stop it. Their lives are on the line, but so is their chance at true freedom.
This book truly is up there with the likes of Orwell, Bradbury, and Lowry. The world that Castle has created truly isn’t that far off than what ours could be someday. The Seclusion is probably one of the most relevant books that I’ve read in awhile. Our political climate isn’t the greatest currently and America is struggling. This book, I feel, is one that shows us the dangers of what could happen if we close ourselves off to the rest of the world.
I truly loved this book. Patch and Rexx are such great characters to follow. Patch is headstrong and loyal. When she realizes that the government hasn’t been telling them the truth, all she wants is a chance to make things right and to gain true freedom to help others. Rexx is a true friend and hero. Once they find the van, he realizes right away that something is a miss. He inherently knows that something isn’t right and he wants to answers. He also keeps Patch safe as they make their way from Arizona to Oregon and protects her at every turn. He has the best for her in mind.
I really liked seeing how this story turned out. It was one that I will definitely read again and one that I truly believe is an important one to read. Castle has done such a great job creating a world that isn’t like ours, but could be one day. I loved how the shift happens in Patch and Rexx as they realize what they’ve known was lies. I loved seeing their journey happen and seeing them grow as characters and truly finding themselves. I also loved Castle doesn’t back down from showing their pain, their grief, and their emotions. One last thing that I loved was it ended with hope.
If you get a chance, read this book. It’s one that will be important in the years to come. I loved this book and I hope that you love it as much as I did.