Genre: Young Adult Dystopian
Format/pages: Borrowed from the library, Hardcover (226 pages)
Rating: 3.5 / 5 Stars
Buy the Book:Amazon
Scored takes place in a future not so far away, where society is under constant video surveillance. Standardized tests are a thing of the past, replaced by the watchful eyeball of ScoreCorp, who assigns a monthly score based on five elements of mental fitness. The scoring system was designed to create upward mobility to all, regardless of class. But is the trade-off worth the personal sacrifices you have to make to maintain your score?
I like this type of realistic dystopia that’s easy to envision and makes you think about the future. The dystopian society presented in Scored is relevant to today’s world and brings up concerns about privacy, class, race, and questions the relevancy of standardized test scores. In Scored, every choice you make in your daily life is scrutinized and could bring you one step closer to a better life or doomed to failure. Your score is constantly being evaluated whether you are inside or outside school grounds, and the score of whom you associate with can even impact your score. I can’t imagine how stressful it would be to wait for those monthly scores to be posted.
Imani LeMonde is nearly finished with high school and has an enviable Score in the 90s. If she maintains that score to graduation she’s on the road to success with a scholarship to the university of her choice, something she wouldn’t be able to afford without the Score. However, one false move could cause her score to dip below the scholarship line and Imani could lose it all. Her best friend Cady has a Score in the low 70s, and they have a pact to stick together through thick and thin. That pact is put to the test when Cady’s romance with an unscored causes a big drop in Score. When Imani pairs up with the unscored Diego on a class project about the Score, she starts to question her beliefs about the scoring system.
I liked Imani’s banter with Diego as they debated the pros and cons of being Scored for their class project. Both sides of the argument were presented evenly and provided food for thought. Their class project is high stakes because it could afford one of them a college scholarship regardless of their Scored status.
The story moves at a brisk pace, and at just over 200 pages, the words fly by. The only complaint I have is I wish that the ending were expanded upon. There are a lot of interesting ideas throughout the book that seem to build to something big, but the end result doesn’t quite live up to the promise. I still found the book engaging and thought provoking though, and I found Scored an entertaining read. I would be interested in reading more from this author.
Watch the Book Trailer:
- The Big Idea: Lauren McLaughlin (whatever.scalzi.com)
- Scored: pulse-pounding/thought-provoking YA novel about surveillance (boingboing.net)